Last Updated: February 5th, 2021
My gym instructor makes me do resistance training twice a week. Initially, I was not really interested in doing it. I didn’t know the benefits of weight training and honestly, I didn’t care. Gradually I realized, it’s not just an exercise but an overall solution to your health problems. Once you have gone through the post, you will also realize the need for this exercise along with running…
Is resistance training required with running?
Yes, resistance training is required with running. Resistance training improves muscle strength and prevents joint damage. They also boost stamina and enhances your performance. The resistance training comes with a bundle of benefits that will help you improve as a runner over a period of time.
Still not convinced? Well, read below to see for yourself…
Why should a runner do resistance training?
Resistance Training comes with numerous benefits.
These are not just helpful for runners, but for everyone.
- Increases muscle strength – With regular practice, your muscle strength will get improved. The muscles will be toned and your body looks more sculpted. This will also reduce the chances of injury.
- Improves stamina – It boosts up the stamina and endurance. This is very much required by the runners for better performance.
- Increases bone density – It increases bone density which means stronger bones. Stronger bones and muscle protects your joints from injury and diminishes osteoporosis.
- Increases Flexibility – It increases flexibility and mobility. This makes the runners more swift. The body balance and posture are also improved. These are the general requirement not just for runners but also for everyone. This also brings down the rate of primitive decline in older adults. This also enhances the performance of your daily activities.
- Better weight management – It increases the muscle to fat ratio. It strengthens the muscles and burns kilojoules when at rest. This makes you toned and lean and prevents obesity. This brings about better body metabolism.
- Prevention or control of chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, back pain, depression, and prevents insomnia.
- Better well-being – Resistance training may elevate your self-confidence, improve your body image, and your mood. This makes you more positive.
How many times a week should a runner do resistance training?
Resistance training for runners is very much required. But by how much?
For a runner, resistance training 2 to 3 times a week is sufficient.
You can perform 30-60 mins of resistance training at one stretch.
You can do it both ways:
Running and resistance training on the same day – If you are running 4 or 5 days a week, you can run a sprint in the morning for 3 days and in the afternoon have Resistance training for 20-30 mins. In this way, the days where you are not running you are completely resting.
Running and resistance training on different days – The other strategy followed by some runners is alternate days running and strength training. You can have an hour run and alternate days opt for 30-60 mins of Resistance training. Since the duration of exercise is more you can target different muscles in a day.
Can I do resistance training at home?
What do you do if you do not have the flexibility to hit the gym?
I do not have the equipment to practice?
It is just a misconception that you need a gym for Resistance Training.
Resistance training comes with such a wide range of exercises that can be easily performed at home.
In the simplest way, you can use your own body weight as resistance. Also, resistance band training for runners is also effective.
Resistance band for runners strength training is very underestimated.
Here is a complete set of equipment you can use at your home for resistance training:
- Ankle weights
- Medicine Ball
- Stability Ball
- Resistance Band
This is completely up to your choice and requirement.
If you do not have any of these, you can include resistance using your own creativity.
For example, you can use empty water or milk can and fill it up with water or sand.
You can use your gym bag and fill it up with books for the extra weight.
A simple beginner resistance training regime at home may include the following:
- 20 Body-weight squats
- 10 Push-ups
- 20 Walking Lunges
- 10 Deadlift
- 10 Dumbell Rows
- 20 secs Planks
- 30 Jumping jack
- Repeat for 3 sets
If you feel that you are able to workout with these, try to increase the resistance.
It is always better to repeat at least 2 sets of each exercise.
Repetition builds up endurance.
Like you can increase the dumbbell weight or do a single hand or elevated push-ups or increase the time for plank position.
The key here is the exercise should be challenging not comfortable.
All you need to care about is the technique of the exercise.
You must perform the exercise correctly so that you do not injure yourself.
Home workout is more convenient as you can do it at your own time.
Be honest with your workout and you will definitely nail it.
As a runner, you need your lower body to be strong to carry you for long.
WOW…that rhymed…;) You see now…that I’m a poet too…hidden talent…what can I say…:p
You need a strong core for providing better stability.
You need to have a stronger upper body for greater stamina and strength.
Hence a complete body workout plan is required.
A simple workout plan can include :
Planks: 30-45 sec
Push-ups: 15 rep
Russian Twist: 10-12 rep
Scorpion: 3-5 rep
Squats or Overhead squat: 15 rep
Deadlift: 10 rep
Lunges or Overhead Lunges: 10-12 rep
Stability Ball Leg Curl: 5 to 8 rep
Reverse Fly: 15 rep
Shoulder Press: 10 to 12
Do 3 sets of each…
Is yoga a form of resistance training?
If you think Yoga is just about meditation or some poses, then you are underestimating the power of yoga.
- Yoga can be an answer to your everyday health and fitness. It improves your mobility, flexibility, and balance.
- Most of the yoga poses are multi-muscle workouts. It targets a set of muscles and at a time and tones them in balance. The weight training targets one muscle at a time, hence each of the muscles is targeted in isolation.
- Yoga helps you build up endurance because you hold each pose for a period of time.
Some of the poses which helps in strengthening the muscle :
- Boat Pose
- Chair Pose
- Side Planks
- Upward Plank
- Cobra Pose
- Downward Facing Dog Pose
- Bow Pose
- Locust Pose
- Wide-Legged Forward Bend
- Variations of Warrior Pose
- Variations of Triangle Pose
What qualifies as resistance training?
Literally defining Resistance Training, is any form of exercise where you move your body against the resistance.
Resistance is the opposite force and working against it makes it more difficult and strenuous.
They are also called strength training or weight training.
There are various ways that can provide resistance to your movement:
- Gravitational force
- Resistance band
- Weight bars
- Dumbells or kettlebells
- Complex exercise machine
Any form of exercise which includes any of the above qualifies as Resistance Training.
So you see, it is just not limited to one form.
You can do it right away at your home with zero cost or you can perform at the gym using a specialized machine.
What are the different types of resistance training?
As the name suggests, Resistance training is a workout plan where the muscles work to overcome the resistance imposed.
There can be several ways you can add resistance
Free-weights – Exercises performed using Dumbbells, Kettlebells, Barbell, Ankle weights, etc
Medicine Ball or Sandbag – Bag or ball filled with sand.
Resistance Band – They are elastic bands that give resistance when stretched.
Weight machine – These are specifically designed machines where the load can be altered to provide the specific resistance.
Suspension equipment – These machines are designed where you work against the gravitational force.
Body-weight – In some exercises like squats, planks, push-ups, chin-ups, and lunges, you work against your own weight. Your body weight acts as resistance.
Can you run and strength train on the same day?
Different coaches have different views regarding this.
But most of them are of the same opinion that you can run as well as strength train on the same day.
The idea here is, run in the morning and strength train in the afternoon.
With running and strength training the same day, you get a complete day to recover.
Your muscles are not sore on the recovery day.
Hence even if you have run harder, go for strength training the same day.
The other advantage is since your muscles are already sore you may opt to use lighter weights or lesser counts.
The idea is to get the form and technique correct.
Blogger and a fitness enthusiast. She loves running and Yoga and everything in between. She started running to manage her weight and to eat to her heart’s content. A true foodie at heart she shares whatever knowledge she has gained throughout the years about weight management and fitness.
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Yamamoto, Linda M., et al. “The effects of resistance training on endurance distance running performance among highly trained runners: a systematic review.” The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research 22.6 (2008): 2036-2044.
Mikkola, Jussi, et al. “Effect of resistance training regimens on treadmill running and neuromuscular performance in recreational endurance runners.” Journal of Sports Sciences 29.13 (2011): 1359-1371.
Jung, Alan P. “The impact of resistance training on distance running performance.” Sports Medicine 33.7 (2003): 539-552.