This Strength Session Will Help You Become A Stronger And Faster Runner

Woman performs squat holding dumbbells by her shoulders
(Image credit: iStock / Getty Images Plus)

Anyone who’s tried to become a faster runner will have hit a plateau and wondered how they can reach the next milestone. The most obvious thing you can do to improve your running performance is, well, run – but it’s also a good idea to supplement your routine with running-specific strength training.

Stronger leg muscles will of course help you run faster, but building core strength will too because it will help improve your running technique, particularly if you run long distances. Building strength as a runner is also important because it will help you avoid injury by making your legs better able to handle the stress of running.

Fitting in extra training can be a challenge, but one effective way is to slot a strength session after an easy or recovery run, as with this workout from long-distance runner and online coach Imo Boddy

Watch Boddy’s Instagram reel below as she takes you through each of the four movements.

The workout combines core exercises with lower-body movements to target some of the key muscles engaged during runs, such as the hip flexors and glutes. Keep a steady pace and rest as little as possible between movements to raise your heart rate. Avoid rushing through the exercises because moving slowly and steadily will ensure your muscles are properly engaged and spend more time under tension, ensuring a greater benefit in the long run.

If you are doing this workout after a run, make sure you take the time to stretch afterwards to let your muscles warm down gradually and improve your mobility try these simple post-run stretches, then move on to this running recovery routine.

To integrate more strength work into your training, try these core workouts for runners, this home workout for runners, or pick from this selection of the best leg exercises for runners.   

Alice Porter

Alice Porter is a journalist who covers health, fitness and wellbeing, among other topics, for titles including Stylist, Fit & Well, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Grazia, VICE and Refinery29. When she’s not writing about these topics, you can probably find her at her local CrossFit box.