Running Strong

Dean Ryan

By Dean Ryan

Last month Shane’s blog provided runners with some valuable tips to avoid injuries. For those who may be at a bit of a loss as to where to start in terms of strength exercises, this month I will take you through a warmup example and provide a simple but effective strength program that can help runners of all levels to increase strength, aid recovery and help you to avoid injuries.

I suspect there are some of you out there that simply just throw on the shoes, head out the door and go straight into a tough running session without warming up correctly. Although it might be acceptable to skip the stretches and warm up drills on the days that you are just heading out for an easy jog, it is very important that you prepare your body If you are doing some faster interval style sessions in your training. For example, 200m, 400m or longer 1km repeats.  Your body needs to be warmed up well before diving into this kind of training to enable it to handle the increase in intensity. 

Warm up to run, not just run to warm up!

Running can be part of the warmup to raise body temperature however running alone is generally not enough to prepare the body for intense activity. The following exercises will help with mobility through the joints, strength and running economy.  Without going into too much detail, running economy is simply the oxygen cost of maintaining a certain pace and it is one of the three big contributors to distance running performance along with Vo2 max and lactate threshold.

After raising your body temperature with an easy warm up jog, I recommend completing two rounds of the exercises below followed by six 80m strides before starting any interval style session.

Watch the video above for a quick demonstration of each exercise. A warmup does not need to be complicated and should not be avoided. We put our bodies under a lot of stress especially during tough interval sessions, so it is vital we warm up our muscles correctly beforehand.

Compliment your running with simple but effective strength work

To compliment your running training, I strongly encourage you to introduce some simple strength exercises to your routine to help avoid injuries and help improve your overall strength and fitness. Some people may be under the illusion that you need a gym or fancy equipment when it comes to strength training, but I have recommended some exercises below that can be completed in your home or backyard. A strong body will increase your confidence, improve your running economy, and will help keep those niggly injuries that often plague runners of all levels, at bay.


Single leg Squat

Single Leg RDL

Lateral Lunge

Single leg hops

Med ball lunge twist

(use any type of ball if you do not have med ball)


2sets x 6 reps

2×6 each side

2×6 each side

1×10 each side

2×8 each side 













For the non- runners who wish they were runners

If you have been reading along and thinking “I would love to get into running but don’t know where to start”, I have something for you also! I understand that it can get a bit overwhelming and very challenging for some people when starting out running for the first time which is why I have included a four-week beginner run/ walk program below. I hope that it will help you or somebody you know to get started on your running journey.

Week 1

Run 1


Run 2


Run 3


(3 min run, 3 min

walk) x 3


(2 min run, 1 min

walk) x 5


(3min run, 2

min walk) x 5

Week 2







(4min run, 2 min walk) then (3min run, 1min walk) x2



(2min run, 30 sec walk) x6


(5 min run, 3 min walk) then (3 min run, 1

min walk x 3)

Week 3







5min,4min,3min,2m in,1min run with half the run time walk recovery

between each x 2



(4 min run, 90 sec walk) x 3


(6 min run, 2 min walk) x 1 (3min run, 1min walk) x 3

Week 4







(7 min run, 3 min walk) x 1, (5min run, 90 sec walk x 2)


(10 min run, 5 min walk) x 1, (3min run, 1 min walk x 2)



(10 min run, 5 min

walk) x 2

If you would like more advice regarding running, strength or anything fitness related please feel free to message me on Instagram @deanryan_coaching

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