I know I’m guilty of this: focusing on running instead of other training. If I have heavy mileage to get in, I don’t put in the effort to workout in any other fashion. I once interviewed a top female endurance runner/triathlete who said she would give up a run to do weight lifting because it had that much more impact. She’d do what was called “The Dirty 30” and spend 30 minutes one to two times per week lifting. She said it was her most important workout of the week. Here are some suggestions of movements you should start incorporating now:
1. Squats: Even if you don’t add weight, squats help tone your glutes, which often don’t get strengthened during running.
2. Sideways lunges: Running only involves forward movement. You should do workouts in a multi-planar fashion.
3. Frog leaps: Jump up and lift your legs to your chest at the same time. This works your core muscles while working out your legs.
4. Twists: Sit on the ground and twist side to side. Clasp your hands and touch the ground with each twist. This works your core and tightens it for running.
5. Burpees. Jump down and lay in a plank position and then pop up and jump. Repeat. Works your core and legs.
6. Jumping rope. Works your calves, core and balance–all three you need for running. Try jumping for five minutes as a warm-up to weight lifting instead of a quick run.
7. Backwards lunge. Works your glutes. Try going forward, sideways and backwards to move in all planes.
8. Runner’s lunge. Bend one knee and stretch the other behind you. Always keep your bent knee in line with your ankle. Do this after you’ve finished your run when your muscles are nice and warm. Hold each side for 30 seconds and no more.
9. Crunches on a stability ball. Runners don’t focus on balance, so use a stability ball whenever possible during weight training/core training.
10. Plank. Lie on the ground and then pop up onto your elbows and toes. Hold this pose for 30-60 seconds. Try adding this into a training run. At every mile, stop and hold a plank pose. If you train on a track, this works perfect.