How Runners Benefit From Sport-Specific Strength Training

In the middle of the continuum are General Strength and Mobility (GSM) exercises and routines. Add GSM to your daily routine, even if it's only a five-minute routine at the end of the workout, such as the Myrtl routine. 

More: Video: How to Do the Myrtl Routine

On the front side of the workout, do a quick routine called the Lunge Matrix, which is a version of physical therapists Gary Gray's work. It's simply five different lunges that get you moving in all three planes of motion; it's also a great general warm-up. Complete the lunge sequence first thing after you step out of your car or your front door, before you take one running step.

More: Video: How to Do the Lunge Matrix

The Lunge Matrix takes three-and-a-half minutes, and the Myrtl program takes about six-and-a-half minutes, so the total extra time you should invest in your running: 10 minutes. And that's how you should think of it—as an investment in your training, and an insurance policy against injury. 

At this point, you're probably thinking, "I hardly have time to get in my run, let alone do extra stuff." I understand. But let me ask you this: Have you had an injury in the last 12 months? If the answer is yes, then the next question I have for you is: Why? Most of the athletes I work with stay injury-free month after month; the best guess as to why is that we do so much ancillary work.

More: 4 Strength Exercises for Time-Strapped Runners

Admittedly, this work is less exciting than a hard workout on the track, or a progression run where you run faster than you've ever run. But if your goal is to stay injury-free and consistent in your training, then you should invest some time in sport-specific strength work. If you can learn to value this type of work as much as you value your running, then you'll no doubt enjoy PRs in the months and years to come.

More: How to Run Fast: 3 FAQs

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