At NSS we consider strength to be the key component to anything that you choose to do, no matter what your goal is.
Whether you are brand new to running, a marathoner, a sprinter, or a trail runner...it does not matter.
Strength plays an integral role in each, being the constant, foundational base that you will always rely on.
With each of our clients, we strive to build to a base level of strength as quickly and safely as possible. This structural base is a necessity to being a healthy, well-rounded, and resilient runner.
We often use the analogy of strength being a container that we can put all other forms of fitness within. In thinking this way, the larger this container we create (more strength), the more of the other fitness abilities we will be able to pile in.
For instance, if you take a look at the photograph heading this article, you will see four differently sized glass jars.
The smallest one to the left does not leave much room to store other fitness abilities, such as conditioning, muscular endurance, strength endurance, mobility, etc.
However, if we are able to increase our level of strength, and build a container the size of the one to the far right, we increase our capacity to hold more of these areas of fitness.
Consequently, not only can we store more of these extremely beneficial components of fitness in our larger container, but this also gives us room to store them at a higher level.
Just as in the saying, “a rising tide raises all ships,” raising your overall strength will have exponential increases not only to your running ability, but also your resilience, ability to train harder, and capability to recover quicker.
“So how should I go about increasing my strength level?”
Here are three great exercises that you can use to start building that bigger container.
1. Squat For some this is as simple as bodyweight squats, while others may be ready to goblet squat with weight, utilize a barbell, etc. You can see some tips on how to squat properly HERE and HERE. Perform 2-4 sets of 8-12 repetitions.
2. Lunge A wonderful single-leg strengthening exercise of the entire hip/glute area. Lunges will help with ankle, low leg, knee, and hip strength and stability. Perform 2-3 sets of 5-8 repetitions per leg.
3. Plank With this direct strengthening of the midsection, runners can enhance muscle groups responsible for breathing and controlling the pelvis while running. Click HERE for a video on planks. Perform 2-5 sets of 15-60 second holds.