JASON FITZGERALD WROTE A WONDERFUL PIECE for running.competitor.com, “How to Use Progression in Your Strength Workouts” that offers advice to runners about starting a strength training program and then gradually progressing to build strength. NOT to hypertrophy muscles for a bulky appearance or to build endurance.
“Most runners know that to get faster, their workouts have to gradually get more difficult over the course of a training cycle. This concept is called progression and helps runners achieve new levels of fitness as their bodies adapt to higher workloads.”
Fitzgerald first lays out some simple rules for weight lifting to ensure strength gains are maximized from each workout.
Then he takes readers through a safe progression from ‘general’ core strengthening bodyweight exercises, preferably those that are performed prone, like plank (and variations). When the general work seems to become easy, after 3-5 weeks, he suggests adding some medicine ball exercises. After the combination of general and medicine ball work, another 3-5 weeks, Fitzgerald says it should be safe to begin lifting free weights.
Lastly, he provides guidelines for weight work. The rule which many find surprising is that hard strength work should be done on hard running days. “The principle fits with the philosophy to make your ‘easy days easier and hard days harder’” Fitzgerald says, if the desired neuromuscular adaptations are to be achieved. “By lifting in a pre-fatigued state, the body learns to work hard when it’s low on glycogen and still clearing by-products of the running workout.”
This is a great resource for any fitness-interested person, including runners, walkers, and cyclists, and will be posted on the Earned Runs RESOURCE page.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
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EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
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