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Strength Training is Essential for Every Runner

Gone are the days when strength training was done by just a fringe group of runners. Nowadays everyone from elite record holders like Eliud Kipchoge to weekend warriors are incorporating strength training into their program. But why exactly do so many runners consider strength training an essential part of their routine?

Strength training uses various forms of resistance to strengthen the muscles, joints and ligaments that we demand so much of as runners. These demands on the body have a major impact, and 30-75% of runners will end up injured each year, derailing their training and halting their progress. Research shows regular strength training has tremendous benefits for runners, including reduced injury risk, improved form and mechanics, increased stamina and durability, and better running economy.

So how does one properly incorporate strength training to benefit them as a runner? Most coaches recommend starting with 2-3 workouts per week, with that decreasing to 1-2 within the final peak weeks leading up to your race. Ideally, runners focus on strength training workouts that include all major types of human movement - squatting, lunging, hinging, pushing, pulling, rotating, and carrying, with an emphasis on hip, core, and lower body strength and stability. Modalities that are most appropriate for runners include bodyweight, barbell, kettlebell, resistance band and other functional exercise types.

Bottom line, strength training helps you run stronger and more consistently, meaning a better shot at crushing your next PR!

This article orginally appeared in the The Connection, TCM's weekly e-newsletter. Subscribe here.


Aaron Boike is the Owner and Head Coach at Performance Running Gym, a gym for runners and endurance athletes located in St. Louis Park, MN. He holds a B.S. in Kinesiology, is a Certified Personal Trainer through the American Council on Exercise, and holds a running and ultrarunning coach certification through UESCA. Contact him directly at [email protected], follow him on Instagram @trainerontherun, or learn more about Performance Running Gym at


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