Brief Workouts For Runners

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Jun. 21, 2013
  • Updated Jun. 21, 2013 at 10:11 AM UTC
Donald Maxwell suggests that runners plank as long as possible. Photo: Guardian

One trainer thinks strength training is the way to go.

The Guardian’s Donald Maxwell has written an informative column detailing some short-duration strength exercises that can supplement your running.

Specifically, Maxwell has called out 12 non-running workouts that should last no longer than 20 minutes for each session. Maxwell, a personal trainer, says he was inspired after reading that double-Olympic gold medalist Mo Farah was doing 200-pound squats and how core work had made a difference with his running.

“Now [Mo] is not just a skinny guy, he’s a strong, wiry guy,” says his coach, Alberto Salazar. “And he has not gained more than a pound or two despite lifting heavy weights for power. People have always thought distance runners should lift light. Don’t you believe it.”

For starters, Maxwell suggests that runners do these exercises with a 20-30-second rest between sets.

Here are five of his suggested exercises (videos of them can be found by clicking the link to the article):

1. Bodyweight squats x 12

2. Press-up x 12

3. Lunges x 8 on each leg

4. Dips x 12

5. Plank (as long as possible)

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Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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