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Strength Training for Runners: We’ve Got the Book for You


So back in January, I was running regularly and planning to hit up a half-marathon in April. I’d downloaded training plans and was comfortably running 3 to 4 miles. I was sure that within a few months I could build up to 13-plus, no problem. I’d been injury-free and was feeling great about running. Then I got pregnant, and decided that then/now was not the time to be tripling the distance I was comfortable running. So I tabled my plans of a half for the time being. Right around the time I put the plans on hold, though, a book landed on my doorstep: Quick Strength for Runners by Jeff Horowitz. Promising eight weeks to a better runner’s body, it also promises faster running and fewer injuries in an hour a week.

I’m no stranger to running injuries. Nothing major, but any time I start to dedicate myself to running, I end up aching in some part of my body. It’s always an ankle or a knee that acts up, forcing me to take time off from running to let myself heal. But having downtime from running definitely slows down your momentum, and the back and forth of injury/running/injury/running is a total pain in the butt (or ankle or knee). I attributed my months-long, injury-free running status post-Tough Mudder to a certain formula: A long, slow build-up of my running endurance + proper warm-ups + consistent stretching and foam-rolling + strength training. And strength training is definitely a key to the whole equation.


In the book, Horowitz busts strength-training myths, and sets the stage for why strength training is so important to running strong. Without getting too technical, he dives into the muscles and mechanics involved in running, and then he gets into a fully illustrated guide to exercises that will help your running game. The illustrations make the moves super easy to follow and the eight-week program makes putting in the strength training time a no-brainer. If you’re a runner who is more dedicated to upping mileage or speed than working on muscles, this book will show you just how accessible a strength program can be. It’s particularly well-suited for beginners or those who  have been away from the running game for awhile and want to ease in, strong and injury-free.

I’m hanging onto this book for the months after the baby arrives so I can reference it as I slowly work up to longer distances. My plan is to ever-so-slowly go from walking to walk/jog to slowly transitioning to longer stints of running. I’m hoping that adding strength in will prevent any gnarly injuries or aches, and that I’ll be able to hit up that same half-marathon, just a year later than originally planned!

Runners: Are you dedicated to your strength training or do you blow it off in favorite of running? Do you notice a difference when you strength train? —Erin

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