Advice needed please, managed to complete the coventry half marathon last year in 1hr 26mins & was well chuffed with that time. However now i'm in my first year of teaching that has just taken over my life and finding time for running was getting difficult. Happily getting that balance back now, and really want to build a good foundation for next year. So looking at building strength training into my schedule, how much do people reckon I should build in & will it be useful??
You're a bit faster than me, my HM PB is 1:27. The weights I do are Squats (proper ones), 4 sets of 12 (the last couple of reps of the final set being a real killer). I do some situps or bicep curls for a minute as a recovery from squats. Also do deadlifts and hamstring curls. I also do a variety of core workouts, plank, situps, crunches, and various other strange things with those balls! Also, single leg squats on the bosu are very good for engaging your stability muscles. I can only do them on the soft side, not upside down yet but working on it.
Littlehelen...thanks! For me personally, strength training and stability exercises were necessary to get rid of my crippling runners knee I had a couple of years ago. It's main advantage was that it got me running again, and probably meant my body could take a bit more of a beating. Although my achilles aren't too happy with me at the moment!
It is one of the great irony's of sport that no sport makes you strong enough in and of itself to do the sport. Swimming, football, running cycling even weightlifting, you have to do strength exercises to be strong enough to cope with the stresses you put your body under. Its in part because sports require repetitive actions and the body will break long before simply running or kicking makes your tendons and muscles strong enough to deal with it. If you want to progress as a runner in terms of mileage, endurance stamina and speed you will have to strength train because while you will get faster without it you wont stay fast for long. You will get injured and/or suffer from very long recovery times. You will find you wont be able to do the full range of training in a week and find it hard to increase mileage.
I do strength training now thats not too dissimilar to that described above though with out weights. I will be getting some though.
cheers loads of good advice, now to attempt to fit it in
What I can never find out is- how often to do them?! It's fair enough saying what exercises to do but they're no use unless I know safely how many times a week to do the sets.
Frequency - as often as possible while still recovering.
Load - as high as posisble wihtout compromising form.
Volume - low. Runners do not need huge volume in a strenght workout (i.e. doing 12 reps is pointless -- it's not heavy enough to make you significantly stronger.) Heavy reps in the 1-6 range would be more suitable. Why? Becuase the strength adaptations available from strength training are neurological and or musclar hypertrophy. Opportunity for the latter will probably be neutralized by the vast amount of aerobic training and diet of a runner (i.e. not a huge and consistent surplus of cals), so you get stronger through neurological adaptaions, which you don't get from messing about doing 4 sets of 12 reps.
Good exercises - squat, deadlift, box jumps, olympic lifts and variations (e.g. power clean), bench press, rows, overhead press, pull ups, dips... etc. Core work, if you feel you need it.
Crap exercises - biceps curls, leg extensions, pissing aorund on a bosu ball kidding yourself that it makes you stronger, and any other silly exercises and or isolation exercises stuff that has bugger all crossover to running and or is wasted recovery that could be put to better use.
SomeOldDog, do you have references for your info? Personally, after doing a Google search I find lots of contradictory info about the number of strength training reps for runners. For instance, this site suggests high reps:
Search a variety of Runners World strength training articles and you'll also find 12-15 reps - I remember seeing them over the years....this is partly where I get my advise from. If it's wrong, then fine, but I find your response quite an arrogant attack on my initial reply - I simply shared what I do.
this site is having a fucking fit every time i try to post.
will try again later.
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