Hit The Weights To Build Strength — On Hard Run Days

  • By Jeff Gaudette
  • Published Dec. 13, 2013
  • Updated Dec. 13, 2013 at 11:59 AM UTC
Adding some strength workouts to your weekly training will provide plenty of benefits. Photo:

Putting It All Together

The final piece of the puzzle is how to incorporate the “hard days hard, easy days easy” principle when you have multiple strength training sessions or only one workout per week. In this case, you should schedule your hardest, most running-specific strength routines after your hardest workouts, your medium effort routines (like basic core work or hip strengthening routines) on your regular running days, and any preventative routines on your off or recovery days.

Here is sample week that incorporates seven days per week of strength training that you can modify to fit your needs (you don’t have to strength train every day of the week, but this outline should help you see where each type of routine would fit):

Monday Easy Run + core routine (moderate)
Tuesday Speed Workout + Leg training (difficult)
Wednesday Off or Recovery run + preventive exercises (easy)
Thursday Easy Run + core routine (moderate)
Friday Tempo Workout + plyometrics (difficult)
Saturday Run + general strength – gym or bodyweight (moderate)
Sunday Long run + speed and form drills (easy to moderate)


If you’ve been struggling with how to incorporate strength routines into your training plan, try using the “hard days hard, easy days easy” approach. You’ll ensure that you recover before your next hard workout while still getting maximum benefit from your time spent strength training.

RELATED: Strength Training Circuit For Distance Runners

« Previous


Jeff Gaudette

Jeff Gaudette

Jeff has been running for 13 years, at all levels of the sport. He was a two time Division-I All-American in Cross Country while at Brown University and competed professionally for 4 years after college for the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project. Jeff's writing has been featured in Running Times magazine, Endurance Magazine, as well as numerous local magazine fitness columns.

Get our best running content delivered to your inbox

Subscribe to the FREE Competitor Running weekly newsletter