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September is the beginning of a new year for many of us, which is means that goals setting up, maybe start a training program to improve your fitness, get back after the summer break or working on a running race goal, get your first 5km done or maybe a marathon ,who knows!.

Whatever is your goal, there are different physical capacities that need to be trained depending of the moment of your training period, these capacities are : flexibility,speed,strenght, resistance or mobility. Considering that we are starting from 0 or after a long break, the most important capacities to be train to set up a great base to avoid injuries on the future ,specially if we are runners thinking about a new challenge. But even, if you only want to work individual goals these capacities need to be consider.

So, if I am a runner , how long these period is consider?

  • September- October are the months ,where you should work on your full body strength , but specially on your low body and core.

  • In terms of the number of sessions, 3 x strength sessions ,including in all of the core and only in 2 of them low body would be ideal. After 4-6 weeks, you can decrease your strength sessions to 1 low body ,as you will be introducing more speed sessions or races that will require you to be full recovered.

What type of strength workout I should do ?

  • It is important to work on the running patterns on a functional way ,which will help to transfer the strength workout to running, for these reasons it would great to. work on :

-Isometric drills: Exercise where you work against or on a surface that it doesn’t move, which are really popular to workout wit your body weight and concentrate the work on specific muscle ,which will improve the strength ,but the muscle won’t change their size of the muscle. Plank hold or quad holds against the wall. These are great for beginners as the level of injury is low, however is going for every level of fitness.

Concentric drills: Weight machines in the gym or free weight exercises focus on specific muscles are the most common to work on the muscle you are interested to train reducing the implication of secondary muscle . Leg extension, quadriceps with free weights. In these exercises the muscle is working 100% lifting the right weight and there the most effective increasing the volume and the size of the muscle , depending of your goal. For runners ,which only wants to tone without massive muscle mass gain, 3 sets of 12-15 reps with 70-75% of the max weight that you can lift, it would be enough to get strong.

Plyometric drills: All about high impact , high jumps, lounge jumps, huddles, box jump and specific dynamic drills based running technique ,which is the most similar way to transfer the strength gain to the running pattern.

What muscle need to be trained?

Think about where you get those cramps that you get every time that you do your first race of your speed sets on the track that made you stay off for weeks with painful injuries losing time to improve your performance.

Quadricep, hamstrings , calfs, IT Band , Abductor and including hips flexors, knees and ankle tendons ,there are the most important to avoid any further injuries where high effort is put on.

In conclusion, you need to work on your strength planning really good when you will set up those sessions on your training program to not shade other sessions performance. Believe it or not, Strength training has enormous benefits for runners more than prevent injuries and increase the running economy is one of the most relevant , so don’t wait and lift!


-Gonzalez- Badillo (2002): Programming bases for strength training. 1st Edition. Barcelona.Spain.

-Balsalobre-Fernández, C, Santos-Concejero, J, and Grivas, G V. The effects of strength training on running economy in highly trained runners: A systematic review with meta-analysis of controlled trials. J strength Cond Res , 2015.Available from:

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