The principles are as follows:
- Develop absolute strength
- Use major compound exercises
- Limit isolation exercises
- Develop strong core coordination
- Develop connective structures
- Minimise fatigue carry over into running
- Include job specific strength
This results in a program that is varied, adds a progressive workload and is complementary to running based on long term planning. There are many ways to incorporate strength training into a running program. The factors are dependent on many things such as injury history, body structure, physiology, goals, strength background, technique, access to equipment, plus what you enjoy. The Base period is the ideal time to concentrate on making significant strength gains. It becomes harder to do so as the running intensity increases in the later phases of training.
The program can seen here: BASE 2 STRENGTH
Essentially I perform three sessions per cycle (week). Each session includes one or two major lifts (ie, olympic, power or overhead lift) plus some relatively lighter work. The percentages listed are those of my 1-rep maximum. I achieve overload and development of absolute strength through methods, one is going for a maximum effort on at least one lift each week, the second is work at around 85% for reps. The lower intensity efforts are to work on good technique and provide the extra stimulus to develop the connective tissues. I also include some bodyweight/control work such as one-arm push ups, handstand push ups or planches. These are for fun, variety and provide a very hard strength challenge when done progressively (instead of simply adding more and more basic push ups).
The lower intensity efforts will usually cease 1 or 2 reps just prior to failure. The are no extended sets such as drop-sets, partial reps, supersets or the like, as these work more on developing hypertrophy. I am about developing strength, not size. Reps of 1 around maximum plus 3-5 at around 85% have been established to develop strength with minimal hypertrophy. This training also leaves me feeling able to train unhampered the next day.
I won't become the strongest athlete on this program. You won't see me at a weightlifting or powerlifting meet. What it will do is see me stronger across a range of movements, enhance my workload tolerance, create a foundation for higher intensity running to be developed off, plus protect me from injury.