Strength Training

How we go fast

This is Club Running!? Why should I strength train?

First off, strength training is great for everyone from sprinters to marathoners. 

Athletes use strength training to load their bones, muscles, ligaments and tendons.  Bones remodel when stresses are put on them. When we load our bones with heavy weights, our bodies add more bone cells.  The more bone cells, the more impact your body can sustain before breaking down (i.e. the more miles your body can healthily take). 

Strength training loading the muscles provides additional benefits.  Distance runners, for example, use more slow twitch rather than fast twitch muscle fibers. By adding in strength training, distance folks can increase the number of muscle fibers their body can recruit at one time, since these faster twitch fibers are not trained as well with simple running.  On the sprint side, the addition of strength training can build more explosive and powerful starts as the body increases the musculature and the stresses that muscles used in sprinting can take on.

Studies have linked strength training with higher VO2 max, lower oxygen use and better running economy! So the real question is – why wouldn’t you?!

What are the best days to strength train?

This is a contested subject, and honestly, the most important thing is to DO strength training in addition to your running.  

Strength training on my workout days is really best to keep your easy days easy.  Additionally, this schedule can help avoid  delayed onset muscle soreness which generally hits the next day rather than the day of the lift. Again this helps keep your body feeling good for running workouts albeit even if you’re a bit tired.

Whether you do your lifting on an easy day doesn’t matter a ton, but you should keep your off days entirely off (i.e. dont lift).  This is really important to let your body heal from the microtears you’ve added in the hard training.  If you don’t let your body repair itself, the training you’ve done will not benefit you, and will likely lead to injury.

What kinds of exercises should I do for strength training?

Compound movements are best, as they use multiple muscle groups at one time: similar to running.  Check out our page on strength exercises for some ideas!

How often should I strength train?

Once or twice a week is a great way to go! Off-season, you can go up to three times a week, which is a great way to help build your base.  

Do I need to go to Marino? Can I strength train at home?

Nope, Marino is not necessary, although it helps add more weight to different exercises. Marino is generally less crowded in the early mornings or mid-day if that is an issue as well; you can get updates on crowdedness for each section on the Marino website as well.  A few weights at home can accomplish a lot, but that said, we have a training plan for bodyweight exercises on our workouts page as well!  



Strength Training and Conditioning for Runners:

Strength Training for Distance Runners:

Weightlifting for Distance Runners:

Weightlifting for Runners: