Strength for Runners: Secret to Fitting It In


All runners know what it feels like.

You’re juggling a job, family, house chores, and maybe even caring for an older family member or a pet. On top of all that, you’re trying to squeeze in regular runs and strength training to hit your goal on race day or stay fit. Sounds familiar?

Let’s face it: Adulting can feel like a marathon in itself.

The relentless pace and the undulating hills of responsibilities can be challenging to find the time and energy to lace up those running shoes, let alone strength train.

When push comes to shove, most runners will consistently find ways to squeeze in their runs at the expense of strength training.

Balancing adulting, running, and strength training is tough — but necessary if you will continue to feel your best for years to come. Studies have shown that strength training reduces the risk of injury by 50% among runners (Lauersen, Bertelsen & Andersen, 2014). Moreover, a study published in the “Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research” demonstrated that runners who incorporated strength training into their routines improved their running economy by up to 8%.

Fitting It All In

Strength training is more than just pumping iron to get bulky muscles. The key to consistency in the strength game is breaking away from norms. Runners don’t need an arm, leg, chest, and back day.

The Power of Functional Training

Functional training is your answer. At RunSmart, we term this “runner-specific,” meaning the exercises strengthen movements that look and feel like running.

Functional exercises simultaneously target multiple muscle groups, enhancing overall strength, stability, and mobility. It’s like hitting several birds with one stone. And it’s not just a time-saver; research suggests that functional training enhances athletic performance more than traditional strength training (Behm et al., 2017).

Think of it this way:

You can perform exercises for muscle x, exercise for muscle y, and exercise for muscle z. Now you have three separate exercises, and at three sets of 10, you can see how the time adds up.

Instead, think of one exercise that targets muscles x, y, and z together. Now you’re saving time and, if done correctly, strengthening movements that better carry over to running. 

Functional exercises are versatile and can be done almost anytime, anywhere. You can easily squeeze a quick circuit into your lunch break or even while watching your favorite TV show. They don’t require fancy equipment, and most of the time, you can use your body weight.

Taking the First Step Towards a Better Run

As a runner, I understand. Life can be a race where the finish line feels miles away. 

However, if you’re going to have success and feel your best for the long run (last pun), you need to supplement your running with functional (runner-specific) strength training.

You might be thinking, “Where do I begin?” Well, that’s where RunSmart comes in.

Try the RunSmart App Today

RunSmart understands the demands and constraints of busy lifestyles and designed a one-stop-shop for all your running and strength training needs.

The RunSmart app is loaded with Physical Therapist-designed exercises, workouts, and training plans specifically designed for runners. Get the most out of your training in the least amount of time. 

Let RunSmart be your training partner, guiding you to become a stronger and more resilient runner. Start a 14-day free trial today and see how the RunSmart app can revolutionize your running routine. 

Elevate Your Running with Tailored Strength Training

Physical Therapist-designed workouts to fortify muscles and prevent injuries. Dive in with a free 14-day trial, then just $15/month or $119/year.  Cancel anytime.

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