The Importance of Strength Training and How to Easily Incorporate It Into Your Training Schedule

jason fitzgerald interview

Why is it important that you include strength training, warm-ups, and other ancillary work into your training schedule as a runner?

In this interview, we’re going to pick the brain of expert running coach and man behind the scenes at, Jason Fitzgerald. Jason has helped countless runners successfully incorporate strength training into their training schedule to become healthier, faster, and more consistent runners, and he’s on our show today to teach you everything he knows.

Jason is going to tell you why strength training and ancillary work is so important and how you can successfully integrate it into your training in just a few minutes a day, without a gym, whether you’re a beginner or advanced runner.

Here are the actionable highlights from the interview:

1. Pay attention to the little things

Jason was a successful runner in college, but after developing a severe case of IT band syndrome after his marathon debut, Jason realized he needed to focus on strengthening, dynamic flexibility, and taking care of the little things in order to run injury-free, be more consistent, and continue to PR.

Take Action:
Running occurs in a one dimensional plane (front to back), and developing athleticism and flexibility in all range of movements, especially the hips, is essential to staying injury-free and developing as an overall athlete.

2. How to add strength training on a tight schedule

We would all love to have unlimited time to run and train, but that isn’t the reality for most runners. With only a few minutes here and there, many runners just assume they don’t have time to do 30-40 minutes of strength training or get to the gym, which Jason thinks is a mistake and a misconception.

Take Action:
Jason argues that you only need ten minutes before and after each run to get in a quality strength training and flexibility routine that can significantly improve your athleticism and keep you injury-free. During the interview, Jason outlines his exact weekly routine and how he structures his strength routine for maximum results on short time.

3. The value of strength routines like cross fit and P90X

Many runners wonder if incorporating fitness routines, such as cross fit and P90X will help them avoid injury or run faster. It can be hard to dig through the marketing hype and accurately apply the training principles to running if you’re not an exercise physiologist or a trainer.

Take Action:
Think about your specific goal. Jason explains in-depth the value of these types of routines, how they work, and why they might not be the best idea for runners. He discusses the intensity of these programs interfering with recovery or the ability to complete running specific workouts and how training for a goal race should have a progressive plan. Also, Jason discusses how he did work with one runner who wanted to train for a marathon and do cross fit workouts at the same time and outlines how he combined the two.

4. Strength work and adaptations for minimalist running

For runners thinking about or in the process of moving to a minimalist training shoe, strengthening the small muscles in the lower legs and feet is critical to staying injury-free and adapting quickly.

Take Action:
Jason outlines how he approaches minimalist running and how he incorporates it into his training to strengthen his feet and lower legs without sacrificing. Jason’s philosophy is to start with strides and running workouts barefoot or in racing flats.

This is an awesome interview, especially if you’ve been wanting to incorporate strength training into your running schedule, but you weren’t sure how, when, or why.

Watch this week’s show now