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iRun but not enoughMichael Shaw, New Westminister, BC

iRun to challenge my mind, body and soul Sonia Mendes, Ontario

iRun away from the negative and towards the positive Teri Lepard, Alberta

iRun because pecan pie, french fries and beer are chasing meTeresa Sterling, Ottawa , ON

iRun because it cleans up my life, because I drink more water, sleep better and eat healthier foodsRobin McIntyre, Ottawa, ON

iRun so I can eat ice cream Sandy Bolan, Ontario

iRun to stay fit and release those running endorphinsLiliana Plava, Calgary, AB

iRun and run, and run, and run, and nobody can stop me Andrei Lucaciu, Ontario

iRun to prove to myself I canLesley McGougan, Brampton, ON

iRun because I get foot rubs afterward Kate Howerton, British Columbia

iRun because it’s in meMichael Foley, Stittsville, ON

iRun because I can and I’m gratefulTerry SanCartier, Gatineau, QC

iRun because couch potatoes die young Cathy Andrew, Ontario

iRun for relaxation and to motivate my two sons Keith Bradbury, Newfoundland

iRun to my happy place and some days itís very Doreen May, Alberta

iRun for the cool t-shirts! Pina Bevilacqua, Ontario

iRun to stay ahead of the weight gainMyra Abstreiter, Alberta

iRun so my daughters know that they can, too Shelley Kirkpatrick, New Brunswick

iRun to kickstart my day Sharon Strueby, Saskatchewan

iRun see where my feet will take me todayMegan Dolinskas, New York

iRun for me! Judi Wearing, Saskatchewan

iRun to inspire my children! Wendy Bowen, Manitoba

iRun to maintain a strong physical and mental state Tammy Rainville, Ontario

iRun because I want to be a role model for our six kids Catherine Empey, British Columbia

iRun because I need it to soothe the soul, keep me in shape and for overall wellbeingBeth Neil, Lombardy, ON

iRun because I want to qualify for Boston and raise money for charities near and dear to my heartChristine Gracel, Calgary, AB

iRun because it helps me see things more clearly Jennifer Pitts, Ontario

iRun because it makes me feel powerful Sarah Kallaghan, Alberta

iRun because itís like flying, only lower Glenn Johnson, Ontario

iRun because it sure beats the bus Robin Robbins, Alberta

iRun for my heart, so it runs for me! Cathy Brzoza, British Columbia

iRun because it has saved my life John Marshall, Alberta

iRun because I am not as clumsy I thought I was Hanna Baer, Quebec

iRun for the individual pursuit Robert Pelletier, New Brunswick

iRun because i love to Mirella Petriello, Ontario

iRun because the wall is meant to be broken Jonathan Bird, Ontario

iRun to eat Maureen Tritscher, Alberta

iRun whenever I feel the need to escape Iona Hillis, Ontario

iRun because I never thought I would be able toGary Morris, Winnipeg, MB

iRun because iEat Sherry Maligaspe, British Columbia

iRun to satisfy the irresistible urge Tim Nixon, British Columbia

iRun because otherwise Iím grumpy Alexandre Charest, Quebec

iRun because iEat Sherry Maligaspe, British Columbia

iRun because I canít dance Mario Javier, Ontario

iRun because it is my tonic and my salvation Georgia Ioannou, British Columbia

iRun because I liveGeorges Schneller, Laval, QC

iRun because itís fun when itís done Sue Matte, Ontario

iRun because it's a great stress release Brooke McKenzie, Yukon

iRun because it's cheaper than therapy Leah Boulter, Alberta

iRun for the challenge to go faster and farther Steven Matejka, Alberta

iRun because itís a great way to see the world Sherry Mahoney, British Columbia

iRun because it reminds me of how strong I can be Monique Lavoie, Ontario

iRun because I like buying running clothes Pamela Blaikie, Ontario

iRun because people around me inspire mePina Bevilacqua, Caledon, ON

iRun because Iíve lost 80 lbs and running has become fun Cheryl Kelly, Ontario

iRun because it reminds me that I am capable of so much more than I have doneJames Sauve, Ottawa, ON

iRun because it makes me a better person, a better wife, a better mother and a better friendNathalie Joncas-Caissie, St-Antoine, NB

iRun because it's better than almost everything else Nathan Carey, Ontario

iRun because of the peace and strength it brings meMichelle Jordan, Ottawa, ON

iRun to challenge myself, physically and mentallyKathleen Keenan, Brampton, ON

iRun because couch potatoes die young Cathy Andrew, Ontario

iRun because not everyone can Olivia Harvey, New Brunswick

iRun because there is no finish line Claire Kilgour, Ontario

iRun because I learn more about who I am with every kmSteph Mansell, Quebec

iRun to prove to them that iCan Catherine Smith, Manitoba

iRun to inspire my kids to tryGlen Johnston, Nunavut

iRun because it gives me freedom to relax my brain Marie-Claude Gregoire, Nova Scotia

iRun all the livelong day Pierre Saint-Laurent, Quťbec

iRun at 50 years old because at 43 I couldn't Peter Cicalo, Ontario

iRun because food tastes better afterwards Patrick Houston, Alberta

iRun at 50 years old because at 43 I couldnít Peter Cicalo, Ontario

iRun to unleash my inner athleteAdelle Densham, Avonmore, ON

iRun because I want to live to be 100! Colette DeJean, Ontario

iRun because I like to be healthy Melanie Oickle, New Brunswick

iRun because iLoves my man Beverly Huang, Alberta

iRun for relaxation and to motivate my two sonsKeith Bradbury, Newfoundland

iRun for the challenge and to remember to fully live Pascale Synnott, Quťbec

iRun because when I run I feel most aliveMeghan Lynch, Ottawa, ON

iRun to be free and enjoy our beautiful countryCheryl Carter, Clearwater , BC

iRun because endorphins are free Cassandra Chouinard, Ontario

iRun because it is my tonic and my salvation Georgia Ioannou, British Columbia

iRun for the moment when both feet are off the ground Catherine Anderson, British Columbia

iRun for the fresh air and adrenalin Charlyn McGregor, Saskatchewan

iRun so that I can live longer and stronger Derek MacPhail, Ontario

iRun because all the ladies are chasing my sexy runner’s bodyChris Baker, Etobicoke, ON

iRun because somebody once told me I couldn't Heidi Abbey-Der, Saskatchewan

iRun to eat more, especially sweet potatoe fries Joanna Skomra, Ontario

iRun because it makes me feel powerfulCarlene Paquette, Carp, ON

iRun because itís cheaper than therapy Leah Boulter, Alberta

iRun for health, i Run for life Pat Cheung, British Columbia

iRun to feel great Kathryn Rachar, Saskatchewan

iRun slowly!Jason Hoffman, Manitoba

iRun because walking is too slow Barry Knapp, Ontario

iRun because my heart tells me to William Martin, Manitoba

iRun because it gives me freedom to relax my brainMarie-Claude Gregoire, Nova Scotia

iRun therefore I amDuncan Walsh, Nottingham, UK

iRun to get to know myself, my strength and my spirit Lisa Groulx, Ontario

iRun to challenge my perceived limitations Cassandra Williams, Ontario

iRun to correct years of sedentary living! Mike Scott, Ontario

iRun because it gives my day a boost of energy Sara Campbell, Nova Scotia

iRun because running is like breathing to Stephanie McEvoy, Ontario

iRun because itís better than almost everything else Nathan Carey, Ontario

iRun because it gets my husband out there Tricia LaLonde, Alberta

iRun because I learn more about who I am with every km Steph Mansell, Quebec

iRun because I love the solitude Janene Tailleur, British Columbia

iRun because I love the sense of accomplishment Amber Moase, Nova Scotia

iRun to someday win the race Lindy Dunlop, Yukon

iRun for overall wellbeingTrish McCourt, Halifax, NS

iRun for meKiza Francis, Ottawa,ON

iRun because it makes me feel good, allows me to spend time with my friends and gives me a feeling of accomplishmentHelen Kolodziejzyk, Calgary, AB

iRun because endorphins are freeCassandra Chouinard, Ontario

iRun because I like buying running clothes Pamela Blaikie, Ontario

iRun because it makes me whole Denis Ladouceur, Quebec

iRun slowly! Jason Hoffman, Manitoba

iRun away from the abyss Charlene Thomas, Ontario

iRun because I cannot say no to a second slice of chocolate cakeEmily Shandruk, Vancouver, BC

iRun so I donít say never ever again Linda Klaric, Manitoba

iRun because somebody once told me I couldnít Heidi Abbey-Der, Saskatchewan

Cover photo from the current issue of iRun Magazine
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Workout Wednesday

My Best Running Race
 

June 2013

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stride-power.jpg

Get stronger, run faster

Photos by Mark Burnham Photography

You may be under the misconception that runners should only run and weightlifters should only lift; however, this couldn’t be further from the truth (at least, for runners). Improving your total body strength by adding strength training into your running routine can be the missing link in improving your race performance and keeping you injury free. 

Better yet, a total body, no-equipment-needed workout saves time – you can do it all under half an hour.


Pounding power!

Strength is defined as the maximum force your muscles can produce against an external resistance. When you run, the maximum force is when your foot hits the ground during fast-paced running. Strength training with weights, also referred to as resistance training, has different training adaptations compared to endurance training. Think of these training methods sitting on either end of the strength spectrum with maximal strength production on one end, and high repetition, low load endurance characteristics on the other. Being able to develop more force with each stride yields the ability to run faster and a lower overall effort when running at a submaximal speed.

 

Improve your speed!

Combining these two contradictory methods of training will actually improve the performance of the endurance athlete but will decrease performance in a strength athlete. For example, a recent study in the European Journal of Applied Physiology found that supplementing a running program with 1-2 strength training sessions per week not only improved the recreational runners’ strength and ability to produce more power, but also improved their running performance. Ideally, you want to build a foundation of strength so your body can handle all the miles. Add these challenging exercise combos to your weekly routine to improve your overall strength and explosive ability and notice the improvements in your running performance.

 

Your Strength Training Exercise Combinations

 1) Jump squat
 
Muscles worked: quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteus maximus, Gastrocnemius

WHY DO IT: Improves lower body explosive power

HOW TO: Stand with your feet between hip and shoulder width apart. Squat down halfway and swing your arms back. Jump upward while swinging your arms forward. Jump as high as possible, reaching for the sky. Land lightly and return to the starting position. Immediately jump, performing the next repetition. Perform 3-5 sets of 5 repetitions taking 60-seconds break between sets.

 

2) Rear foot elevated split squat with single arm overhead press

Muscles worked: quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteus maximus, deltoids, triceps brachii, abdominals

WHY DO IT: Improves single-leg strength and develops single-leg and core stability

HOW TO: Stand in front of an exercise bench wth your left foot forward and your right foot placed on the edge of the bench. Hold a weight in your right hand in front of your right shoulder with your elbow pointing down and thumb pointing toward you. Lower your body down by bending your knees and hips. Keep your front heel flat and pause when your left knee reaches 90-degrees. Keep your chest up and shoulders back. Press the dumbbell overhead and be careful to keep your balance. Return the dumbbell to the starting position. Next, return to the standing position.

Perform 3 sets of 8 repetitions per side taking a 60-second break between sets. Complete all repetitions before switching sides.

 

3) Inverted row with bridge

Muscles worked: gluteus maximus, hamstrings, abdominals, trapezius, rhomboids, latissimus dori

WHY DO IT: Improves hip and upper-back strength and core stability

HOW TO: Set up a bar in a squat rack at hip level and place an exercise bench roughly 5-feet away. Lie on the ground and grab the bar with a double overhand grip and place your heels on the edge of the exercise bench. Brace your abs and squeeze your butt. Lift your hips off the ground and form a straight line from your shoulders to your heels. Puff out your chest and bring your shoulders back. Pull your chest toward the bar and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Pause and return to the starting position.

Perform 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions taking a 60-second break between sets.

 

4) T-Pushup

Muscles worked: pectoralis major, deltoids, triceps brachii, abdominals

WHY DO IT: Improves upper-body strength and core stability

HOW TO: Go into the top of a pushup with your hands on the ground roughly shoulder-width apart. Brace your abs and squeeze your butt. Form a straight line from your shoulders to your heels. Keep your head inline with your torso and lower your body toward the ground. Keep your elbows slightly tucked and your body straight. Press up to return to the starting position. Lift one hand off the ground and rotate your body to one side. Pivot your feet and hold your arm in the air. Pause in this side plank position for 5-seconds. Return to the top of the pushup position. Perform another pushup. Next, lift your opposite arm and form a side plank on the other side.

Perform 3 sets of 10-15 repetitions taking a 60-second break between sets.


Jon-Erik Kawamoto, CSCS, CEP is a strength coach and freelance fitness writer based in St. John’s, NL, Canada. Jon is a retired distance runner and a Mizuno Brand Ambassador, who has a passion for strength training runners. Check out more of his work at jkconditioning.com and www.StrongerRunner.com.

 
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