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Strength Training/Stretch Routine for Runner ?
February 20, 2012 3:43 PM   Subscribe

Strength Training/Stretch Routine for Runner?

Beginner runner here. I have been running consistently for a month now to train for a 5k next month.

My question is what strength training and stretch exercises and would complement my running?
My current running and weight lifting routine consist of:

Running outside on the road Monday, Wednesday, and Friday during lunch break.
Strength training Monday, Wednesday, and Friday in the afternoon.

My strength training consists of squat, bench press, overhead press, deadlift, and barbell row.
Basically, following Starting Strength with modification of barbell row for power clean.

Is there any other runner-specific stretch and strength training I should add to my routine? I don't do any stretch now.

I could run 2 miles now but I am experiencing discomfort in my right ankle after every run. My right knee was injured couple years ago while doing heavy squat but I went to the doctor and there nothing wrong with it.
posted by Carius to Health & Fitness (11 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
 
Get a foam roller and a lacrosse ball and do some soft-tissue work on your legs, particularly the outside of your thigh (your IT band.)

I'd dial back the running until your ankle stops complaining. You don't want to keep aggravating it, and if your knee checks out you probably have some tightness or limited mobility somewhere in that leg that's causing problems. If you're not super confident about your ability to work on it, a physical therapist might be a good person to diagnose the issue and teach you some techniques.

Mobility WOD is a great place to go to find videos of different stretches and soft-tissue techniques, and it's created by an actual PT, but I think there's no substitute for hands-on instruction, especially if you already have an injury.
posted by restless_nomad at 3:52 PM on February 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


I do Jillian Michaels' Yoga Meltdown. It helps my core a lot.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 3:54 PM on February 20, 2012


Are you asking for routines on your non-running days, or for stretches to do post-run, while you're still warm?

Either way, I'd recommend yoga. Lots of yoga studios offer yoga for runners classes. And if you want post-run stretches, pigeon pose is a favorite of mine.
posted by Brittanie at 4:40 PM on February 20, 2012


I don't do any stretch now.

Find something--ANYTHING--that will get you stretching. There are loads of options and instructions online. Loads of studios offering many styles. Which is the right one? The one that you can keep doing.
posted by GPF at 5:45 PM on February 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


I would be careful not to add bulk to your upper body -- as this will work against your ankles/knees over the long run.
posted by Land Ho at 5:47 PM on February 20, 2012


Ease up on the running for a bit
When I first started running this time last year to prepare for my first 5k, I over did it and my ankles puffed up. I kept running on them and they were puffy and sore for weeks. When took a couple of weeks off, they were much better and I didn't lose anything I had gained.

Yoga has been great at loosening up the tightness that comes with strength-training.

Squats leg presses, and other leg work definitely helped me pass the point where my muscles got sore from running - now lung capacity is my nemesis.
posted by jander03 at 10:41 PM on February 20, 2012


The evidence for the value of stretching is pretty mixed.

If you are fine without it then don't start now. If you are fine with it then go ahead and continue seems to be the expert verdict.

Listen to what your joints have to say. Persistent pain means ease up on either frequency or duration (or both).

Also, you are doing a lot and while cross training is wonderful you are using up your body's ability to recover by both running and lifting on the same day. Think of it as tearing down and rebuilding your muscles. If you tear them all down on the same day then the finite repair squad has to spread itself thin and do a half-assed job. But them I am old so I need more recovery time. Youngsters can probably handle this (you clueless super healthy bastards - cherish it, because it doesn't last!)
posted by srboisvert at 4:57 AM on February 21, 2012


My favorite running complements are:

1. Yoga
2. Right after running, a city block or two of alternating sets of walking lunges, push-ups and calf raises. This strengthens quads, hams, calves, shoulders, chest, and core, and really helps stretch the hip flexors and quads. Eventually, see if you can clasp your hands behind your back (and eventually with your arms straight) while doing the walking lunges - it's great for core balance and shoulder stretching.
posted by Pax at 8:42 AM on February 21, 2012


Are you asking for routines on your non-running days, or for stretches to do post-run, while you're still warm?

I'm asking for both. I'm still a novice runner, I don't know what work and what doesn't work.

There are a lot mention of yoga. How often do I need to do them? Is once a week enough? There are ton of different styles, which one is most beneficial to runner? Or just pick a yoga class and don't worry about style?

Also, you are doing a lot and while cross training is wonderful you are using up your body's ability to recover by both running and lifting on the same day. Think of it as tearing down and rebuilding your muscles. If you tear them all down on the same day then the finite repair squad has to spread itself thin and do a half-assed job.

I've been doing my lifting routine on and off for couple years now. I always like to lift weight and don't like running. I just add running to my routine to improve my cardiovascular endurance. After doing running for a month, I've been enjoying it more and more. Plus, running a 5K sounds like a fun thing to do. Looks like I might have limit my strength training while I'm training for a 5k.
posted by Carius at 9:33 AM on February 21, 2012


Personally, I love vinyasa yoga, which is a bit faster, more challenging and cardio-oriented. Some people love Bikram (haaaaaaate!), some people love hatha. There ARE a ton of yoga styles, so I recommend you play around until you find a style and instructor you like. A lot of people say they find yoga boring but I personally think they just haven't found the style that suits them, so definitely experiment. If you can, find a studio that offers a variety of classes and buy a month-long unlimited card or something. (I'm a member of my local Y, which offers several styles of both yoga and pilates, and I also have a friend who is an instructor.)

I'd say 2-3 times a week is good. You won't really see a huge benefit from 1x a week, just like you wouldn't be able to train for a race by only running 1x a week. Remember, even with the challenging styles of yoga, the exercises are supposed to be relaxing and restorative. You might have slight muscle soreness after a yoga class but you shouldn't feel spent like you do lifting weights.

I've recently made the decision to switch from XF back to yoga because I was training for a marathon and between that and XF I was definitely overtraining. Remember, yoga still counts as body weight training, and the best thing is, like running, you don't need anything but yourself to do it.
posted by Brittanie at 3:27 PM on February 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Your ankle problems might be related to running technique. Many runners take strides that are too strong and too long and end up landing on their heels, which stresses the body. The short version: take quicker, shorter steps. Long version.

From Runnersworld:
Stretching for Runners
Strength and Cross Training
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 9:11 AM on February 22, 2012


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