What ever your reasons or intensity of your workouts, weather you are training for a specific event or just use it as a recreational activity, when ever I bring up the concept of strength training and running/walking with some of my past and present clients I am met with some quizzical looks and responses like “What, Im supposed to do something other than running to achieve my goals”.
Improving your upper body strength can also boost your running and walking efficiency. Developing strength in your arms means you’ll improve your arm drive so you can inject more power into your stride.
With a stronger core, you’ll be able to maintain a stable upper body, minimize side-to-side movement and better hold your form when you start to get tired and fatigued at the end of a run or hike upper those beautiful mountains for that spectacular view (I write this as I imagine our up coming trip to the Flinders Ranges very soon!).
Adding strength training to your routine even one or two times per week can also have the ‘traditional’ benefits for good health and long term well being by reducing all those nasty age related conditions such as osteoporosis, arthritis and loss of muscle. But remember as a runner/walker you are not training to bulk up muscle, but to gain strength. With that in mind your program will be a bit different to those traditional gym programs, focusing on compound (multiple muscle group) exercises and focusing on areas that may incur injuries.
How to build a program:
This program consists of 9 exercises (3 upper, 3 Lower and 3 Core). You have two options to build your own personalised workout.
Option 1: Focus on one area and make a mini-circuit of the three exercises.
Option 2: Choose 1 -3 moves from each area for a full body routine.
Each exercise can be performed with either bodyweight (beginners) or with weight added (advanced).
Pushup – remember to keep that core tight – targets chest and core. Perform 3 sets of 15 reps.
Bent over row – remember to hinge forward at the hips with knees slightly bent so that you protect the lower back- targets back and core. Perform 3 sets of 12 reps.
Reverse Fly – remember keep the back flat and engage the back muscles- targets the mid and upper back and rear shoulder. Perform 3 sets of 12 reps.
Plank– remember to place the hands directly under the shoulders. There are so many variations with a planks, so challenge yourself on this one! – Hold for 30-60 sec for 3 sets.
Leg Raises– engage your core, pushing your back into the mat. Perform 3 sets of 10 reps.
Side plank and thread the needle-make this move slow and controlled, engaging the whole body- Complete 10 reps per side for three sets.
Deadlift– Focus on hinging the hips, not squatting. Targets hamstrings, glutes, back and core. Perform 3 sets of 12 reps
Lunge– Complete all the reps on one leg first and gradually increase your weight. Targets quads, glutes and core. Complete 8-12 reps for 3 sets.
Single Leg Bridge– A great finisher for the glutes. Remember to keep those hips level. Perform 15 reps on each leg for 2 sets.
Make sure you increase your weights often (I suggest every two weeks), so that you are making progress and improving your strength. If you need help with a specific program or need different options due to injury don’t hesitate to get in touch.
If you do have any medical issues, I advice to see your doctor before you start any exercise program.
If you are interested in a program to increase your fitness, lose weight, increase muscle or improve any aspect of wellbeing such as mobility and flexibility, I can design a program specific to your needs via my Online Personal Coaching Program.
Join me my on my Facebook page Fit 4 the Road as I keep fit and healthy while traveling this great country.