While cardio exercise is an obvious choice for runners, strength training can play a pivotal role in improving running technique and speed. Strength training also helps to build muscle which will help in protecting joints, ligaments and tendons in the body.
Muscular imbalances occur due to posture changes and overuse of particular muscles. These imbalances affect the alignment of the body, and when running in this state these issues are only exasperated. Strength training can help to rebalance the muscles and realign the body. In turn, running performance will be dramatically improved.
Strength exercises to be performed one after the other in a circuit and repeated four times:
Single leg glute bridge
Lie on your back with your knees bent and with your feet close together with soles on the floor. Raise one leg and stretch it straight out ahead. Lift your hips off the floor until there is a straight line from knee to head. Engage your glutes and core before returning back to the start. Repeat for 12 reps then repeat on the other leg.
Single leg sits to stand
Sit on a bench or chair and raise one leg off the floor. In a controlled movement stand up on the remaining leg and squeeze your glutes as you reach the top. With balance, lean forward a little and sit back as if squatting until you’re sat back down. Repeat for 12 reps and then repeat on the other leg.
Lie on your front with your elbows bent and with your weight resting on your forearms. Tuck your toes under, and also tuck your hips under to engage both your core and glutes. Lift your hips and knees off the floor until your hips are at shoulder level. Hold for 60 seconds ensuring that your lower back does not sag down.
Lie on your side with your elbow bent and with your weight resting on your forearm. Lift your hips off the floor until your body is straight from head to toe. Engage your core and glutes and hold for 30 seconds. Repeat on the other side.