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Runners who develop strength to a sufficient level are less prone to injuries that can occur during hopping, plyometric, sprint, or hill rep training. If you cannot do 30 lunges on one leg while using only your body weight, the strength of the muscles around your hips (especially the glutes, upper hamstrings, and quads) are insufficient to stabilize your body upon ground contact. Without stability, you cannot generate the forward and upward propulsive force needed for speedy running.
Every strength session will include 11 key exercises. Long-term success depends on the use of a systematic (progressive overload) training plan increasing the number of reps, resistance, and frequency of strength training sessions.
Remember to take into consideration your prior (and recent) experience as you select a strength training level. If strength training is new for you, or if you have not strength trained in a long time, classify yourself as a Beginner for the first 6-week training cycle.
Avoid strength training during the two days before competing in a race. Complete your last serious strength training sessions 5-6 days before your peak race of the competitive season.
Beginners, train twice a week on long run days.
Intermediate runners should alternate between two sessions one week, and then three sessions the next week, repeating this 2-week cycle three times during the course of the program.
Advanced runners will strength train three times per week on long run days, at least 48 hours apart.Section divider