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Strength Training For Runners: 7 Dos & Donts

Strength training is an important aspect of any ultra-runner training plan. It can help improve running economy, reduce the risk of injury, and increase power and speed.



Strength Training Equipment


Here are some key points to consider when incorporating strength training into your ultra-running training:


Strength Training Dos


1. Strengthen All Muscles Groups


Ultra running requires a lot of endurance and strength in the legs, but it's important to also train the upper body, core, and hips. Exercises like squats, lunges, push-ups, and plank variations are great full-body exercises to help build strength and improve running form. Russian twists, mountain climbers, sit-ups, and crunches are great core strengthening exercises that can help improve running efficiency and reduce the risk of injury. The arms, shoulders, and back play a crucial role in helping to maintain good running form and balance. Exercises like dumbbell rows, shoulder presses, and tricep dips can help improve upper body strength.


2. Perform Plyometrics


Incorporating Plyometric exercises twice a week into your training plan can help improve power and speed. Plyometric workouts increase the number of fast-twitch muscle fibers in the legs through quick, explosive movements that get your rate up quickly. Examples include box jumps, jump squats, and explosive push-ups.


3. Vary Training Routine


To keep things interesting and challenge your muscles in different ways. Alternate between different types of exercises to strengthen each muscle group. If you always use your body weight, try incorporating resistance bands, kettlebells, and/or dumbbells.


4. Take Rest Days


It's important to listen to your body and not push yourself too hard when strength training. Gradually increase the intensity and volume of your workouts as you get stronger, and make sure to allow for adequate rest and recovery. If you do too many reps, sets, or sessions, you can overload your tissues and cause inflammation, pain, or damage. To prevent this, you need to follow the principle of quality over quantity.


Strength Training Dos


5. Don't Sacrifice Form


It's important to use proper form when strength training to avoid injury. If you're unsure how to perform a particular exercise, consider working with a personal trainer or physical therapist to learn the proper technique.


6. Dont Neglect Mobility


Doing dynamic mobility exercises works best before a workout to help warm up your muscles. Mobility training can contribute to regeneration and allow you to go deeper into your practice and achieve significant mobilization in muscle dynamics. Mobility exercises that move the body in multiple directions ensure that muscles can efficiently lengthen and shorten to generate the force necessary for increasing strength. Stretching, yoga, and foam rolling are all great options.


7. Don't Neglect Flexibility


Flexibility exercises will help you increase muscle strength, maintain bone density, improve balance, and reduce joint pain. Balancing strength with flexibility ensures that different parts of the body are working together for optimum performance. Improved flexibility helps with better lifts, and also makes injuries less likely, with the body more able to cope with the stresses and strains of weightlifting.


What Runners Should Remember About Strength Training


Incorporating strength training into your ultra-running training can help improve your performance and

reduce the risk of injury. Focus on full-body exercises, incorporate plyometrics, and don't neglect the

upper body, core, mobility, and flexibility work. Use proper form, vary your workouts, and be

sure to listen to your body and allow for adequate rest and recovery.

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