Strength Training Is An Essential Component Of A Well-Rounded Marathon Program

While endurance training is important for building up the cardiovascular system, strength training can improve muscle strength, power, and endurance, which can ultimately lead to improved performance and injury prevention.

In this article, we will discuss the benefits of strength training for marathon runners, the best strength exercises to include in your training program, and how to incorporate strength training into your overall marathon training plan.

Benefits of Strength Training for Marathon Runners

  1. Injury Prevention: One of the most significant benefits of strength training for marathon runners is injury prevention. Strength training helps to strengthen the muscles, tendons, and ligaments that support the body, reducing the risk of injury during running.
  2. Improved Running Economy: Strength training can improve running economy, which refers to the amount of energy used to maintain a certain pace. By improving running economy, marathon runners can run more efficiently and at a faster pace.
  3. Increased Power: Strength training can also increase power, which can help runners to maintain good form and finish strong in the later stages of a race.
  4. Increased Endurance: Strength training can increase muscle endurance, allowing marathon runners to maintain a faster pace for longer periods.

2x Per Week for 30 minutes. Seriously, That's it!

Best Strength Exercises for Marathon Runners

  1. Squats - Squats are an excellent strength exercise for marathon runners, as they target the glutes, quads, and hamstrings, which are all important muscles for running.
  2. Lunges - Lunges are another great exercise for marathon runners, as they target the same muscles as squats but also challenge balance and stability.
  3. Deadlifts - Deadlifts are a compound exercise that target the glutes, hamstrings, and lower back. They can help to improve running form and power.
  4. Sit Ups - Sit Ups are an effective core exercise that can help to improve running posture and stability.
  5. Hip Flexion - Runners put a lot of stress on their hip flexors. Incorporating hip flexion exercises into your routine is of vital importance to prevent injury to the hip flexors.
  6. Calf Raises - You don't want to just train the hamstrings, glues, and quadriceps. Increasing the strength and muscle mass in you calves is proven to help blood circulation throughout your legs.
  7. Tibia Dorsi Flexion - Having weak tibialis anterior muscles is directly associated with getting shin splints which can be extremely painful. To avoid this make sure you are incorporating tibia dorsi flexion into your strength training routine!

Incorporating Strength Training into Your Marathon Training Plan

When incorporating strength training into your marathon training plan, it's important to focus on exercises that are specific to running and that target the muscles used while running. Aim to include two to three strength training sessions per week, focusing on exercises that target the glutes, quads, hamstrings, and core. Upper body exercises will be essential to a well rounded routine but prioritizing the intensity and focus of your workouts to the legs is advised.

It's also important to vary your strength training routine to prevent plateaus and to challenge your muscles in different ways. You can vary your routine by changing the number of reps, weight, or by incorporating different exercises.

In addition to strength training, be sure to include adequate rest and recovery time in your marathon training plan. This will help to prevent injury and ensure that you are well-rested and ready to tackle your next training session. For most people it is advised that you leave 2 full days of rest in between training the same muscle groups. If you use a full body workout routine then you only need to strength train 2-3 times per week!

In conclusion, strength training is a vital component of any marathon training program. By incorporating strength training into your routine, you can improve muscle strength, power, and endurance, reduce the risk of injury, and ultimately improve your marathon performance.

If you would like assistance in getting started in your strength training routine head to to schedule a Free Introductory Workout. We look forward to the opportunity to serve you!