I'm a big believer in strength training for runners. It makes you a stronger, faster, more efficient runner. Let's talk about how to structure your strength training program.

Stephanieruns Fitness

May 20, 2018 Newsletter

Strength Training Plans for Runners

I've talked a lot about why you should strength train and how strength training makes you a stronger, faster, more efficient runner. Today I want to talk about how to structure your strength training training program.

First and foremost I believe you should have a goal for your strength training program. Are you looking to help support your running gait? Are you crossing the finish line with your shoulders falling forward? Are you looking to build strength in your arms to help your arms propel you forward as you run? Are you looking to become faster or reduce our risk of injuries? The goals you can work on are endless but the goal needs to be yours. If you don't want to work towards your goal, it won't be successful.

As we are talking about strength training programs for runners I will note that I think it is extremely important to have your running training plan drafted prior to adding your strength training plan in. Both plans need to work together, and as you're a runner, your running plan should come first. I'm not saying that strength training isn't as important as your running training plan, but your overarching goal is most likely a race or running related.

Next I want you to look at the time frame you're working with. You can look back to your running training program to see what time frame you're working with. Generally I would recommend looking at an 6-8 week time frame because as your body adapts you will need to adjust your strength training program. You'll also have to be mindful of your running plan to make adjustments to your strength training. For example when you're tapering for a race you'll need to reduce or eliminate your strength training anywhere from 1-2 weeks before your race. 

Now that you have your goal, and the time frame you're working with you need to determine the number of days a week you have to strength training. You'll want to look back to your running training plan. You might want to read back on my past newsletter on balancing your training load. You will need to be mindful of your planned running and flexibility workouts as well as your recovery.

Now you're ready to sit down and plan your strength training workouts. Ideally I like to have two strength training workouts a week in a runners training plan. You might only have one day a week to strength train. At the end of the day your training plan needs to work for your life and your goals. When you're planing your strength training workouts you need to look back to see what your goal is to ensure your strength training plan is propelling you forward to those goals.

If you're looking to build strength in the muscles that help you run I recommend re-reading my strength training for runners series. It goes over the running specific muscles you can work on and gives some recommendations on strength training workouts for runners. You can re-read them here:

Upper Body and Arms


Lower Body

Your Feet

One of the most important parts of building your strength training program is reviewing it. At the end of the time frame you've picked or every 6-8 weeks if you picked a longer time frame you should be sitting down and review how your training program is going. You can do this by going over your training logs and assessing if you've reached, or are on the way to reaching the goal you've set. If your training plan is not helping you reach your goal that's okay, this is the stage where you make changes to help get your training back on track. Maybe your training is working for your and helping you reach your goals. That doesn't mean you don't make changes. As your body adapts you'll need to make adjustments to your plan to help you continue to make gains.

As you can see there's a lot that goes into creating a strength training plan that works for you. This is a case where the upfront work is worth the reward. As always if you need help with your strength training send me a message.

Weekly Challenge: Review Your Training

This week I'm challenging you to review your strength training program. Hopefully you have your plan written down and training logs to review. If not think back to the past couple of weeks and write down what you can remember and answer the following questions.

1) What is my strength training goal?

2) How's my strength training going?

3) Where is my strength training failing? What could be better?

4) What changes do I need to make to my strength training program?

Reviewing your strength training program regularly will help keep you on track to reach your goals. Let me know how this challenge goes. If you need help send me an e-mail or reach out on social media.

Summer Running

It's happened! The sun is setting later in the evening. The weather is getting warmer. I think it's safe to say that spring is hear which means that summer is around the corner. I love summer and fall running; it's my favourite time to run. Some of my favourite races are in the summer and fall which probably adds to my overall love of the season.

This summer I'm going to be offering a try a coach special for July and August. Let me create your workouts for you and manage your training load. Let me support you through a fun summer of running. Give yourself the gift of just showing up, and working out. 

i'll be sharing the details in the upcoming weeks but if you would like to know more send me a message I'd love to chat.

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What running topics do you want more information on? Let me know what topics you want me to cover!

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Stephanieruns Fitness

461 North Service Rd West
Oakville Ontario,  L6M 2V5 - Canada

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Disclaimer: Always seek medical advice before starting an exercise program. This newsletter is not medical advice. Medical advice should be sought from a medical professional. Stephanieruns Fitness assumes no liability for any injuries as a result of the above content.