Strength training is a crucial part of training that many runners miss. It is easy to get caught up focusing on your long runs and speed work—but that alone won’t make you stronger.
Strength training not only makes your muscles and joints stronger (horse power) but it also prevents injuries,” explains Los Angeles Strength and Conditioning Coach, Lalo Fuentes, CSCS. “Also, stronger muscles translate into better performance.”
Fuentes adds that runners should be incorporating strength training into their routine 2-3 times per week. If you do it 2 times, he says you should do an hour workout. If you do it 3 times, you can do 35 minutes. Just make sure you are including the right moves for your body.
“Want to add endurance? Focus on your quadriceps and core,” he suggests. “Want to increase speed? Focus on your quadriceps, hamstrings, core and shoulders.”
Here are three moves Fuentes says you should add into your routine that will help you become a faster runner.
1-inch squats with 10-second hold at the end (15x)
From a squat position, focus on squishing up from your glutes only one inch up. Freeze one second at the top and then bring your body down to the original squat position. Freeze one second and do it again fifteen times. At the end, hold your squat position at the bottom for 10 seconds. Stand up by squishing from your glutes and bring your hips forward at the top.
Rest 30 seconds.
1-inch lunges (15x); jump-switch legs and land on lunge position ready to do the same on the other side.
Start on a lunge position with your arms at 90 degrees in front of you (this will engage your core). Put all the weight on your front heel and on your glute on lunge position. Squish from your glute and raise your body one inch. Freeze at the top part of the exercise and then lower your body to the start position. Do fifteen repetitions of this move. After fifteen reps, jump-switch legs and land on the next leg on a position ready to start lunging. Do 15 repetitions on the second legs as well.
Rest 30 seconds.
Low box jump in and out while keeping your legs on squat position with your hips low (15x)
Place a step or a low box underneath you while on a squat position. Keeping a squat position, jump on top of the step landing with your legs closed. Let your body sink a bit and jump outside the box landing on a wider squat. Keep jumping in and out while keeping your body low and on squat position. Make sure your jumps are smooth. Repeat this moves 15 times.
Repeat this series up to 3 times. You may start with a series of one and then work yourself up to a series of three.