The Best Strength Training Routine for Runners

*Brooks Running sent me free running gear in exchange for writing this blog post and hosting this give-a-way. However, all opinions and statements are my own. I truly love this brand! Jane did not receive any free gear.

I want to start by giving a HUGE congrats to my client Jane! She is competing in the Napa Valley Marathon next weekend with the hope of qualifying for the Boston Marathon! I have no doubt she’ll make it. Her dedication to her 14-week prep is inspiring. There were definitely days where she came into the gym exhausted and sore from long-runs and very early mornings (all while juggling her demanding schedule and responsibilities as a high-school teacher). However, she always pushed through.

Strength Training for Runners - Brooks Running
Did I mention Jane is a die-hard Brooks Running fan?! She is rocking the Brooks Pure Cadence shoe here. I love the colors! (And not just because they’re Life in Spandex colors πŸ˜‰ hehe).
We used a combination of strength training and interval/sprint work to increase her mile-time, avoid injury, and help her meet additional weight-loss goals. Before she came to me, her strength training was pretty nonexistent. She was battling common running injuries and holding onto unwanted weight. I see this in so many runners. Without proper cross-training, joints and muscles can quickly deteriorate.

Brooks Running - Strength Training for Runners

Adding in running-specific strength exercises will helps combat the impact of running on your bones, ligaments, tendons, and muscles. Stability, core, and rotational movements help running coordination and balance. A combination of light and heavy weight lifting along with plyometric exercises helps you prepare for the last sprint of the race both mentally and physically. Jane can attest to the mental strength it takes to get in just one more incline sprint, 30 more seconds of mountain climbers, or one more set of barbell squats. This is the same mental strength she’ll need to push through at the end of her race.

LIS_Brooks Touch Up-170

This strength-training routine is designed specifically for all you runners! Whether you run a couple miles a week just for fun and to keep healthy or you’re training for a race, these exercises will help build strength, improve running speed and prevent injury. Then, make sure you scroll all the way to the bottom of this blog post because Brooks Running and I have an amazing surprise for you!

Brooks Running - The Best Strength Training for Runners

And now for something we can all be excited about – FREE workout clothes! I love the Streaker Racerback and Hoodie (featured in these photos) that Brooks sent me so much that I convinced them to give one lucky reader both of them! These pieces can be wore anywhere. From the studio, to the trails, to the streets, they’re the perfect transitional pieces to take you from winter to spring! It takes just 2 minutes to enter. Once a winner is chosen, she will be able to pick her size and color preference!

Click here to enter the

 for a chance to WIN BOTH the Brooks Running Streaker Racerback Tank Top AND the Streaker Hoodie!

Brooks Running - Strength Training for Runners


If you’re having any trouble entering the Rafflecopter give-a-way you can email me at and I can send you instructions to walk you through it! 

Health and happiness,


Hi and welcome to Life in Spandex! I'm Emily, a personal trainer who believes there should be no secrets standing in your way to getting fit. I am sharing my knowledge here on this blog in order to help you reach your goals. Fitness should be fun, eating healthy should taste good, and feeling your absolute best is the ultimate goal. Let's get fit together!
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  3. […] Today is you Free Workout Day! Take a class at your gym or local studio (I love Barre, TRX, Body Sculpt, Circuit, Spin, and Zumba classes!), go on a hike with friends, anything to get your heart rate up and muscles burning. Or, you can complete this total body workout! […]

  4. Love the workout tips and posts!

    1. Thanks Jackie! Happy to help πŸ™‚

  5. Thank you for this contest! Best of luck to everyone!

    1. You’re welcome Tonya πŸ™‚

  6. Thank you for posting for runners! I’m excited to give this routine a try to see if I can shave some seconds off my weekly runs!

    1. You’re so welcome Keira :). Let me know how it works for you!!

  7. This is such an amazing giveaway! Will definitely be trying out this new routine changing things up to always keep it fun and interesting. And cute workout clothes is definitely a plus lol ???

    1. Yay I’m so glad you’re excited about it!!! Let me know how the workout goes πŸ™‚

  8. Thank you for such a generous giveaway! If selected as a winner, I will post a selfie with my fitness gear from @life_in_spandex and tag your page on Instagram so that my fit fam and followers can purchase as well as follow! My ig is @official_swolemates and we just made it to 13k followers and know they will luv your page and blog!

    1. Thank you so much Danielle!! Fingers crossed for you. The winner will be chosen at random but congrats on your followers that’s so exciting! Will definitely check out your page πŸ™‚

  9. This is awesome.e and so different

  10. You have the prettiest pictures and are super photogenic. Thanks for another great routine that I get to pin! Good luck to Jane on the marathon! That’s huge!

    1. Aw thanks Angie! Making my day haha :). I’ll pass on the good wishes to Jane!

  11. Where do you come up with all these exercises? You must do a lot of research!

    1. Thanks Cori! I definitely do πŸ™‚

  12. Cross training and lifting weights absolutely changed my running game and of course cute gear doesn’t hurt either πŸ˜‰

  13. The hoodie is super cute!

    1. Right?! I’m in love with it. It’s super soft too.

  14. Thanks for sharing these. There seems to be a lot of knee intense workouts. Any modification tips for someone with a bad knee?

    1. Hi Dia, knee injuries are tricky for any lower body standing exercises. My best advice is to strengthen the muscles around your knee with controlled weight lifting machine exercises like the leg press, leg extension, and leg curl. Start with light weight and only train in the range of motion where there’s no pain. Once you build a base strength you’ll be able to start trying more advanced exercises. Hope this helps!

  15. Love your posts!! Hope to increase from a jog to a run post baby!!

  16. I love this post! I love running and seriously can’t believe that there are so many people who don’t cross-train!

    1. Thanks boo :-* hope your sinus infection clears soon so we can run together!

  17. Oh these posts are so motivating!! I hope she qualifies and has a blast running!

  18. Tips are great and the workout clothes looks comfortable and great.

    1. They are so soft! Thanks πŸ™‚

  19. I love Jane’s story and the Strength Training Routine! I’m trying to get into running again, so this was very timely for me :).

    1. Just take it little by little and this routine will definitely help. And, if you win the clothes that’s even more motivation to run so you can wear them! πŸ˜‰ hehe

  20. Would love to win

    1. Fingers crossed for ya!

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