As we all know, running is one of the most difficult sports to master. It requires strength, stamina, and flexibility, which makes it seem even more difficult. However, if you want to up your running game and speed up your times, it is important to incorporate sprint training. Doing so will help you build strength, stamina, and flexibility in your legs so that you can run faster and more efficiently. Moreover, strength training is one of the most important aspects when it comes to running faster and longer distances. It will help with acceleration, deceleration, and stride length. It is not only for runners but for everyone who wants to improve their endurance, speed, and agility. Check out these 30-minute strength training programs for runners to get started.
Start With Light Weights
Start with light weights and then move up to heavier weights. It is not necessary to use heavy weights right away because it can cause muscle imbalances and strain on other parts of the body.
Jog or walk for 5 minutes
Push-up position for 10 seconds with arms extended overhead
Squat position for 10 seconds with arms crossed over the chest
Skipping/running in place for 30 seconds, alternating sides, then 40 seconds per side
Main Strength Training Exercises:
- Single-Leg Squat
Hold a kettlebell in one hand and stand on one leg while the other remains on the ground. Slowly lower yourself until your back is parallel to the ground, then push back up to start again. Complete 10 reps per side. This exercise builds power in your legs as well as flexibility.
- Wall Sit
Sit against a wall with knees bent at a 90-degree angle and heels placed on the floor. Slowly lower down until your butt touches the wall, then push back up to start again. Hold this position for 2 minutes before moving on to the next step.
Work For Your Biggest Muscle Groups
It is important to work for your biggest muscle groups in order to gain strength. These are the muscles that you use most when running, so it is crucial to train them. Your muscles should be trained through a variety of exercises like squats, lunges, and burpees. These exercises will help to build your leg strength while simultaneously improving your endurance.
Leverage Isometric Exercises
Leverage is one of the most effective forms of strength training for runners. In a leverage position, you are standing on one leg and pushing off the ground with your other leg to help you balance. They can be done in pairs or by yourself. The best place to do these exercises is on a foam roller. You can also find these on Amazon or any other sporting goods store. With an assortment of balls, plates, and dumbbells, you don’t have to worry about not having enough weights. For beginners, try holding onto a wall (or something else) for support as you push off to help keep your balance while doing these exercises.
Stretch After Your Workout
It is necessary to stretch your muscles after a strenuous workout. Stretching after working out can help reduce muscle soreness, increase flexibility, and improve range of motion. It is also a great way to restore the body’s balance and prevent injury.
Here are some stretches that you should try:
1) Hamstring Stretch
Hamstring stretches are an important part of any training regimen, whether you’re a runner, cyclist, or weightlifter. The hamstrings are the large muscles that run along the back of the thigh, and they’re responsible for helping to extend the hip and knee. A tight hamstring can lead to strain and injury, so it’s important to keep them loose and limber.
There are a number of different hamstrings stretches that you can do, but one of the most effective is the standing hamstring stretch. To do this stretch, you need to stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and place your hands on your hips. Bend forward at the waist while keeping your back straight, and reach down toward your toes. You should feel a stretch along the back of your thighs. Hold this position for 30 seconds and then return to standing. Repeat this stretch two or three times. By including hamstring stretches in your strength-training routine, you can help reduce your risk of injury and keep your muscles healthy and strong.
2) Quadriceps Stretch
The quadriceps stretch is an essential part of any strength-training routine. The quadriceps are the large muscles in the front of the thigh, and they are responsible for extending the leg. A strong quadriceps muscle will help to improve your balance and stability, as well as your ability to generate power when you walk or run.
To perform the quadriceps stretch, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Clasp your hands behind your thigh and gently pull your leg up towards your buttocks. You should feel a stretch in the front of your thigh. Hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds, then release and repeat with the other leg. For best results, perform the quadriceps stretch 2-3 times per week.
3) Calf Stretch
Calf muscle injuries are a common occurrence among athletes, particularly runners. The calf muscle is responsible for plantar flexion, or the lifting of the heel off the ground during activities such as running and jumping. A calf muscle injury can range from a mild strain to a complete rupture and can often sideline athletes for weeks or even months. One way to help prevent calf injuries is to perform a regular stretch known as the calf stretch.
To do this stretch, stand with your feet hip-width apart and your hands on a wall. Bend one knee and place your weight on your straight leg, keeping your heel firmly planted on the ground. Lean into the wall until you feel a gentle stretch in your calf muscle. Hold this position for 20-30 seconds before repeating it on the other side. Regularly performing the calf stretch can help to improve flexibility and range of motion in the calves, potentially reducing the risk of injury.
4) Shin Stretch
One simple yet effective way to improve your strength training regime is to add a shin stretch to your warm-up routine. This exercise helps to lengthen the muscles in the front of the leg, making them more flexible and less likely to be injured during training.
To perform a shin stretch, stand with your feet hip-width apart and place your hands on your hips. Keeping your back straight, slowly lean forward until you feel a gentle stretch in the front of your legs. Hold for 20-30 seconds and repeat 2-3 times. You can also do this stretch with one leg extended in front of you for an added challenge. By adding a shin stretch to your workout routine, you can help improve your muscular endurance and reduce your risk of injury.
5) Plantar Fascia Stretch
Plantar fasciitis is a common condition that causes pain in the heel and arch of the foot. The plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue that runs from the heel to the toes, and it helps to support the arch of the foot. When this tissue becomes inflamed or torn, it can cause severe pain. Plantar fasciitis is often caused by overuse, such as long periods of standing or running. It can also be caused by wearing shoes that do not provide adequate support.
The condition can be treated with stretches and exercises, but it can often take months to resolve completely. In the meantime, ice and anti-inflammatory medications can help to reduce pain and swelling. For people who experience chronic plantar fasciitis, orthotics or surgery may be necessary.
Get Creative With Your Resistance Training
Strength training is one of the most important aspects when it comes to running faster and longer distances. If you’re short on time or just want a quick workout, check out these 30-minute strength training programs. They will help you build strength, stamina, and flexibility in your legs so that you can run faster and more efficiently. These exercises are for runners, but people of all types could benefit from them. They will also help with acceleration, deceleration, and stride length.
Repeat Cycle For 6 Weeks
Every week, use one of these workouts.
- 5 rounds of 30 seconds on/30 seconds off sprints with a 15-second jog in between each sprint
- 5 rounds of 45 seconds on/45 seconds off sprints with a 15-second jog in between each sprint
- 5 rounds of 60 seconds on/60 seconds off sprints with a 15-second jog in between each sprint
- 5 rounds of 75 seconds on/75 seconds off sprints with a 15-second jog in between each sprint
- 5 rounds of 90 seconds on/90 seconds off sprints with a 15-second jog in between each sprint
- 3 minutes active recovery walk or run
- 3 rounds of 30-second on/30-second off fartleks (run at an easy pace for 30 continuous minutes) without stopping to walk or jog
- 3 rounds of 45-second on/45-seconds off fartleks (run at an easy pace for 45 continuous minutes) without stopping to walk or jog
- 3 rounds of 60-second on/60-seconds off fartleks (run at an easy pace for 60 continuous minutes) without stopping to walk or jog
Strength training can help runners stay injury-free and improve their performance. The best way to do this is to work your biggest muscle groups twice a week with lighter weights. This will help you improve your endurance and speed over time. It’s also a good idea to mix up your workouts by doing some isometric exercises to work on the stability of your muscles or to focus on the flexibility of a different muscle group. After your workout, it’s important to stretch out the muscles you just worked to prevent injury. And don’t forget to get creative with your resistance training—you can try different types of exercise like kettlebells or bands, as long as it’s safe for your body.