This workout will improve your running while you watch TV.
Strength training is good for runners. But strength training takes time, and most runners feel they barely have enough time to do all the running they want to do, let alone extra workouts on the side. And many runners also don’t enjoy strength training.
It’s quite a pickle. But I believe that runners can have their pickle and eat it too by taking a very simple approach to strength training. I call them TV workouts: strength workouts that can be done at home—while you watch your favorite prime-time television shows, if so wish—in minimal time and with only an aerobics step and a jump rope for equipment. You don’t even have to change into workout clothes if you don’t want to.
Three quick sessions per week will give you meaningful benefits in the forms of improved running economy and reduced injury risk. The following selection of exercises provides the ideal mix of specific benefits for runners. Some improve overall strength, others increase stride power, and still others enhance joint stability. There’s no need to vary the workout over time. If you were making your living as a runner I would recommend that you put a little mental energy into making your strength-training program progressive, but for the average runner that extra mental cost is not worth the added physical benefit.
Think of your “TV workouts” as being like flossing your teeth: something you do routinely, year-round, the same way every time to maintain a certain desired benefit. Complete just one or two sets of each exercise two or three times per week. (more…)