Basic Strength Training for Marathon Runners...


Perform the exercises in a circuit fashion (ie. 1 set from exercise 1, then 1 set from exercise 2 etc) and perform 3 rounds of the 10 exercises...


These strength exercises are some of the basic exercises to be done to assist with strength increases and injury prevention. All of these exercises should be done with caution and if you have any prior injuries or contra-indications please consult with your medical professional before commencing with these exercises. This is a beginners program and can be done 1-2 times per week for beginners.

Coach Parry is the Official Comrades Marathon Coach

Coach Parry is the Official Comrades Marathon Coach

1. Step Ups - Perform 10-12 reps on each leg on a 30-40 step/box


TIPS: The height of the step may vary depending on the requirements of the exercise. Place the foot on the box in a heel to toe stride & then extend the hip & knee while maintaining a tall posture. The foot should face forward & be in line with the knee & hip. The knee should track in line with the centre of the foot. Reverse the movements back to the start position while maintaining alignment. Either repeat the movements with the same leg or alternate legs with each repetition.

Caution: Start with a smaller box & increase the height of the box as strength improves as long as the correct technique is not compromised.

2. Side-lying Stabilisation - Hold position for 30-45 seconds on each side


Start with the forearm flat on the ground & the elbow under the shoulder. The hips & shoulders should face forward with the neck in line with the spine. Keeping the legs together, lift the hips off the ground until the body is straight & balanced.

Either hold the raised position for the prescribed period of time or return the hips to the floor after each repetition

3. Deep Squat - Perform 10-12 Reps


TIPS: Start with the hands forward, the feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Perform a deep squat while maintaining an erect torso & keeping the feet flat on the ground. The knees should track in line with the centre of the feet.


CAUTION: Maintain neutral curves in the spine & do not allow the knees to buckle in or to extend past the toes

4. Prone Stabilisation - Hold for 45 -60 seconds


TIPS: Start with the forearms flat on the floor with the palms facing down. Extend the hips & knees to press up to a front support position while keeping the torso rigid then reverse the movements back to the start position. Control both phases of the exercise, particularly the lowering phase.

Consider placing a mat under the arms for additional comfort.

5. Lunge - Perform 8-10 reps on each leg


TIPS: Place the hands on the hips & take an exaggerated step forward. Keep the torso erect with the shoulders above the hips. Contact the ground with a heel to toe stride while keeping the lead knee directly over the foot then push firmly back to the start position.

The thigh of the trail leg should be almost perpendicular to the ground with the knee under the hip

6. Bridging - Perform 10-15 reps


TIPS: Start with the feet approximately shoulder width apart with the head & shoulders in contact with the ground. Lift the hips off the ground until the thighs are in line with the torso then control the movements back to the start position.

7. Band Hip - Perform 8-12 reps

Do this exercise without a band in the beginning and then progress to a band when it gets too easy.

TIPS: Start with the hips & shoulders square then externally rotate the hip. The amount of hip & knee flexion may vary depending on the requirements of the exercise. Try to keep the rest of the body stationary as the hip rotates.

8. Single Leg Calf Raise - Perform 8-12 reps


Do the exericse without a weight in the beginning, you can progress to using weights once the exercise become easier.

TIPS: Place the hand against the wall at approximately shoulder height. The foot should be in line with the hip & the balls of the foot on the edge of the step. Keeping the body straight, lower the heel past the step then press up onto the ball of the foot. Contract the thigh to assist in keeping the knee straight.

9. Seated Rotation -Perform 10-15 touches each side


TIPS: Start in a reclined position with the hands together & in front of the chest. Rotate the torso from side to side & touch the hands on the ground next to the hips.

10. Push-Ups - Perform 10-15 reps


Can do modified push-ups if necessary

TIPS: Start with the body straight & the hands approximately shoulder width apart or slightly wider. Lower the chest towards the floor, keeping the neck in line with the spine then push up to the start position

Disclaimer: No express warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. It is not a substitute for, any advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by a fitness or medical professional. You acknowledge that performing incorrectly prescribed exercises or activities may pose a risk to your health. You are solely responsible for all acts or omissions, whether negligent or otherwise, undertaken in connection with this information.)