Marathon Training Schedule

Weight Training For Marathon Runners

Weight training isn't always a runner’s top priority but if it isn’t part of your fitness program at all, you're missing out on more than just buff biceps!

Strength training is a useful supplement to a runner's roadwork because it strengthens muscles and joints, which can improve race times and decrease injury risk.

"Running faster is easier if your whole body is working with you," says Andrew Satchwell from "A runner with strong legs but weak arms and core muscles will always be slower than a runner with total-body fitness…

A common mistake made by runners is to adopt a strength training program incorporating a standard gym routine involving bench presses, biceps curls, and leg extensions. While these moves might make you look good, they will do little to improve your running.

Think about it: How does pushing a weight away from your chest help you run a faster 10-K? It doesn't.

In fact, lifting weights the way everyone else does may even increase your injury risk, because typical workouts often lead to strength imbalances between muscle groups and around joints.That's why runners need a strength-training workout that targets key muscle groups and keeps them balanced.

Here are some helpful points for you to remember:

1.  Work your back: Building your posterior chain is especially important for runners. The muscles on the back of your lower body propel you forward and the muscles on the back of your upper body help you maintain an upright running stance. Slumping forward decreases your ability to run efficiently, requiring you to exert more energy.

2. Target Your Core: Your core is the foundation from which all movement is initiated. It includes all the muscles of your midsection and hips that support your spine and allow you to flex, extend, and rotate your trunk and hips. Strength in this muscle group will enable you to fire up a powerful stride and finish-line kick when the rest of the pack is fading.

3.  Variety: Building muscular endurance with light weights and high repetitions should be combined with lifting heavier weights for fewer reps to increase overall strength. Strong muscles enhance the stability of your joints--which reduces the wear and tear on ligaments--and make you a better sprinter and hill climber.

4.  Multitask: The key to an efficient workout is emphasizing compound movements -- exercises that require you to move more than one joint at a time. For instance, exercises like rows and lunges give you greater benefits in less time than single-joint isolation exercises such as bicep curls and triceps extensions.

Another way to get the most from a workout is to combine two movements into one. For example, rotating your torso as you perform a shoulder press doubles your gains.

Andrew Satchwell's is the UK's leading specialist provider of running holidays for individuals, clubs and groups.

If you'd like to train for your first marathon and you want to find out more about running a marathon, 'Marathon Training For Beginners’ will teach you all you need to know. It is one of the most effective marathon training schedules for beginners available on the internet, ideal for anyone that wants to learn how to successfully run a marathon in the shortest possible time. Click here for more details.

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