Marathon Weight Training

Marathon weight training provides lots of benefits, but is not a requirement for success. Again, you DO NOT have to lift weights during training to finish a marathon or half marathon.

Some of the benefits of marathon weight training include increased strength, toned appearance and increased confidence. If you choose to lift weights, do it on your non-running days. Otherwise, you may find your muscles to be tight and the run to be very uncomfortable. Light weights and high repetition are preferred for runners in training.

Should you choose to lift weights, the following exercises are recommended:

• Bench Press (2 x 12): You should perform two sets of twelve repetitions. Use weight that you can easily complete two sets of twelve repetitions without the assistance of a spotter. I am not saying to not use a spotter, rather that your spotter should not have to assist you in completing these two sets.

• Dumbbell Curls (2 x 12): Use weight you can do two sets of twelve repetitions.

• Lat Pulls (2 x 12): Use weight you can pull down and finish two sets of twelve repetitions.

• Back Extensions (2 x 12): Do not use weight for this one. For marathon training, simply performing the exercise in enough.

• Sit-Ups (2 x 15): Repetitions can really vary on this one depending on your choice and how easily you can do sit-ups. This can be a confidence booster if you can tone your abs. Just be smart and do what feels comfortable.

• Crunches (2 x 15): Use your judgment here and let your body tell you whether to do more or less.

• Leg Extensions (2 x 12): This is a great exercise and will help build your leg muscles and will help your knees feel stronger.

• Leg Curls (2 x 12): This is a great way to strengthen those hamstrings which are very important for marathon runners.

• Calf Raises (2 x 12): Strengthens the calves which you may find to be quite sore after those long runs.

If you have lifted weights in the past, then you probably already know how to do these exercises. If you are not familiar with them, make a list of these exercises and take them with you to the gym and ask a worker or trainer to show you how to properly use each of these machines. It will only take one time.

You may find yourself wanting to lift more weight or more repetitions. Resist this urge. You are marathon weight training, not training for a weight lifting competition. Do not lose sight of the goal. Do not add bulk you will have to carry for 13.1 miles or 26.2 miles. Marathon weight training should be relaxed and fun with light weight and high repetition.

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