12Feb, 2010

Should Marathon Runners Strength Train their Legs?

legs Should Marathon Runners Strength Train their Legs?

Most marathon runners train primarily by running and neglect the benefits of incorporating strength training into their weekly routines. Yes, running itself does help make the legs stronger, but I’m talking about building muscle and strength in the legs with specific lower body exercises. The goal is creating a program that is simple and easy to use but also improves running performance.

When you begin training for a race, it is important that your legs are strong and the best way to strengthen your legs is to do lower body conditioning exercises with a routine.

Benefits of strength training the lower body:

-Helps you run faster

-Protect you from injury, especially overuse injuries

-Minimize fatigue in the lower body

-develop leg power

-increase endurance


Fitting a leg workout into your running schedule?

The biggest question asked by my clients is when and how to fit in a lower body workout into their running schedule. Below are my tips on building a leg workout into your marathon training program:

1) Never do a leg workout the day before or after your scheduled longest run of the week

2) Do this workout twice per week only

3) It is best to do this workout after one of your weekly mid distance runs when you have the following day scheduled as an “off” day.

4) Never do a leg strength workout on back to back days

5) Schedule your hill run and leg strength routine in the same workout

6) Be consistent

7) If your legs feel heavy, slow, and weak then take it as a sign that you need a few days off from running and weight training.

I did not incorporate a leg workout in my marathon training until I was training for my third marathon and I wish I had started earlier. I could feel the difference in my running performance which was stronger. Also, it was the first time I did not sustain an injury during training. Most importantly, I did not hit the infamous wall at mile 20!!!

Good luck and let me know how you do with this program. Feel free to leave your comments here on the blog and I will respond to you.

Posted by admin | in Faster Marathon Time, Marathon, Run Training | 5 Comments

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Comments on “Should Marathon Runners Strength Train their Legs?” (5)

  1. Weight training is crucial to being a faster runner, great post! I’m an avid triathlete and include a lot of weight training. Listened to a great podcast by Sergio Borges at triathlonsummit.com tonight and he has similar things to say.

    Great site!

  2. admin

    Thanks for the comment. I will visit the podcast. I’m gearing up for triathlon season so this is perfect timing.

  3. […] on a grey day–with very, VERY sore butt muscles thanks to the strength training for runners exercises at Run With Jill–it was a good […]

  4. kshitij

    Hi jill, i am kshitij from india n i m planning to participate in an internatinal marathon goin to be held on 4th december ,i jst want to know what all i must do in my gym while working out for legs.

  5. admin

    leg press machine, hamstring curls, wall sit, step ups and lunges. Start with light weights and build up to heavier and doing 3 sets of 15 reps.

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