Work It Out Wednesday: Strength Training Edition

I’m not quite sure if Work It Out Wednesday is going to become a thing, but today it is! So get ready, because today I’m talking all about my favorite strength training workouts that are quick and able to be done at home!

As I started chasing bigger dreams in the marathon than just finishing, I have come to accept that strength training plays a major role in my success. While training for my second marathon, I was running six days a week, pushing myself harder than I ever had, and didn’t do a single strength exercise. Not a one. Guess what happened? I overtrained and crashed and burned on race day. By mile 8 I was struggling and contemplating dropping to the half. I stuck it out and finished and while Iย technicallyย PRed (by about 4 min), I felt like I ran a lot better during my first marathon and was unhappy with the result of my second.

For marathon number 3, I cut my running down to 4 days a week and had two days a week dedicated to strength training. I cut 18 min off my PR and was 7 min away from a BQ. Marathon #4, I cut another 4 min from my PR and nabbed my BQ.

Bottom line: Strength training is a key component of running strong.

I’m following a lot of bloggers that are training for fall marathons, and some of them are training for their very first ones! Additionally, I’m currently building my base to get ready for Marathon #5 this winter. My current plan is to run 5 times a week, 1 dedicated strength day and 1 dedicated rest day. In the past, I haven’t been the best about adding on workouts after my runs–especially as my mileage increases and I’m running 11 miles in the mornings before work. This time around, my goal is to tack on quick and effective strength exercises on days that I’m recovering with easy runs.

In honor of that, and all my fellow marathon-running bloggers out there, here are my favorite quick and effective strength exercises for your enjoyment!

First and foremost, I’m going to praise the glory that is the Nike Training Club App. If you haven’t heard of it, or tried it, I highly suggest you download it and give it a shot. It’s got a variety of different types of workouts, most that only require your body weight, and vary from 15-45 min in length. For days dedicated to strength training I love their 45 min workouts. For quick, additional exercises, I’m a believer in their “Get Focused” 15 min workouts. My favorites are:

  • Beach Legs
  • Core Power
  • Alpha Abs
  • Sculpted Arms
  • Better Butt
  • Arm Definer

They’re also great to do back to back to create a full body workout.

Julie over at Peanut Butter Fingers has a bunch of great, great boot camp style workouts that can be done at home. My favorite of hers, however, is this Burnin’ Leg and Ab workout. It even throws in some push-ups so it’s a full-body workout. It takes me about 20 min to get through.

I am not a Crossfit person and don’t believe I ever will be, BUT, this Crossfit inspired workout from Tina at Carrots N Cake is a great, quick and tough workout. As she has it listed, it is TOUGH, but I’ve changed it around a few times to meet my needs. The At-Home Chipper, is great for a quick workout that will make you feel absolutely exhausted and like you’ve WORKED. It takes anywhere from 10-20 min to complete, depending on the exercises I’m incorporating (as listed, it takes about 15 min for me to complete).

This 10 Min Arm Sculpting Workout from PopSugar. I complete it with 5lb and 2.5lb weights and it leaves me tired every time!

The Deck of Cards Workout. My love for this one is going strong right now. Customize it for whatever you want (all abs, all arms, all legs, or a combo of exercises) and for how many reps you want (make face cards worth more than 11, 12, or 13 if you want something more challenging).

These Post-Run Power Exercises, shared by Janae of Hungry Runner Girl fame, are great for a quick addition to any run. Change the amount of reps as needed!

And those are my favorites for a quick and dirty strength workout! Hope you find some of these helpful and add them into your rotation!

Tell me. Any quick and effective strength exercises you love? I’m always on the hunt for other options!

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11 thoughts on “Work It Out Wednesday: Strength Training Edition

    • Try it! It’s super fast paced and keeps you moving, so I just put on Netflix and do it for however long. It seems torturous, but I always feel better after!

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  1. I try to plank after all of my runs. I would like to say that stretching happens as well, but usually its a plank for a few minutes, maybe some push ups and then lots of just laying : )

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  2. I needed to see this, and get some reassurance that I’m doing it right. The original plan was to dedicate at least one if not two days a week to strength training, but I never get round to it and it’s just easier to tack some squats or core work onto the end of an easy run ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • I’m so glad the post helped! ๐Ÿ™‚ My body doesn’t like real high mileage, so spending a day a week dedicated to strength training has really helped me! It is easy to spend an extra 15 minutes doing some strength after a run, and it’s so helpful!

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  3. Looooooove me some NTC! Best app! I love the ones that you mentioned. As I get higher up in miles I’m considering replacing my current strength routine with these at the gym because they are quick and effective. I also love Fearless and Perfect Alignment – perfect alignment has core and hips, and I think it compliments running so nicely!

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  4. these are great tips — thanks for the workout resources, too! i do NTC workouts about once a week and supplement them with some run-specific pilates-ish moves (leg lifts, clams, bridges) and a few random weight lifting moves (squats and deadlifts)

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  5. I do a lot of similar exercises as the ones you mentioned through these Youtube videos called Blogilates. The girl doing them is super hyper and entertaining that it makes the time fly. I’ve definitely noticed a difference since I started incorporating them in my training.

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