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I recently finished the 8-week program in the book Quick Strength for Runners Book by Jeff Horowitz. I took 10 weeks to complete the program, because of a couple of weeks of illness in the middle. But for the most part, it was easy to fit into my life.
I only had 2 strength workouts a week with this program, so I could still easily fit in 4 days of running.*
The first couple of chapters are basically extolling the virtues of a strength training program for runners, in case you didn’t really think it was a good idea to add it into the mix. The next chapter makes up a substantial part of the book as it explains every exercise, as well as a more advanced variant of most of the exercises.
The next chapter is the other substantial part of the book, the actual workouts. They’re easy to follow as it tells the reader which exercise to do, how many reps and the page to find the explanation for learning/refreshing.
The first couple of weeks felt pretty easy, where I almost questioned the legitimacy of this program. But after those, it got progressively harder as it added more reps and more exercises each day.
The book doesn’t require a huge array of equipment, maybe some dumbbells or kettlebells or medicine ball, stability ball, and your own body weight. This makes it an easy program to be able to do in a minimally equipped home gym. A follow-up chapter even explains how to take the program on the road if you are traveling.
I definitely felt stronger at the conclusion and I feel like I have more definition in my arms. My husband complimented me on my triceps the other day. I suppose if I was super thorough I would have taken before/after measurements or photos. But I didn’t actually do this to have some kind of visible, physical transformation. I was just hoping that it would help make me a stronger runner. And that I can’t really validate or disprove. I started the program just as temperatures started to increase here in Las Vegas, and I always feel like my running slows down and gets more difficult in the hot summer months. But I guess I haven’t slowed down as much as usual… but I’ve also been running indoors on a treadmill more often too!
I enjoyed the program and I would happily go through the 8-week program again. I think it would be fun to do this a few times a year. It’s short enough that you don’t feel like you’re getting bored but long enough to feel like you are making some kind of improvements.
Now I had intended to have some kind of new program to begin… but I haven’t figured out what’s next! I’m always open to suggestions for structured ways to add strength to my run training!
*Well actually, I’ve been doing a run streak, so I’m counting 4 days of running more than a mile. I still ran a mile each day every other day of the week. I’m at 168 days now. I have no idea why I’m doing this and I’m not sure when or how to stop.