Tayte Pollmann’s articles are supported by American Trail Running Association corporate member Nike Trail Running. You can follow Tayte’s adventures on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. If you liked this article, read even more of Tayte’s articles on our website.
Strength training is a great form of exercise that trail runners should incorporate into their weekly routines. It can help you avoid injury, build speed, and improve running efficiency. Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus pandemic, many runners have lost access to gyms and may struggle to find ways to complete their strength training. This article provides an in-home running-specific strength routine that can be performed one to two times per week. If you are new to strength training or looking for new ways to gain strength, the following exercises will help you stay healthy and get the most out of your running.
The following strength routine takes approximately 45 minutes and is divided into five sections: Warm-up, Posterior Chain, Dynamics, Balance, and Cool-down. See the list of exercises below.
Warm-up: Do 20 seconds of the following three exercises. Perform two sets.
- Knees to Chest
- Mummy Walk
- Figure-4 Walk + Calf Raise
Posterior Chain: Do 30 seconds of the following exercises. For single leg exercises, complete the exercise on each leg before moving to the next exercise. Perform two sets. Rest as needed
- Hamstring Holds
- Running Deadbug
- Single Leg Deadlifts
- Straight Leg Fire Hydrants
- Side Balance Leg Raises
- Glute Bridge with Leg Swings
Dynamics: Do 20 seconds of each exercise, followed by 10 seconds of rest. Perform two sets.
- Squat Jacks
- Lizard hops
- Jump Split Squats
- Single Leg Squat Step Ups
Balance: Do 30 seconds of each exercise. For single leg exercises, complete the exercise on each leg before moving to the next exercise. Perform two sets. Rest as needed.
- Single Leg Stand
- Single leg swings (Forward and Backward)
- Single Leg Swings (Side to Side)
- Hip Drops
- Ankle Rolls (Inside, Outside)
Cool-down: Hold each stretch for one minute per side. For the three-way ankle and shin stretches, do 20 seconds for each of the three directions.
- Three-Way Ankle Stretch
- Three-Way Shin Stretch
- Half Saddle Pose
- Seated Twist
- Dragon Pose
PRO TIP: If you’re an overachiever, consider Tayte’s Core Routines for Injured Runners which is great even if you’re not currently injured.
Editor’s Note: Be safe as we continue to navigate the uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic. In the meantime, continue to follow the recommendations and updates from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including proper hygiene practices. Also consider reading iRunFar’s COVID-19: A Trail Running and Ultrarunning Community Guide.