Strength training for runners

Tomorrow I’ll have the last of my marathon strength training sessions with Sally Moss, PT and weight lifting coach and founder of Strength Ambassadors.

I went on Sally’s Ladies Who Lift course back at the start of the year and really enjoyed her coaching style. Having some time as part of a group getting feedback on my form made me realise how much I could benefit from some running specific strength training on a one to one basis. I signed up for a course of PT with Sally and have been working with her twice a week for the last six weeks.

The running side of my marathon training hasn’t completely gone to plan. I’ve done most of the mileage that I’d intended but it’s not been easy and I’ve had to cut a few runs short due to issues with my hip. My strength training sessions with Sally on the other hand have been fantastic. I’ve loved every minute of them (OK, maybe not every minute, some of it has been very very tough).

It’s been great to follow a plan that’s personal to me and the areas that I particularly need to work on. Sally’s adapted things as we’ve gone along to make sure that we’re focussing on the right things. She also watches my form like a hawk and gives me cues to make sure that I get the absolute most out of every move. “Bum back, chest out” is something that I’ve become very accustomed to hearing during our sessions which have included lots and lots of deadlifts.

We’ve done some exercises that I’ve come across before. Here’s me doing good mornings for example

And other moves that have been brand new to me – and a bit scary to start with!

Recently we’ve been spending a LOT of time working on my glutes as all indications are that these could be the cause of my hip issues. It’s not been easy, but I’m feeling the benefit and my buns of steel are coming along nicely, when they’re not quivering from all the work.

I’m really going to miss my sessions with Sally. I’ve loved working one to one with her and I’ve learned a lot from her as well as improving my strength and importantly form. I’m sure that the work that I’ve done with her is going to stand me in good stead come the big day.

I am so glad that I’ve had strength training in my marathon program this time around and if all goes well on the day then I will hold it largely responsible for my success.

My strength training  journey started over a year ago when I started on Julia Buckley’s Fat Burn Revolution Programme. Julia’s programme provided me with a fantastic foundation in strength training as well as High Intensity Interval Training which helped me shed fat and improve my running significantly. The programme can be done entirely in your own home with a set of dumbbells and an exercise ball. The TFBR programme is now available in a book, so if you don’t want to shell out money for a PT, but want to add some strength training into the mix then I cannot recommend it highly enough.   

Here’s a little video of me that sums up my perspective on strength training for runners and also has a little plug for my chosen VLM charity.

6 thoughts

  1. I’ve really missed strength training during training for this marathon, when I did Dublin in 2012, I had a gym in my apartment complex and was strength training a lot, it massively helped and I never got injured- this time around has been a different story and I think it’s largely because I haven’t been doing much strength work.

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