How Runners Can Strength Train Smarter
[Listen to the audio version of this blog here.]
My friend and trainer Ben Beeler joined me to talk about his strength training methods, common strength training mistakes, and what runners can do to stay healthy and get stronger. I recommend listening to our full conversation here. It's an hour long, but very worthwhile. I've attempted to highlight major points below.
He's offering a major discount to new customers right now. Mention this blog/podcast and you get 2 months of free training (limited to the first 5 people). Contact him directly on Instagram or through his website to get started.
Intro: Ben went to massage therapy school because he was interested in helping people through relieving pain. Through his practice, he discovered that not every pain can be solved through soft tissue work. He went on to pursue more education culminating in a strength training program for runners that's grounded in progressive and personalized training that challenges each plane of movement.
4:40 - We talk about the equipment we use to strength train and why. Ben explains the reason he prefers sandbags and kettlebells to traditional weights.
8:00 - We talk about by strength training certification (how it didn't help me as a runner), what I did before training with Ben, and the importance of challenging stability when strength training.
9:50 - Ben explains the three planes of movement and why resisting rotation (for example) is important for preventing injury, especially in a sport like running. We discuss whether or not runners are doomed to get injured.
13:20 - We discuss mileage and finding the mileage-per-week sweet spot, and how to incorporate strength training into your training plan.
17:30 - We talk about yoga: the benefits and the things yoga doesn't solve. Ben also explains the stretch reflex and how stretching makes us feel good even when it might not be physically beneficial.
23:40 - We talk about the benefits of paying a trainer for expertise instead of following free fitness programs or doing makeshift strength workouts. Ben explains his system and his extensive library of exercises that he structures in a progressive fashion for each of his clients.
28:30 - We talk about how Ben's blog and video content attempts to break myths and illustrating the importance of strength training. We discuss how changing up workouts and making them progressively challenging keeps strength training fun.
30:40 - Ben talks about knee health and how runners can keep their knees healthy.
33:20 - I ask Ben about the "Knees Over Toes" guy and how his tactics aren't proven and are possibly not safe.
37:40 - I ask Ben to explain hamstrings and how to best train them (hamstrings, hips, and core at the same time). He also explains why Nordic hamstring curls cause injuries and how to better train the ole hammies.
40:10 - We touch on how Ben's system of strength training makes us stronger without making us gain bulk, and how exercises that require a lot of stability make us inherently stronger.
42:40 - Ben talks about how we shouldn't feel extremely sore after working out very often. We touch on the importance of mobility and recovery.
44:48 - I ask Ben to explain the importance of strong feet, why we strength train without shoes on, and how to increase foot strength. He explains how foot stability or instability can affect ankle mobility and the entire kinetic chain.
50:40 - We discuss walking and how walking more can make us better runners.
52:50 - We talk about the benefits of having a coach, and how it can save a lot of time. I give my perspective on training with Ben and his program after doing it for over a year. We discuss how my recovery time has increased and the importance of durability.
56:10 - Ben talks about how his own running has improved due to his strength training program.