As runners, we are constantly told to cross-train and strength train. While some people love taking a break from their running days, it can be a challenge for others. But what if there was a way that you could do both? What if you could get a short run in and get stronger while you’re running?
If this sounds like something that would appeal to you, consider the possibility of mixing strength training in with your runs. Lest you think that strength training needs to be complicated and require weights, that’s not the case. Body weight can provide an excellent and effective form of resistance for strength training. Exercises like air squats, lunges, planks, pushups, calf raises and more can all be done no matter where your run takes you.
So what does a running and strength combo workout look like? Well, there are tons of options. Consider these:
- 10-20-30: Head out for a run and alternate short running intervals with strength work. For example, run easy for two minutes, then do 10 pushups. Recover for 30 seconds (whether by jogging slowly or walking), then pick up the pace again. Aim to do the next two minutes faster. Then, do 10 walking lunges on each leg (20 total). Recover for 30 seconds. Pick up the pace again, gradually increasing your speed. Next, do 30 air squats. Recover for 30 seconds and repeat. Repeat again. Finish your workout by running easy for your final 10 minutes.
- Tempo run: Don’t love tempo runs? Try this. Set out for one mile at tempo pace, then take a short recovery (about 30 seconds or one minute). Then hold a plank for one minute. Progress into a side plank, aiming to hold for 30 seconds on each side. Repeat, then finish out with an easy mile.
- 30-30-30: In this run, the running is the recovery! Run at a conversational, easy pace for three minutes, then try to do as many high knees as you can in 30 seconds. Return to your easy pace and repeat with pushups and squats. Repeat twice. Your running should be the recovery from a hard effort during the strength portion, so give it everything you’ve got!
Mixing running with strength can be a great way to break up the monotony of training runs while getting your strength workout in. They’re also a great option for summer, when you want to get a tough workout in but struggle to run long in the heat. Give one a try!
Tweet @womensrunning and @thetrexrunner and tell us your favorite running and strength training combo!