Strength training plays a vital role in building endurance for distance runners. While running alone is important, it doesn't provide sufficient strength and endurance to reach your maximum potential. In this informative guide, we will explore three effective strength training workouts tailored specifically for long-distance runners. By incorporating these exercises into your training plan, you can optimise your running performance.


  • Workout 1: Lower Body Blast

This lower-body strength routine focuses on improving mobility, stability, balance, and power output, all of which contribute to enhanced running performance.


  1. Squat:
  • Stand with feet hip-width apart, maintaining proper alignment of knees and ankles.
  • Lower down into a squat position, focusing on pressing the knees out, sitting the hips back, and keeping the back straight.
  • Maintain an upright upper body and push through the heels to rise back up.


  1. Single-Leg Balance:
  • Stand on one leg while keeping the hips aligned and engaging the hip and glute muscles.
  • Challenge yourself by taking your gaze in various directions and closing your eyes to improve proprioception.
  • Switch legs and repeat.


  1. Lunge:
  • Start in a standing position with proper alignment of shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles.
  • Take a big step back with one leg, lightly bending the front leg.
  • Lower your back knee toward the ground, then press through the front heel to return to a standing position.
  • Switch legs and repeat.
  • Advanced option: Replace the step back with explosive jumping lunges.


  • Workout 2: Core Workout

Developing core stability is crucial for maintaining proper posture, upper body support, and hip stability during runs, while also preventing lower back pain.


  1. Reverse Plank:
  • Start seated with your legs extended and hands flat on the ground by your hips.
  • Push your hips up, flexing your quads and toes to maintain a strong position.
  • Lower your hips to rest and repeat.


  1. Single-Arm Plank:
  • Assume a push-up position with arms directly under the shoulders.
  • Lift one arm off the ground, engaging the core and hips to resist rotation.
  • Lower the arm and switch to the other side.


  1. Side Plank:
  • Begin in a seated position with the upper body propped up on one arm.
  • Extend your legs to form a straight line.
  • Lift your hips off the ground, creating a 45-degree angle to the ground.
  • Lower your hips and switch sides.


  • Workout 3: Full-Body Strength Workout

This workout incorporates dynamic full-body movements along with exercises targeting the lower and upper body.


  1. Kettlebell Swing:
  • Start with a kettlebell a foot or two in front of you, feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Hinge at the hips, grab the kettlebell and swing it back between your legs.
  • Snap your hips forward, swinging the kettlebell up to about eye level, maintaining proper form.
  • Control the descent and repeat the sequence.


  1. Lunge:
  • Begin in a tall standing position with proper alignment.
  • Take a big step forward with one leg, lower your body while keeping the front shin vertical, and press through the front heel to return to the starting position.
  • Switch legs and repeat.


  1. Push-Up:
  • Start in a plank position, keeping the body straight, and elbows close to the body.
  • Slowly lower the body to the ground, then push back up to the starting position.
  • Modify by keeping the knees on the ground for additional support.


Regardless of the distance you run, incorporating strength training into your routine is crucial. Remember to start gradually and listen to your body, allowing for adequate rest and recovery. Strength training is a non-negotiable component for distance runners seeking to reach their full potential.