Strength & Conditioning Workout for Trail Runners
Written By: Carla Molinaro
HOKA athlete, adventurer and running coach, Carla Molinaro joins us to deliver a Strength and Conditioning session specifically designed for trail runners.
WHY IS STRENGTH WORTH SO IMPORTANT FOR TRAIL RUNNERS?
Strength and conditioning is a fundamental part of running but the area that is most often neglected. We will run for hours but won’t put in the time to strengthen our bodies to help us run better. There are huge benefits of doing S&C including:
- Injury prevention
- Improved range of motion
- Increases bone strength
- Increases performance
FULL BODY STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING WORKOUT FOR TRAIL RUNNERS
The following full body circuit will get all those muscles fired up in your feet great for your proprioception on the trails, activate your glutes and core, develop your arm strength which in turn will help your arm drive and increase hip strength all leading to you becoming a faster runner!
Equipment needed: A resistance band, chair & a light weight (you can use a water bottle)
Weeks 1 – 4: 3 Sets 30 secs on 15 secs rest (1 min rest at the end of each set)
Weeks 5 – 8: 3 Sets 45 secs on 15 secs rest (1 min rest at the end of each set)
Perform all of these exercises barefoot as a circuit once a week.
You can find more running specific S&C sessions here
1. SINGLE LEG BALANCE (EYES CLOSED)
Close your eyes first, once your eyes are closed raise your left leg to 90 degrees and balance, don’t worry if you wobble all over the place this is normal, hold for the designated time. Repeat on the other leg.
2. KNEE RAISE AND HOLD
Place a resistance band around both feet, then standing on your left leg drive your knee to 90 degrees quickly keeping the band around your foot, make sure you keep your toes flexed. Balance for 1-2 secs before lowering your leg and then going again. Repeat on the other.
3. SINGLE LEG DEADLIFT
Stand on a resistance band with your left leg, hold the band in your right hand, pull on the band as you stand upright, lower the band back to your foot and repeat. Repeat on the other leg.
Hold a light weight in your hand. Stand on your Right leg and hinge forward from your hips. Move the weight from hand to hand, raising your arms to shoulder height. Repeat on the other leg.
5. LUNGE AND PRESS
Starting in a lunge position with your right foot forward and a light weight in your right hand at shoulder height. Drive your left leg to 90 degrees at the same time as you push your arm to the sky, return to a lunge and repeat. Repeat on the other leg.
6. SINGLE LEG GLUTE BRIDGE
Place your left foot on a chair or box then raise your right leg in the air. Engage your glutes and raise your hips off the floor. Return your hips to the floor and repeat. Repeat on the other leg.
7. SIDE PLANK WITH ARM LOWERS
In a side plank position with your top foot in front of your bottom foot and a light weight in your upper hand. Slowly lower the weight so it is held in front of you, return the weight to the starting position a repeat. Repeat on the other side.
8. DEAD BUGS
Lay flat on your back, draw your belly button towards your spine activating your lower abdomen. Raise your legs into the air so your hips and knees are at 90 degrees. Slowly lower your opposite arm and leg towards the floor before returning to the starting position and repeating on the other side.
Thanks to Carla Molinaro for these fantastic tips and and check out her website if you’re interested in Strength and Conditioning or Yoga.
Carla is not just a SCY teacher, she’s also a record-breaking ultra-runner, adventurer and running coach. Head over to our Trail Hub to read all about her LEJOG world record, as she ran from Land’s End to John O’Groats in 2020.
Find out more about off-road running by visiting our trail running hub and make sure you've got all the running kit you need for your next adventure.
Visit our Training Hub for more workouts, expert guidance and trusted advice.
Related post: BENEFITS OF YOGA FOR RUNNERS WITH CARLA MOLINARO