The Benefits Of Circuit Training For Runners

Reap the benefits of this strength-based aerobic workout.

You might be surprised to learn that as part of her training for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, Shalane Flanagan included copious amounts of circuit training in her weekly routine in addition to her running workouts. In fact, on hard workout days, circuit training comprised almost a third of her total training time. The result? An Olympic bronze medal at 10,000 meters and an American record to boot.

While circuit training gets a bad rap in running circles, mostly due to misinformation and oversimplification by the personal training industry, when done correctly, these workouts can provide significant running-specific benefits for injury-prone, beginner, and even elite runners.

RELATED: Strength-Training Circuit For Distance Runners

In short, circuit training is a high-intensity workout that combines aerobic exercise with strength training. The exact combination of strength exercises and the type of aerobic work can span the depths of a coach’s or athlete’s imagination. However, with the right planning and knowledge, runners can mold a circuit-training routine specifically designed to improve their running, much like Shalane Flanagan did on her way to earning her bronze medal.

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