Inspiring striding - Jim Dodsworth (651 running) strength training

Posted by Peter Goldring on

Do you do strength training? Whilst it may not be every runner’s favourite, strength and conditioning (S&C) should be a regular part of your training. We’ve asked 651 Running head coach, Jim Dodsworth, to share a few thoughts to help you get the most out of this important training component.

Thanks so much Jim for joining in with our blog ❤️

Why do S&C?

  1. Help prevent Injury. One of the hardest parts of marathon training is getting to the start line healthy and ready to run to the best of your ability. Pounding the pavements takes its toll, and overuse injuries are common. S&C will result in improved resilience to the repetitive stress of running.
  2. Understand your body better. You’ll find some flexibility or strength exercises relatively easy. Others will be trickier. Typically, these relative weaknesses will have some impact on your running.  By identifying these you’ll be aware of vulnerable areas and where you need to focus your effort.
  3. Make you a better runner. There are many reasons for this. You’ll have fewer training days lost to injury. You’ll increase your capacity for training i.e. you’ll be capable of doing more work. You’ll increase your range of motion and stride length which will help you run faster. You’ll build a stable core which will help you maintain good running form for longer.

Things to consider:

  1. Try to do some S&C 2-3 days per week (even if it’s for 20 mins).
  2. Schedule S&C sessions when you are most likely to do them. For some, this might be first thing in the morning, for others, straight after a run.
  3. You don’t need fancy equipment. Effective routines can be done at home using just your body weight. If you want to use a gym, consult a professional to ensure you use correct technique.
  4. Core stability exercises such as planks, will aid your running form and help eliminate imbalances.
  5. Compound exercises (those using several muscle groups) such as squats and lunges are great for strengthening your leg muscles and to help maintain balance.
  6. Don’t forget your arms and shoulders, which help drive you forward when running.
  7. Yoga and / or Pilates classes are wonderful to help build flexibility and strength.
  8. Run uphill – your body weight acts as the resistance (plus you build your cardiovascular system in parallel)
  9. Make S&C a regular part of your routine. Science suggests that, on average, it takes 66 days to form a habit. Keep at it! You’ll reap the rewards!

Wow, thank you so much Jim for joining us and giving us some thoughts around strength training! By the sounds of it strength training is a no brainer and will definitely improve your running so get on it.


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