Welcome to the latest edition of Workout Wednesday! When I talk to runners about strength training we often talk about minimum required dose. Runners aren't usually thrilled of the idea of spending hours in the gym each week. They run because they love to run. They strength train (or they probably should) because they want to be a stronger, faster runner while reducing the chances of injury.
Minimum required dose is the least amount we can do to get results. The truth is you don't need to spend hours and hours in the gym each week. You can spend 10-15 minutes at the end of each run, or 30 minutes three times a week or an hour twice a week. It depends on your goals, your lifestyle, your preferences and your abilities.
If you want to be a great runner it makes sense to spend a lot of time running. However, investing the time in strength training often yields big results for runners. It is OK to start small and build over time. A little strength training is always better than none. Our goal should be to become well-rounded athletes.
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This is why I love mini bands. They are very inexpensive, portable and the exercises can be done anywhere at anytime (well, maybe not in the halls at work or school). You don't need to invest a lot of money into strength training equipment, these little bands provide plenty of resistance. You could even put one in your running belt so you can squeeze in some exercises after your outdoor run.
This weekend I hit the #Shredshed to show you some exercises you can do to incorporate glute/hip strength training into your running routine. Weak hips are often the missing link for runners and can be the source of all kinds of problems and injuries. A little pre-hab can go a long way in injury prevention.
If you are brand new to this or if you don't have mini bands, you can do these exercises without the bands to start and then add bands in a few weeks in order to continue to progress. Our bodies adapt to the exercises that we do, so every three to four weeks look for ways to make the exercise harder, either by adding more resistance, more reps, more sets, more days, etc.
I recommend starting by incorporating these exercises at the end of an easy run day two times per week. Start with 2 sets of 10 reps of each exercise. I like to do them in circuit fashion, moving from one exercise to the next with little break, then repeating the circuit one more time.
You can buy mini bands here on Amazon.
Be careful not to let your knees collapse inward when performing any of these exercises. Work to keep your knees out and inline with your toes.
Good luck! Give it a try after your next easy run and let me know if you feel the burn!
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I am a NASM personal trainer and RRCA adult distance running coach that specializes in strength training for runners. I offer in-person training in the Shredshed, online training and Fit to Run bootcamps. If you are interested in a more in-depth running or strength training plan, please contact me. Have questions? I'd love to help.
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While I am a certified personal trainer, I am not your personal trainer. Since I don't know your exercise abilities, injury background or medical history, please see your doctor before beginning any new exercise program. This is an opinion blog. No information in this blog is intended to be taken as medical advice or prescription. Please see your doctor and/or registered dietitian for any health concerns.