“By endurance we conquer.”
Goal: Run an impressive marathon while maintaining strength, building lean mass, and feeling invincible.
Equipment: Bench, Dumbbells, Barbell, Cable Stack, Pullup Bar, Bands, Ab Cart, Physioball. Running shoes would also be a good idea.
Workout per week: 6 total (1x Interval Run, 1x Easy Run, 1x Long Run, 3x strength sessions)
Gym Membership Required? Yes. Or a well stocked home gym with the equipment listed above.
Length: 12 weeks
Here’s the problem:
Runners love to run. They run when they’re tired. They run when they’re sick. They run when they’re injured. However, most runners don’t love to lift weights. They’re still caught up the old-world dogma that weight lifting will make them slow and bulky, which simply is not true. All things equal, a stronger runner will be a faster runner.
Here’s the other problem:
When you do convince runners to lift, they prefer cardio circuits and metabolic work which is essentially the same training stimulus they’re already getting from running. Runners don’t need more cardio. They need to slow down, lift heavy shit, and chase the strength, speed, and durability benefits that a proper and comprehensive strength program offers.
In fact, the benefits of strength training for runners are numerous and well-documented:
1. Improved bone mineral density
2. Greater ligament & tendon resilience
3. Improved body comp
4. More efficient biomechanics
5. Stronger kick & greater finishing speed
6. More interesting training
7. Faster, more pain-free runs
So needless to say, running and strength training go together like Batman and Robin…like Bert and Ernie…like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. But there are some unique considerations that play to account in programming strength training for runners. These include:
- A balanced well-considered training schedule weekly programming
- Proper training volume prescriptions
- Slower eccentric tempos
- Explosive concentric tempos
- Compound lower and upper body exercises
- Single Leg Emphasis
- Full range of motion
- Core strength and stability work
- Seated and standing calf work
- Knee flexion and hip flexion hamstring work
It’s not easy figuring out how to squat, hinge, and thrust heavy while running 30+ miles in a week without absolutely smoking your system. Which is the entire point of this program…to combine thorough and thoughtful run programming with equally descriptive strength training programming. All of your training variables are laid out in a progressive and easy-to-follow routine.
A few additional considerations:
- Easy runs should feel like a conversation pace. Most runners need to be reminded to slow down on their easy runs. The intention here is more about accumulating miles and less about running fast.
- The hard pace on your interval day should be challenging but consistent. In other words, the final interval shouldn’t be slower than the first interval. These will be the fastest you run all week. If you’re new to interval training, I’d rather see you start bit slower than you might expect and finish strong versus starting fast and pooing the bed.
- Some athletes respond well to higher mileage. Other athletes tend to do better with less mileage. This program is at the low end of necessary weekly mileage to run a strong marathon.