Running has a specific and predictable set of performance demands. Aside from its repetitive nature, running is a midrange, low-level plyometric activity that involves bounding from one leg to the next in a balanced manner. It also forms the basis of many team sports. Despite the seemingly innocuous nature of running, a relatively high incidence of running-related injuries (RRIs) has been documented in the literature. Research suggests that upwards of 80% of runners are likely to sustain an RRI over the course of a year that sidelines them from consistent training. While it’s impossible to prevent RRIs, specific measures likely exist that can safeguard against injury and lend to consistent training and improved performance. By taking the time to demystify the unique performance demands of running, coupled with sound decision making and sensible programming, we believe that runners can be better positioned to enjoy a life of healthy training and racing.
This guide aims to share several exercises and associated variations while providing a window into how we approach programming resistance training (RT) for runners and triathletes. We specifically delve into exercise selection and prescription from a rationale and programming standpoint in addition to cueing considerations. To accomplish this, we’ve drawn from the best available medical and performance related literature, communication with experts in the eld, and our combined experience as physical therapists, endurance athletes, and coaches, who have worked with athletes of all ages and abilities across the injury to performance spectrum. We hope that this affords you an invaluable resource in your endurance pursuits. Onward!