Why do runners need a strength training plan? Well, stronger muscles make faster runners who can recover quickly and get injured less often. If you don’t believe me, check out these sciency references…
Scientifically proven benefits of Strength Training
- Improves running performance (Blagrove 2018)
- Increases bone density (Hong 2018)
- Reduces body fat (Wewege 2022)
- Reduces fat storage around the abdomen (Allman 2019, Hunter 2002)
- Improves tendon stiffness (Albracht 2013)
- Prevents age-related muscle loss (Yoo 2018)
- Improves sleep (Yang 2012)
- Prevents death (Kraschnewski 2016) – not indefinitely*
I’d say the tide has pretty much turned on strength training for runners now. Most runners know that it will improve their performance and might help reduce injury risk. So the question isn’t so much “why?” as “how?”.
Well, you’re in luck, after chatting about all things strength training with Rich Blagrove on The Adaptive Zone Podcast, I decided to make a little strength training plan for runners that you can download for free. It spans an entire year and is periodized for the in-season and off-season so that your muscles don’t get too sore.
I suggest runners do 2-3 strength training sessions per week in the off-season (that’s winter here in Canada). This helps you build maximal strength gains without spoiling your running training. The just 1-2 lower intensity strength sessions per week during the in-season, to maintain the strength you have gained. So I’ve designed the plan with that structure.
Download your free Annual Strength Training Plan for Runners pdf