I'm a female 15-year old runner looking to improve my timings. I've been running regularly for about a year or so, with a 20:15 PR for 5K (road) and 42:41 PR for 10K (trail).
Right now I do strength work 3 times a week in the gym, and workouts usually look like this:
- Pushups 3x12
- Bench Dips
- 37.5kg Squat 5x5
- on core work days: deadlifts, sumo deadlifts, wood chops, DB pullover, glutes raise, lunges
- on upper body days: upright rows, bench press, overhead press, bent row, shrug
Just wondering, to be a faster DISTANCE runner, is it better to lift weights or to do bodyweight workouts (e.g. bodyweight lunge, planks, pushups, etc.) and if so what bodyweight exercises would you recommend?
asked bylacesandlabcoats (173)
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on November 30, 2012
at 03:21 PM
For distance running you want to focus on functional full body movement patters, that compliment your run training. The primary goal of a weight training program for distance runners is to prevent injuries.
The primary ways runners get injured is chronic inflammation and muscle imbalances (i.e. distance running build strong quads, but does not build hamstrings equivalently). So a proper strength training program for an endurance athlete should be designed to counter inflammation and provide muscular balance to the runner. Specifically you should look for exercises that focus on building lower-leg balance (like lunges), hamstrings, core (both abs and back), and upper back and shoulders.
Keep in mind, you are a runner first, weight training should be a compliment to your run training plan. You should always complete your running workout prior to lifting, or lift on days that you are not running and are not actively resting (which will be few if you are training for 5k and above). If you enter the weight room and are fatigued from the run workout, use lower weights ??? the muscle adaptations are based on pushing your body to a point close to fatigue, not necessarily progressing on weights.
Recovery is as important as the time you spend in the gym. This includes effectively using recover runs, ensuring you get the proper amount of quality sleep, and properly integrating strength training such that you have sufficient time to recover. For example, strength training the day after a track workout would not be a good idea. Strength training back to back on rest days would not be a good idea.
So what do I suggest? I like using two different full-body workouts that will both be completed once per week.
In the first workout, body weight exercises (3 sets of 10-12) like: Pull Ups, Bicycle Crunches and Dips are complemented with 3 sets of 5 reps of: Forward Lunges, Military Press, Renegade Rows.
In the second workout, body weight exercises (3 sets of 30 seconds) like: Planks and Reverse Crunches are complimented with 3 sets of 5 reps of: Bench Press, Bent-over rows, Dead-lifts, and Front/lateral raises.
on December 04, 2012
at 10:22 PM
I have competed in many long distance triathlons and whenever you're going LONG (swimming, biking, running, or in whatever sport), strength becomes a limiter. The longer you go, the more you need to make sure you're able to keep your form instead of falling apart. For running that would apply to anything equal or longer to the marathon. Running efficiency is nevertheless correlated to weight, so bulking up is not really an (advisable) option. Bodyweight exercises is your best option. This will make you strong without adding too much bulk. Single leg squats, single leg hip raises, single leg calf raises are the best exercises for you lower body, lots of core work (ideally in balancing position where you activate several muscle groups simultaneously). I wouldn't care too much about upper body strength except for your upper back ... again with the goal in mind to be able to keep good posture during long runs. Hope this helps.
on December 02, 2012
at 03:15 PM
Forget paleohacks. You have too much talent to be hitting us up for advice.
Get the books "Run Faster" by Brad Hudson and "Run" by Matt Fitzgerald.
Both are whole body approaches to being your best runner, more so the latter book.
on November 16, 2012
at 08:25 AM
First of all, KUDOS for being so young, adept and knowledgeable. This suggests to me you have a good coach. I'm turning 44 and have just cracked A sub 7 mile pace on 3 mile road and am doing sub -9:10 on trail with mountains. I don't think I'm gonna Answer u cos u just overawed me. I do a 40 minute workout in the gym minimum, light stretch, meditation, creative and random core, presses and lifts, dips and curls if I have time. I'm a fluid type just pick & choose w/o sticking to a structured program. I go gym and have fun. YOU should be giving me advice!