Strength training and Running

I have taken a few weeks off from the blog. The end of the school year is so busy! As a teacher and coach, I have a million things to wrap up and then a million things to get ready for next year and a summer to plan for cross country.

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, standing, child and shorts (This photo is a few kids from the running camp that we just put on. We had 65 kids participate, ranging from ages 3-14. It was a huge success! Lots of smiles)

Anyways, I am back and, hopefully, will have some laid-back summer mornings to write.

As summer starts, I am really focusing on strength training and running and how the two will help each other. I have a chronic injury in my hamstring (still undetermined what it actually is), but I have found the more I strengthen my hips the better it gets. So, weight training helps prevent injuries.

Many articles that I have read are raving about the benefits of strength training and injuries. As runners, we are stubborn and will run through anything. We also only like running so we strengthen our calves and our quads all of the time. But what about hamstrings and hips? These are important to our gait as well, but, if you are like me, we ignore these muscles completely.

More and more research is also proving that strength training helps with speed and endurance. Many runners, including me, believe that lifting will make us weigh more, will slow us down. We don’t want big arms; our goal is to be thin and light, right?

Wrong. More and more runners are turning to strength exercises to make their running even better. For example, one of the newest crazes in my area is Orangetheory Gyms. These gyms incorporate interval training (I will talk about those tomorrow) and strength training exercises. If you haven’t tried it, it is worth it.

Orangetheory incorporates three or four weight exercises, rowing, and running every workout. People are dropping times in every area of running. I have a good friend, who has dropped her half marathon time by over five minutes, and she has ONLY trained using Orangetheory. She might kill me for putting her photo on my blog, but she will never know 🙂 She looks great and deserves the recognition!


Another hot workout is hot yoga. In my area, we have a class called Shape , which is a yoga class that also strengthens. People are changing their bodies with this class and it is also helping them run faster. I work with a colleague who has lost thirty pounds doing this hot yoga shape class, toned up, and now has started running because he feels comfortable running.

I have been off and on with lifting. With my injury, I have been better about it, but I just do not like it. I meet people all of the time that would rather lift than run. I am the complete opposite. I would rather run 15 miles than lift for one hour.

However, during my last marathon though, I felt the lack of strength in my legs. I did not have it. And, maybe that is why I have a nagging injury now?

So, I am vowing to change it up for my next marathon in September. I am trying to lift a few exercises each day with dumbells or the 22-minute beach body workouts (Tony Horton).

I am also incorporating hills and interval training into my workouts (check out my post tomorrow), as this also counts as strength training.

If you Pinterest or even just google weight workouts for runners and you will get a plethora of results. Here are a few I found, just to check out.

Strength Training for Runners to get Faster

Runners World: Strength Training for Runners

20 Minute Strength Training Workouts for Runners by SELF magazine

Runners Blueprint

Spark People

What do you do for strength training? What workouts do you like?


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