Why You Need to Strength Train While Running

Strength training is essential for your 10k race. Here’s why and what to do. 

Successful runners for every type of race – from 10k to marathon length – know that strength training is essential during the training phase. I’m a Personal Trainer in Vancouver who specializes in strength training. Read on as I’ll be sharing my insights, tips, and 5 simple exercises you can start implementing right now. 

It’s Race season! 

Whether you’ve already signed up for your 20th 10k race, decided to start out with 5k, go for a full marathon, or are still considering your race options  – it’s essential to have a training plan and incorporate strength training exercises.

There are many different race types each year here in British Columbia. As a Personal Trainer in Vancouver, I get to support many runners with specific strength and muscle-building exercises during their training phase.

Why Is Strength Training Important For 10k Runners?

I see 4 main reasons why strength training is essential for runners, whether you’re a novice for a short 10k race or an experienced runner. Building up the right type of muscles means you’ll be overall: 

  • Stronger, 
  • Faster,
  • More efficient,
  • And prove yourself better against injuries.

And who wouldn’t want any of these things? 

Even if you’re not aiming for a specific time for your run, you’d likely want to avoid getting injured at any time during your training, especially the closer you get to the race date.  

Track Your Running Performance Before, During, And After You’ve Incorporated Strength Training

Taking stock of how you progress with your times and distances is always a good idea. I also recommend taking some notes about your aches and pains along the way, how long you need to recover in between, your mindset, and how you feel in general throughout and after a race. 

Every week, sit down a few minutes and compare to previous weeks to note your progress and see what you learn. Reflect: Do you feel stronger? How long does it take you now to recover?

What’s your running progress? Then adapt as needed. 

Further reading: How to set SMARTER+ Goals that actually work without sabotaging your success

5 Essential Strength Exercises For Your 10k Race

The good news is that you don’t need to spend a lot of time reaping the benefits of strength training for your run.

A simple 20-minute training routine that you incorporate 1-3 times a week can help you to decrease your risk of injuries, and make you a stronger, faster, more efficient runner.

This article by VeryWellFit also concludes that “Research into the benefits of strength training for runners has determined that a regular program is necessary to see results. Daily exercise is not required, but training more than once per week is recommended. Of course, this requires that you balance your training schedule … If you don’t run every day, weight training on your off days is an intelligent approach. While it is vital to allow your muscles to rest, endurance strength training does not tax your muscles the same way…

In my experience as a Personal Trainer who specializes in strength training, here’s what I recommend you do if you are just starting out and with limited equipment: 

  1. Bird Dog 

      2. Side Plank Leg Raises 

3. Marching Bridges

4. Single Leg Deadlifts

5. Forward Lunges Arms Overhead


Don’t forget to warm up beforehand and include a few cool-down exercises at the end as well. 



A few dedicated strength training exercises each week will make a big difference to your running training and 10k race success. 

If you’d like further support, then let’s chat! 

I’m a Personal Trainer in Vancouver, B.C. as well as a Certified Mental Fitness Coach. So, we’ve got a few options to collaborate: