Strength is important. Most runners just like to run. Some runners can get away with it because they are biomechanically sound, but most runners will need some sort of strengthening program to keep them on the park. You don't need to lift heavy weights, just a few simple strengthening exercises that will help to reduce your injuries and make you run more efficiently. A couple of strength sessions per week of around 20 minutes duration is a nice and easy start to achieve your strength goals
The plank is the most simple of core exercises. Initially you may struggle to plank for more than 10 seconds, but try and gradually increase your length over time. You can also do side planks. It's important to be stable when planking. Don't drop your core, and don't poke your bum to the sky. Get on the internet and research the best planking techniques.
Push ups are a simple exercise to target the upper body. I like doing push ups because they're effective and you don't need any tools. As well as the upper body, push ups also target the core. When you do a push up, try not to let your mid section dip. Keep your body in a plank position.
Single-leg squats are very important leg strengthening exercises. This targets the gluteals and quadriceps. Initially you can do it while standing on the ground. Then you can move onto a step and drop the unused leg down to the ground at the front, or you can drop it to the side also. When this height becomes easy for you, go higher. When this gets too easy for you, hold a medicine ball to add weight. Both front and side single-leg squats need to be done slowly and with as little wobbling in the knees as possible. Try and focus on using your gluteals.
You can do calf raises on a step 2 ways. With a straight leg to target the upper part of the calf (gastrocnemius) and with a bent leg to target the lower part of the calf (soleus). To start with, try double-leg calf raises, but as you get stronger you'll be able to do single-leg calf raises. Do them slowly to get the full range of motion. When you're on the raise point of the movement, even though you've raised as high as you think you can, try and go an extra centimetre each time you get to the top.
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