30 Day Strength Challenge for Runners - Sunrise Running Company

If you’re like me, it’s been a summer and fall full of long training miles. Scatter in a few fun and challenging races, and our bodies might be a little worn down and not feeling quite as strong as in the beginning of the season. As 2018 comes to a close, this might be the right time for you as well to scale back on training mileage and focus more on building back your overall strength. This 30 Day Strength Challenge will help to re-establish strength work as an important component of being a healthy runner.

I know as runners that finding time to run seems to always be the easy part of our schedules. It’s the strength and cross-training work that far too often gets neglected or found to be too difficult to fit into our running routines. Rather than spend hours each week in the gym, this 30 Day Strength Challenge features a total of 9 strength exercises split up into small groups, incorporating a few of them each day. This structure will require you to spend just 10 to 20 minutes each day dedicated to full body strength building. With such a short time commitment, you will find it easy to add these exercises in after your run or at almost any point throughout your daily routine.

The overall goal of this 30 Day Strength Challenge for Runners is to build motivation and consistency during your off-season. Forming this new habit while the running mileage is low, will help you to more easily maintain a strength routine when the Spring racing season once again arrives!

The 9 strength exercises are illustrated and described below. Each exercise focuses on often neglected and injury prone areas of the body for running. All the strength training moves can be done at home, on the road, or anywhere you see fit, with no additional equipment. As the challenge progresses, the exercises remain the same, but the total number of repetitions increase. If the repetitions get to be to high that you cannot complete them all in one set, that is okay! Feel free to break the total number of repetitions up into 2 to 4 sets. Stay focused on the daily routine and become a stronger runner in 2019!

To download the 30 Day Strength Challenge, just enter your email and you will receive a link to access the PDF file for Free!

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Iron Chair

  1. Begin by standing with your feet about shoulder width apart and pointed slightly outwards.
  2. Squeeze your glutes and abs, squatting down while raising both of your arms out in front of you until they are parallel to the floor.
  3. Continue squatting until your thighs are parallel to the floor, or as close as you can get to parallel.
  4. Maintain this position for the duration of your set.

Muscles Involved
Deltoids, Glutes, Quadriceps

Push-Ups

  1. Begin by lying flat on the floor, stomach down, with your knees extended, and hands positioned wider than shoulder width and at the level of the middle of your chest.
  2. Squeezing your abs and glutes while maintaining a flat back, begin to push through the palms of your hands until your arms are fully extended. Do not allow your legs to bend or hips to drop down.
  3. Bend your arms, lowering your body until your chest is about 1 inch from the ground.
  4. Without your chest touching the ground and still maintaining tension in your glutes and abs, complete subsequent reps starting from step 2.

Muscles Involved
Deltoids, Pectorals, Triceps Brachii

Plank

  1. Begin by lying flat on the floor, stomach down, with your knees fully extended.
  2. Bend your arms and position your elbows directly beneath your shoulders, supporting yourself with your forearms.
  3. Raise yourself up until your only points of contact with the ground are your toes, elbows, forearms, and hands.
  4. Maintaining a flat back, squeeze your abs and glutes as tightly as possible.
  5. Remain in this position for the duration of your set.

Muscles Involved
Abdominals, Glutes, Spinal Erectors

Forward Lunges

  1. Begin with your feet shoulder width apart and hands resting on your hips.
  2. Pick one leg up off the ground and bring it directly in front of you as far as you comfortably can.
  3. While bringing your leg forward, bend at the knee with both legs to lower your torso.
  4. Pushing through your forward leg, return to a standing position with your feet shoulder width apart.
  5. Complete subsequent reps starting from step 2, alternating legs.

Muscles Involved
Glutes, Hamstrings, Quadriceps

Squats

  1. Begin by standing upright with feet positioned wider than shoulder width apart, toes pointed outward, and arms behind your head.
  2. Bend at both your knees and hips, while maintaining a flat back and squeezing your butt and abs.
  3. Continue to lower yourself without pulling on your neck with your arms. Lower yourself until your thighs are parallel to the ground.
  4. Stand back upright.
  5. Complete subsequent reps starting from step 2.

Muscles Involved
Glutes, Hamstrings, Quadriceps

Squat Jumps

  1. Begin by standing upright with feet positioned wider than shoulder width apart, toes pointed outward, and arms behind your head.
  2. Bend at both your knees and hips, while maintaining a flat back and squeezing your butt and abs.
  3. Continue to lower yourself without pulling on your neck with your arms. Lower yourself until your thighs are parallel to the ground.
  4. Generate as much power as possible, pushing through your feet until you enter mid-air.
  5. Maintain straight legs until the apex of your jump.
  6. During the descent, begin to bend at your knees to land in a partial squatting position.
  7. Complete subsequent reps starting from step 2.

Muscles Involved
Calves, Glutes, Hamstrings, Quadriceps

Side Plank

  1. Begin by lying sideways on the floor, with your legs fully extended.
  2. Position your elbow beneath your shoulder, and point your forearm in front of you.
  3. Raise yourself up so that your only points of contact with the ground are your feet, elbow, forearm, and hand.
  4. Raise your hip upwards to straighten out your body.
  5. Maintain this position for the duration of your set.

Muscles Involved
Abdominals, Glutes

Single Leg Bridge

  1. Begin by lying on you the floor, stomach up. Place your hands on the ground on either side of your for stability. Bend both legs at the knee and rest your feet on the ground.
  2. Straighten one leg at the knee and lift it up toward the ceiling.
  3. With the foot still in contact with ground, push through your heel and lift your pelvis up toward the ceiling. Maintain a flat back, keeping your body in a stiff bridge position.
  4. Slowly lower your pelvis back to the ground.
  5. Complete subsequent reps starting from step 3.

Muscles Involved
Abdominals, Glutes, Spinal Erectors, Hamstrings

Bicycles

  1. Begin by lying on the ground facing upwards with your legs bent and hands on your head for support.
  2. Raise both of your legs while maintaining bent knees so that your thighs are roughly perpendicular to the ground.
  3. Bring your chest up, rotating your torso in one direction while bringing the opposite leg into your abs.
  4. Continue until your knee makes contact with the opposite elbow.
  5. Bring your leg back to a position perpendicular to the ground, and lower your upper back until it is almost in contact with the ground.
  6. Complete subsequent reps starting from step 3, alternating the direction of rotation and leg used.

Muscles Involved
Abdominals, Glutes, Spinal Erectors, Hamstrings

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