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Strength Training For Runners

Want to run faster? Including strength training into your weekly training routine can help with improving running performance and also prevent the risk of injury so you can chase those PBs.

Here are some great strengthening exercises for runners


Squats are a great exercise to help improve your strength, particularly in your lower body. Stronger legs can help to improve power and help make connective tissues stronger so you're less prone to injury. Perform 6-10 reps. 3 -4 sets. 1-2 minute rest in between sets.


Shoe company Saucony reports that a force of up to three times body weight can be exerted on the human foot while running. That's a considerable amount of force exerted onto a single leg so working on movements that can help to improve your single leg strength and balance is important. The single leg deadlift is a fantastic exercise that can help with this and can also be used to help address muscular imbalances. You can load the exercise using a dumbbell or kettlebell. When performing this exercises, try to keep your hips square. Perform 8-10 reps on each leg. 3 -4 sets. 1-2 minute rest in between sets.


A common muscular imbalance reported amongst runners is the comparative weakness of their hamstring muscles in comparison to their quads. Weak hamstrings can contribute to knee pain so it's important to look at strengthening your hamstrings. Swiss ball hamstring curls is a great exercise to not only work the hamstrings but also the glutes, hips and core which are used in running. Perform 8-15 reps. 3-4 sets. 1-2 minute rest in between sets.


Your core keeps you upright and keeps your spine stable during running so it's important to strengthen this area of the body. Mountain climbers is a great exercise which engages the entire core and it doesn't require any equipment so you can conveniently perform this move anywhere. Not only that, mountain climbers also work the arms and legs, and also challenges your stability, power and agility, so it's a great all round move to help strengthen the whole body. Perform 12-20 reps. 3-4 sets. 1-2 minute rest in between sets.

The NHS recommend 2 sessions or more of muscle strengthening exercises a week.  If you're new to weight training, we recommend that you start with 2 sessions a week before increasing the frequency. If you'd like some guidance on any of the exercises mentioned, please ask a personal trainer.

We suggest doing your strength training on days you aren't running or at least leaving ample recovery time between your training sessions. 

New to running? Check out our Running FAQs article to help you get started.

Looking for more ways to boost your sporting performance? Check out this guide to plyometric training. Ready to join a gym? Find a PureGym near you and become a member today

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