The Power Of Strength Training For Runners

” Throughout my years of experience working as a Personal Trainer, specializing in strength training, running performance, and injury prevention, I find that an underestimated aspect of running between runners is the role of strength training. In this blog post, I’ll write about the benefits of incorporating strength exercises into a runner’s running routine, offering insights for beginners, intermediate, and advanced runners.” – Miguel Fragoso

The Benefits of Strength Training for Runners:

  1. Injury Prevention: The repetitive nature of running can lead to overuse injuries. Strength training, however, helps to correct muscle imbalances, enhancing stability and reducing the risk of injuries such as plantar fasciitis, shin splints, IT band syndrome, and stress fractures.
  1. Improved Running Economy: Enhancing your neuromuscular coordination and efficiency with strength exercises improves your running economy. A muscular body translates to more power per stride, making your runs feel less strenuous and allowing you to maintain pace for longer durations.
  1. Enhanced Core Stability: A strong core is the secret weapon of every sport movement. It promotes better posture, balance, and form, preventing energy leaks during your runs. This, in turn, translates to improved running technique and reduced fatigue.
  1. Increased Power and Speed: Strong muscles generate more force, allowing you to push off the ground with greater power and speed. Strength training, particularly for the lower body, can significantly boost your sprinting capabilities and overall speed.

How to Incorporate Strength Training into Your Running Routine:

  • Establish a Routine: Aim for two to three strength training sessions per week, focusing on different muscle groups. Allow for rest days or easy runs between sessions to facilitate recovery. Most importantly, do it consistently.

  • Stick to the Basics: From beginners to advanced levels, a well-rounded strength program might include exercises such as squats, lunges, planks, and push-ups. Gradually introduce resistance with light dumbbells or resistance bands.

  • Progression: As you progress, incorporate plyometric exercises like box jumps to enhance explosive power. You can start Olympic lifting techniques such as power cleans and snatches for maximum power development. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) can also be incorporated to simulate the demands of intense running bouts.

Sample Strength Training Programs:


  • Bodyweight Squats: 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Plank: 3 sets, hold for 30 seconds
  • Lunges: 3 sets of 10 reps per leg
  • Push-ups: 3 sets of 10 reps


  • Goblet Squats: 4 sets of 10 reps
  • Romanian Deadlifts: 4 sets of 12 reps
  • Kettlebell Swings: 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Box Jumps: 3 sets of 8 reps


  • Power Cleans: 5 sets of 8 reps
  • Single-Leg Romanian Deadlifts: 4 sets of 10 reps per leg
  • Barbell Push Press: 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Barbell Step-ups: 4 sets of 10 reps per leg

Incorporating strength training into your running routine is a game-changer. It not only fortifies your body against potential injuries, but it also improves running technique, energy efficiency, and core stability.

The key is establishing a proper routine and then progressing using all training variables, like intensity, volume, duration, tempo, rest, etc. Start where you are comfortable and gradually challenge yourself. The road to becoming a more robust, faster, and more resilient runner travels through the weight-lifting room!