Like most runners, I am way better at finding time to run that I am at finding time for strength training. I’ve made attempts in the past to strength train regularly, but I always find myself forgetting to do these workouts. And any workout that gets forgotten before it gets done isn’t very useful, is it?
I came across the book Quick Strength for Runners by longtime running coach and Runner’s World writer Jeff Horowitz. I took a look at it on Amazon, and I thought it was well laid-out, simple to follow, and (most importantly) succinct.
Here’s the deal: most runners want to run. They don’t want to strength train. If you write a runner an exercise program where they need to spend 2-3 hours a week in the gym, they aren’t going to do it. But Quick Strength gives runners 16 workouts, each about 30 minutes, that can be done at home with minimal equipment. A set of dumbbells and a stability ball are all you really need.
The book does a good job assuming that runners need to start at the beginning:
Once a basic overview of muscle groups and their locations and roles in the running body was given, there is a big section devoted to the individual exercises that make up the workouts.
The exercises focus on hips, core, and legs, which make sense for a runner’s workout. Each exercise is clearly explained with helpful photographs. The form cues were clear and easy-to-understand.
I really liked that advanced forms of most exercises were included, which allows the book to be useful well beyond its 8-week program lifespan.
Finally, the exercise program is laid out. It is two workouts per week for eight weeks. The workouts are easy-to-follow. In fact, there are times where the workouts repeat exercises in short circuits. Rather than saying “do exercises 8-11 again”, they are written out in full. It makes the book incredibly user-friendly for even the most novice exerciser.
In all of my years of trying to be good about including strength training, this is the first program I have followed start-to-finish in the prescribed time-frame. I admit that some of the exercises were on the easy side for me, but I never finished a workout feeling like it was a waste of time. Certainly, I could have chosen the harder versions of exercises or used heavier weights to give myself more of a challenge.
I was so impressed with the book, especially in its usability thanks to clear photos and clear workout layout, that I bought my dad a copy for his Father’s Day present. I recommend Jeff Horowitz’s Quick Strength for Runners to any runner who wants to add some quality strength training to their workouts without feeling like you’re taking precious time away from your running.
Good health and great happiness to you!
I was not asked to write this review, nor was I compensated to do so.