Strength training is a staple in any sport. The running is no exception and more so if we talk about trail running, which is more demanding for our joints and requires a base force majeure due to erratic and uneven terrain.
In this article, we explain the strength training that you can do if you are a mountain runner or trail runner.
Training routine for mountain runners
Depending on the athlete and time of the season we must select more or less specific exercises. Although a runner must train the whole body, we recommend a series of lower train exercises that work well enough to start building a good general strength base.
- Goblet squat: 4 sets of 8-10 reps
- Squat: 4 sets of 10 repetitions
- Romanian deadlift with bar: 4 sets of 8-10 reps
- Romanian deadlift with split stance or asymmetric: 4 sets of 12-15 reps
- Femoral curl with sliders : 3 sets of 15-20 repetitions
- Side kettlebell swing: 4 sets of 15-20 reps
We begin the movement by driving our hips back to immediately flex our knees while gaining depth. Starting the movement with the hips will allow us to swing the weight of our body towards the heels and not towards the knees.
The ideal would be to work this exercise to do it with a greater depth adjusted to our anatomical characteristics. Once in the deepest part of the movement, we push with our buttocks back and up without tilting the torso forward while we begin to extend the knees and recover the verticality.
The squat pistol is a complicated exercise but it is a good way to add eccentric work to our training, something key in runners and mountain runners. When we descend a slope between rocks, with many slopes and steps, many times we have to put all the weight of the body on one leg while keeping the other in the air. This exercise will help us in those situations.
If you are not able to complete it at the beginning, you can try the progression explained in the video. There is no problem if you focus on practicing one of the intermediate steps of the progression since at the time of running you do not perform a full knee flexion, although it is advisable to do it during training to prevent injuries.
In the Romanian deadlift, we begin the movement by throwing our hips back and maintaining a very slight knee flexion. This hip movement will take our torso forward so that the bar will begin to descend. We must keep the bar in contact with our body at all times to decrease the lever on our lumbar spine and avoid injuries.
Romanian asymmetric deadlift
This exercise goes a step further in the Romanian deadlift, teaching us to dissociate the lumbar spine and pelvis during a hip hinge with asymmetric support, something that is closer to the requirements we can find during the practice of trail running, especially in those races where great unevenness accumulates.
We lay in supine lying looking at the ceiling and placed under our feet a pair of sliders or any other sliding surface, even our socks. In this position, we make a glute bridge extending our hips. We must keep the hip extended and separated from the ground during all repetitions while flexing our knees and executing the curl.
If you get too tired during the series, you can include a small break of 15 “or 20” and divide it into two.
Kettlebell swing rotary
Finally, a core exercise that combines two anti-movement patterns: anti-rotation and anti-lateral flexion.
During the race, the irregularities of the terrain and the changes of support between one leg and another cause our spine to tend to flex laterally and rotate. This variant of the kettlebell swing is ideal to strengthen our core and avoid it.