If running faster is your ultimate goal, you’ve got to do more than just speed work. Strength training is a critical—but often neglected component—to runners’ training plans. “I think a lot of runners feel intimidated or put off by weight lifting because it’s foreign to them or they think it will make them bulky—and slow,” says Jen Ator, C.S.C.S., fitness director of Women’s Health (also published by RW’s parent company, Rodale). “But lifting can be a key component to building speed. The more power you can generate with each stride, the faster you can run. The stronger you are, the longer you can generate that power without fatiguing, meaning you’ll be able to maintain that pace.”
With that in mind, Ator (herself an avid runner and triathlete) designed this two-part routine specifically for runners. It addresses common strength imbalances, specifically building core strength and increasing glute activation, as well as improving posture and overall mobility. “I think one of the biggest things understand from this routine is that lifting doesn’t have to be time-consuming, intimidating, or a hindrance to your regular running routine,” Ator says. Always practice care when trying out new routines to establish how your body reacts to the new training.