5 Ways Strength for Runners is Different From Any Other Class

RacePace, Houston’s first and only studio focused on runners, has just introduced a 50-minute, studio class called Strength for Runners. “What should I do to cross train?,” is among the most commonly asked questions we hear from our runners and strength training is one of the most commonly given answers as it aids in injury prevention and is critical in making you faster.  As with everything we do at RacePace, this class is acutely focused on the demands and needs of runners, so don’t expect a CrossFit-type workout or an Orange Theory-style bootcamp. The foundation of this class and its programming was built on the needs of runners—both those just getting in to running and those who are training at the highest level—wherever you are in your running journey, this class will meet you there.

Here are five ways this class will be different than your run-of-the-mill studio strength training: 

1. It’s created by runners for runners

If you’re not a runner, you don’t really understand the needs of runners, which is why head coach and RacePace co-founder Jeff Douse, along with our coaches, developed Strength for Runners. The class has been carefully curated to address injury prevention and enhance performance for those who may just be starting out or those who are running competitively. Our focus in these classes will be on improving power and endurance of the entire kinetic chain that affects the running stride, strengthening key areas that are typically vulnerable for runners (hips, glutes, core), and developing both the slow twitch muscle fibers (that endurance running primarily relies on) and fast twitch fibers that will promote balance and power. 

2. It’s not a bootcamp 

Our goals as runners are very different than those who regularly attend bootcamp-style or CrossFit classes and so our programming is different as well. Don’t expect to show up and jump from treadmill to floor to treadmill. You can expect classes comprised of three main components: 1. Dynamic warmup, 2. a circuit focused on major muscle group exercises 3. Core, mobility, and stretching.

3. It’s designed to complement our primary form of training: running

Our primary exercise, running, is endurance-focused, thousands of steps requiring sustained strength and endurance. Cross-training, specifically strength training, should complement endurance training. Cycling workout types between power and plyometrics and our strength focus to ensure agility, mobility and maximum output and efficiency from every stride. 

4. Its exercises are hand-picked based on runners’ troubled or weak areas

Runners, especially long-distance runners, put repetitive strain on the same joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments which can cause injury or inefficiencies when running (low energy, fatigue and/or weakness). Strength for Runners will focus on full-body workouts comprised of exercises that recruit major muscles that will meaningfully contribute to injury prevention and performance enhancement, this includes the glutes, quads, hips, hamstrings, back, and chest /shoulders.

Our focus will be to build supportive structure around ligaments, tendons and joints, improve mobility of key joints to ensure proper mechanics and durability for long efforts, and improve muscular recruitment to improve ability to sustain form in late stages of running.

5. It’s designed to fit in to your running routine 

Strength for Runners is held multiple times a week and can fit in any runners routine. If you are following a training schedule that includes workouts (track, tempo / threshold, long runs), you would aim to incorporate strength training on those higher-stress days so that your rest or “easy” days are not compromised. The goal of rest days is to minimize stress on the body and allow it to rebuild, recover, and absorb the work from the higher stress days. For those of you in a less structured part of your training cycle, you have more flexibility with respect to integrating strength training into your running schedule, but it is just as important for injury prevention and performance enhancement.

Strength training is something that runners often neglect or undervalue.  But we recognize (and we want to help you appreciate) the tremendous benefits of incorporating strength training into your running routine.  Our Strength For Runners classes will help you become more efficient, effective, and healthy runners..   

As always, if you have any questions or if we can help with your running journey, don’t hesitate to reach out.

Ready to add strength training to your routine? Join us for class every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday

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