For runners, gym sessions for strength training are a necessity. Regardless of whether the runner’s goal is to prevent injury, improve race times, or simply become the best runner they can be, strength training is vital. All people who consider themselves to be runners need to run to the gym and train strength as well. Strength training is key to improving endurance, speed, and overall health. And a good run, regardless of what new runners think, does not serve as leg day.
When to Train the Leg Muscles
Timing is important when it comes to training. Try to put between ten and twenty minutes into specific exercises after every run. These exercises should target those muscles utilized when running. Among others, try jumps, squats, and lunges. In addition to short post-run sessions, hit the gym or use a personal gym twice weekly. There, runners can mingle varied exercises with more runner-specific movements. You can also incorporate the following exercises.
Begin with your heels hanging from the edge of a step or box that is sturdy enough to be supporting, holding a dumbbell at each side. Stand as tall as possible with a straight back. Then, the runner should continue by driving the ball of each foot into the step, raising the heels up as high as possible. This should be held for a three-count. Then the heels are lowered back to the position at the start. Try for five sets of a dozen to 16 reps.
While at the gym, consider the machine for leg presses. These are essentially weighted squats. The machine permits different foot positions so that runners can focus on different muscles. Rest between sets and perform each press slowly so that all of the proper muscles, which include the core, are engaged.
The runner should stand tall, positioned with the feet apart at hip-width, a light dumbbell held in each hand. Then, bend from the hips, raising the right leg to the rear while the core muscles are engaged. Hinge forward, gradually lowering the torso as far down as possible. Pause there for a moment, then return to the start. Try 8 deadlifts, which is 8 on each side, to complete a set. Try for 5 sets.