Hello! Today I am happy to introduce my second guest blogger for the week, Ariana from Evolution by Ariana Personal Training. I met her at BlogFest this past year, and we instantly connected and have been in touch since. Ariana is a running coach and strength training expert, so she is the perfect person to be writing on this topic. Enjoy!
Strength Training For the Time-Pressed Runner
Ariana here, from Evolution by Ariana Personal Training. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to write a post for Kayla, because not only do I work with a ton of runners, but I’m also a runner myself!
After dealing with a difficult injury for almost two years, I have made it my mission to help other runners avoid the mistakes I made by learning how to effectively incorporate strength training into their routine.
Now if you’re a runner who spends any time on the internet (which, clearly you are), you have most likely read that you need to do some strength training. You may have even found a few articles on the best exercises for runners, bookmarked them, and then never went back to them.
One of the barriers that many runners I work with is a lack of time. Some of you may be running three, four, or even five days a week. Combine that with work commitments, family obligations, and a social life, and that doesn’t leave a whole lot of room for much else.
But strength training is SO important when it comes to becoming a strong, fast runner who is less likely to get injured. So today I’m going to share a few simple tips for incorporating strength training into your running program without taking up too much of your time!
- Perform compound movements as opposed to isolation exercises. Compound movements work more than one muscle group at a time, giving you more bang for your exercise buck.
- Complete exercises that directly improve your running. Strength training is great, but not every exercise is going to translate to improved running performance! Bicep curls and leg extensions have no place in a running program, unless you’re trying to beef up your biceps or quads. Try exercises like walking lunges and one-arm rows, which mimic certain movements performed while running.
- Invest in 1-2 pieces of exercise equipment so you can do your workout at home. A 30-minute strength workout may only be 2% of your day, but when you factor in getting to and from the gym, finding parking, getting a locker, etc., 30 minutes can quickly become 60. You can get a great workout at home using a resistance band, a kettle bell, or, if you’re creative, your own body!
- Perform your strength training on one of your shorter run days. If you’re already running five days per week, you’ll want to keep those two days of recovery, especially once you begin throwing strength training into the mix. Depending on where you are in your running season, you can perform your exercises before or after a shorter run, or you can split your workouts up and perform one in the AM and one in the PM.
The vast majority of us run because we love to do so. And it can seem a little overwhelming to throw in additional exercise sessions, especially if we aren’t super fond of strength training. But by effectively incorporating strength training into our routine, we can save time later down the road by getting faster (which means shorter training sessions!) and not having to deal with injuries.
Do you incorporate strength training into your routine? If so, how do you manage to fit it all in?