What every runner should know about Strength Training

What every runner should know about Strength Training

On this episode of Ask Coach Parry we have a question in from Daniel Cunama, Daniel was saying he ran the last  Comrades Marathon down run, and his quads were in agony from Fields Hill onwards. Daniel, welcome to the club, I think that was most of the Comrades feel.

He says he was walking the downs, running the ups!  You suggest in your training programs that you should do strength training and he wants to know, what specific training would you recommend. Would a full-body gym regime cover it, is spinning enough, a few quad and glute specific exercises, what’s the best way to go for Daniel?

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Lindsey Parry:      Look, it’s always difficult giving this kind of advice over a podcast or an email because I can’t really tell people how to do their exercises properly. I do prefer them to at least seek some kind of professional help, even if it’s like the floor supervisor at the local gym, but somebody who has some kind of qualification in the fitness industry. I’m also mindful that runners don’t really love being in the gym, we prefer to be outside, so it can be a little tedious and time consuming. I work around 4 exercises that I find are important specifically for the down run, and then obviously there’s a few ancillary exercises that are helpful.

Four Important Exercises to use in training for the Down-Run

The four exercises that for me are the most important are a squat, a single leg press, single leg squat and step up onto a high bench.  Obviously if you’ve never done any gym before you might want to start that step up on a low bench and then work your way up to a high bench. Then there’s a couple of exercises that should you have more time in the gym, that I like to add into that and that’s to do a little bit of core work, a little bit of glute strengthening work and some single leg curls to strengthen the hamstrings a bit.  If you’ve got a full 40 minutes to an hour, you can also add in some strength training for running and ultra-distance running, probably the best thing is to look after your shoulders and in particular your small rotator cuff muscles. But you’ll definitely have to get someone to show you how to do those exercises properly.

Also, biceps and obviously once you’re doing upper body, no one really needs an invitation to work on the beach muscles, so they’ll throw in a bit of pecs and back. If time is an issue, the four important exercises are squats, single leg press, single leg squats, step up onto a high bench.

BB: Daniel, I hope that helps and gee, I know exactly that feeling, when you hit Fields and you’ve got broken legs, but it’s one of those things and it’s why we run the race. Lindsey Parry, thank you so much for your time today, we’re back again in just a couple of days with the next edition of the Ask Coach Parry podcast, until then, from the two of us, it’s cheers.

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