Strength Training For Runners: So Many Options! From Another Mother Runner

This post comes from this past January on the Another Mother Runner blog. Sarah Bowen Shea was training for the Boston Marathon (she finished in a wicked fast time of 4:34:49)! Here are her ruminations and wonderful pieces of advice on strength training for runners.

Week two of Boston Marathon training is going well. My coach is going easy on my “affected” ankle so the schedule only dictates three runs a week, one less than my pre-fracture training cycles. Currently she’s swapping in an additional day of rest instead. The other two days of the week–currently Tuesday and Thursday–are dedicated to strength training. (With at least an extra 10-minutes of hip strengtheners mixed in at least once/week, often on the evening of a rest day.)

One morning, I do a barre class at The Refinery here in northeast Portland. I’m devoted to the instructor/owner, Ashleigh, who makes the world’s best playlists, and I can perform about 99% of the moves without embarrassing myself too greatly. (Although I’m not going to be mistaken for a ballet dancer, or even a flexible, well-balanced athlete any time soon…)

But, for now, coach has prescribed a body-weight circuit for Thursday workouts, which she nicknamed “Dyna/Functional Strength.” At first glance I read it as, “Dysfunctional Strength,” which made me howl with laughter when I realized my error. Here’s what tomorrow holds in store for my best running friend and me after we warm up by running 15 minutes to the gym:

20 squats
10 lunges per leg
:30 side shuffle (shuffle side to side as 3 shuffles left, 3 shuffles right)
1:00 plank hold
10 side lunges per leg
1:00 squat hold
:45 side plank per side
1:00 glute bridge marching
Repeat series twice.

Rest 1:00 then complete the following three times through:
10 front-to-back hip swings per leg
10 push ups
1:00 plank hold
10 single leg squats per leg

Then run 15 minutes home.

Incorporating different types of strength moves–hip series, barre, body-weight exercises–got me wondering about the value of each in a training plan. So our podcast next week is going to be a conversation about strength training for runners.

To help me get a clearer picture of what you gals do–from countless squats, to a plank a day, to free weights, to CrossFit, please stack up your comments like so many weight plates. And if your response is, “Strength training: What’s that?!?!” please let me know that, too. All in the Comments section below this post on our site. Many thanks!

To view the responses about training from fellow Another Mother Runner readers, click here to visit the original post.



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