Why should runners strength train? PART I

Why should runners strength train? PART I

The following is a very brief overview of Chris Johnson’s book, Running on Resistance. For more information about Chris and some of the amazing content he has to offer, visit his website at Chris Johnson PT.

Strength training is an integral part of any regular exercise routine. Here are some major benefits of this fundamental practice:

  • Builds cardiovascular health
  • Improves body image
  • Improves flexibility
  • Improves full body resiliency and resistance to injury

For runners, not only are you focused on the above, but for more competitive runners, there is a focus on performance. There is an element of excitement when we improve our mile time or come back for a run feeling refreshed.

Here are some of the running specific benefits that strength training can provide:

  • Improve capacity
  • Increase running economy
  • Increase speed
  • Delay fatigue onset

Body weight exercises are a great entry into resistance training, yet additional resistance with the use of weighted equipment will provide the necessary stimulus to gain strength. However, to reduce the risk of injury from strength training, a general periodization program should be followed. There are various programs out there and have been proven to be effective. The major areas of interest when choosing a program are exercise selection, recommendations for load, repetition count, and rest periods. Each of these should be well understood and planned before initiating a program.

Here are some general recommendations

  • Exercises need to be individualized to the person’s goals and exercise history
  • Initially, 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps of bodyweight movement. Progressed then to weighted routine as form and comfort improves
  • Single leg exercises need little to no rest
  • Two-legged exercises require a rest of 1-2 minutes recommended
  • Frequency is most effective at about two days per week for 12 weeks on days of lower volume running or drill/tempo days

Stay tuned for Part II, where I will review the most important and effective exercises for runners to add into their regular routine.

WANT MORE?!?!?!?!?

Interested in live group training that covers this content?

We will be hosting a 3-part series workshop held on 3 consecutive Wednesday’s in January from 6:30-7:30pm

JANUARY 9th, 16th, and 23rd.

This workshop will be located at our brand new office on 1 Derby Street in Hingham. Space is limited so please sign up ASAP!

Email Loni through loni@infinitepotentialptw.com or call 617-249-4011 x 700 for ANY and all questions!

Sign up through this link– choose the 6:30pm class on January 9th. Follow the prompts to complete registration.


Are you interested in personalized programming?

It is a great way to safely and effectively implement this strength training program that was touched upon in the workshop.


HINT >>>> Most of it will be addressed in more detail in the 3-part series in January!


However, for a more personalized approach, the remote programming is a great way to be sure that you are doing EVERYTHING you need to do to improve your running performance and reduce your injury risk.


Email Loni through loni@infinitepotentialptw.com or call 617-249-4011 x 700 for ANY and all questions!

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