5 Effective Weight Training Exercises For Runners To Improve Their Speed and Endurance

IRONMAN World Championship
IRONMAN World Championship

Runners do not simply run because they want to lose weight or maybe because this is the most convenient cardio method for them. There are many reasons as to why people get hooked to running miles every day.

It is the feeling of accomplishment, the gush of energy and the peace of mind that comes with running which compels them to do this every day. But do these feelings come to you from day 1? Absolutely not!

The first day is more of a struggle, a struggle to breathe, a struggle to reach your target running goal or even to stand up properly after a good run. What do you need, then? If this is what you are facing, then what we need to work on is your stamina and endurance. Let us look at some important points that you must keep in mind if you are planning to run every day:

1. Do focus on your breathing. There are times when people forget to breathe altogether. That is not going to help you in any manner. Instead, what it will do is render you out of breath in no time and reduce your workout time. So breathe and breathe properly.

2. Drink water before you get on track. It is obvious that you will sweat a lot. If you do not hydrate yourself, you might end up feeling out of energy.

3. The kind of shoes you wear is extremely important. There are specific kinds made for runners so as to prevent them from getting knee pain or feet injuries. Do invest in a pair, if possible.

4. Carry your iPod or cell phone and fill them up with fast tracks. Remember the tempo of the song affects your running speed.

5. You are going for a run, not for a brunch. Be practical when you choose your running clothes. Cotton is usually not recommended.

6. Select a path made for running. Do pay attention to the nature of the ground.

7. Do not beat yourself if you walk in between your session. Do not torture yourself. In fact, interval training is a good way to lose weight.

Apart from these important points, one must be aware of some weight training exercises that will help them enhance their speed and endurance. Let us have a look at it:

#1 Weighted Lunges



Step 1: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and hold a pair of dumbbells.

Step 2: Step forward with your left leg and bend your knees to lower your body. Your left thigh will be parallel to the floor and your right knee will touch the ground.

Step 3: Get back up to the initial position and repeat the same for the other side. This makes 1 rep.

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#2 One Legged Hop with Dumbbells



Step 1: Hold a dumbbell in each hand and stand with your feet together.

Step 2: Lift one leg off the floor and balance on the other.

Step 3: Start hopping up and down and do the same motion about 20 times. Switch sides and repeat.

Do this exercise without wearing shoes.

#3 Dumbbell Squats



Step 1: Hold a dumbbell in each hand and stand with your feet hip width apart. Bend your elbows and bring the dumbbells close to your shoulders.

Step 2: Keep your back straight, push your hips back and bend your knees to lower your body down to the ground. Go until your thighs are parallel to the floor.

Step 3: Get back up to the initial position and repeat.

Do 2 sets of 20 reps each.

#4 Dumbbell Deadlifts



Step 1: Hold a pair of dumbbells and stand with your feet farther than shoulder width apart.

Step 2: Hold the dumbbells near your thighs such that your palms are facing your body.

Step 3: Keep your arms and back straight and bend at your hips to lower the dumbbells down. Do not bend your knees. Keep the weights close to your legs.

Step 4: Push through your feet and thrust your hips forward as your bring your body back to the initial position. Repeat.

Do 2 sets of 12 reps each.

#5 Kettlebell Swing



Step 1: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold a kettlebell with both your hands. Let it hang in between your legs.

Step 2: Bend your knees and push your hips back to swing the kettlebell towards the back from in between your legs.

Step 3: Pull your hips forward as you straighten your legs to swing the kettlebell in front of you to bring it to your shoulder level.

Step 4: Swing it back down to repeat the motion. Keep your back firm and straight throughout the exercise.

Do this exercise for 1 minute. The kettlebell swing can be done by working one hand at a time, as well. If you choose to do this variation of it, one hand will hold the kettlebell and do the swinging motion while the other will be extended sideways, at shoulder level, for balance.

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Edited by Raunak J