Stephanieruns Fitness

March 18, 2018 Newsletter

Strength Training for Runners

Building muscular endurance

When I talk to runners about strength training I find there’s a lot of concern. Maybe because when people think of strength training they think of muscles and bulk. As a personal trainer I want to set the record straight about strength training for runners. I’ve been sharing a lot of information on my twitter @srunsfitness but I would like to delve deeper. I’m going to break up this subject over the next three newsletters as I like to provide actionable information and not overwhelm you with information.

Today’s newsletter will focus on strength training the upper body/arms specific for runners. When I talk about strength training specific for runners I’m talking about endurance runners. When you’re running a race 5k or longer the muscles in your body have to support you for a longer time period. Having the strength in the specific muscles used in running will improve your running efficiency, (less wasted energy) and reduce fatigue. When most people think of strength training they think of explosive power but for endurance runners the focus is muscular endurance. We want to have the strength in running specific muscles to help us push to that finish line. There are two types of muscle fibers, fast and slow twitch. Without getting too technical fast twitch are critical for sprinters and slow twitch are critical for endurance runners. So a running specific strength training plan will focus on building slow twitch endurance muscles so your muscles can support your running goals. Building up those slow twitch muscles will help you reduce fatigue and get you to the finish line.

Today I want to focus on the upper body. When we think of running we think of our legs but you can’t run without your arms. Give it a try, you might fall but you’ll find it exhausting, inefficient and awkward. Your arms also fight gravity and help propel you forward. Your torso also holds your body upright. If you’ve ever watched people complete a marathon you might have seen runners who are hunched forward. The muscles of their torso have fatigued and they aren’t able to keep themselves upright. During a four hour marathon you swing your arm approximately 22000 times. I was surprised with that number, but it show how important strength training your arms is.

Working on the push/pull muscles of your upper body will support your running. When you’re looking at building the slow twitch muscles you’re looking at a lower weight and higher repetitions. You’ll want to focus on your chest, back, biceps and triceps to help keep you upright and help propel you forward.

I hope think makes you realize that strength training isn’t just about bulking up and that specifically for runners it can help you reach your goals.

Weekly Challenge: Strength

It should come as no surprise that this week’s challenge is to add in upper body strength. Working on the chest, back, biceps and triceps with higher repetitions and lower weight.

Try adding in chest press, bent over row, bicep curl and tricep kickbacks. Try 2-3 sets of 12-15 reps. Don’t forget to warm up first and cool down after. Let me know how it goes! 

Strength Training for Runners

If you’re looking for more assistance with strength training specifically for runners I have designed a  6 week program. It’s available for purchase on my Training peaks site. This allows you to load the training problem into your app and take it with you to the gym.

It's designed to build muscular endurance specifically for the muscles that support your running. I'm offering 40% off to my newsletter subscribers with the coupon "40off" which expires on March 25, 2018.

I hope you have found this information helpful. If you have please share this newsletter. If you have any questions please contact me. Also make sure we’re connected on social media. I love connecting on twitter.

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Stephanieruns Fitness

461 North Service Rd. W. L6M2V5 Oakville, Ont Canada


Twitter: @srunsfitness

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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.