Studies estimate that about 50% of endurance athletes sustain an overuse every year. When anyone starting out as a runner asks me for advice, I always encourage them to adopt a strength-training program. Adding a simple strength regimen to your training plan and yoga schedule can prevent injury by creating balance and targeting “blind spots”. Not only can strength training help you prevent injury, but can also help you become a more efficient athlete. Incorporating strength training along with weekly yoga has personally helped me continue running after sustaining chronic injuries in my twenties. After suffering two pelvic stress fractures, chronic runner’s knee and plantar fasciitis, I finally learned that “pounding the pavement” day after day was wearing on my body. Since then, I religiously follow a strength regimen whenever I am training for a race. So many endurance sports injuries can be traced back to imbalances and/or weaknesses in the glutes, hips, pelvic region, and core. This quick strength regimen targets these “blind spots” and can all be done in the comfort of your home! All you need is a Thera-band (resistance band) loop.
This circuit took me about 7 minutes. If time allows, repeat the circuit twice, about three times per week.
- Side-lying leg raises w/resistance band – foot flexed and forward x 10 (both
- Side-lying leg raises w/resistance band – foot flexed, toes pointed upward x
10 (both sides)
- Side-lying leg raises w/resistance band – foot flexed, toes pointed downward
x 10 (both sides)
- Side steps x 10 each direction w/resistance band (repeat twice, keep some
resistance in the band in between steps)
- Donkey kicks, straight leg x10 (both legs)
- Donkey kicks, bent leg 90 degrees x10 (both legs)
- Donkey whips x10 (both legs) Note: Knee aligned with hip-height
- Runner’s balancing lunge squats x 10 (both legs) Note: Try to ensure standing knee tracks directly forward over toes, should not sway in or out. Trying to strengthen opposite leg’s glutes.
- Forearm plank side knee taps x10 each side
- Side plank toe taps x10 each side