The Best Workout for Running

If you’re looking for an effective exercise to improve your running performance, you’re in the right place. This article will provide insight into the best workout for running and help you achieve your desired results. So get ready to push your limits and take your running to the next level!

Quick facts: Best Workout For Running

  • ✅ Adding Cross-Training to Your Running Program Can Improve Performance – Runner’s World
  • ✅ Speedwork Is Key for Running Faster – Runner’s World
  • ✅ Strength Training for Runners Is Essential – American College of Sports Medicine
  • ✅ Consistency Is Crucial for Making Progress – Harvard Health
  • ✅ Long Slow Distance Training Is the Most Effective Way to Improve Distance Running Performance – British Journal of Sports Medicine

Warm Up

A proper warm-up before running is essential for improving performance and preventing injury. A warm-up should involve dynamic stretching and activities that are specific to the workout routine you are about to undertake. This is an important step in any running workout, as it prepares the body for the physical demands that will be placed on it.

Let’s go over the best warm-up exercises for running:

Dynamic stretching

Dynamic stretching is a great way to increase your range of motion and flexibility before running. Dynamic stretching involves gentle, controlled movements rather than static stretching which involves holding a certain position for a given time period. Dynamic stretching activities can include walking lunges, arm circles, and high knees.

By performing dynamic stretches before running, the runner can improve their range of motion and reduce their chance of sustaining an injury during the workout. This will also help them increase their speed as well as performance during their run. Performing dynamic stretches before running can be beneficial in preventing strain on muscles and improve muscle memory when running at higher speeds or inclines. Ultimately this will help runners to perform better in the long run.


Jogging is a form of low impact aerobic exercise that is perfect for runners who want to warm up their muscles and prepare their body for more strenuous exercise. Jogging typically involves moderate intensity running at a pace that is comfortable for the runner.

Because it’s a lower intensity than sprinting or interval training, jogging can be done as a part of your regular warm-up routine by gradually increasing your speed as you become more comfortable with the movement.

Regular jogging also has many benefits on its own, such as improved endurance, increased calorie burning, better posture and coordination, and improved mental clarity. The key to jogging successfully is to maintain good form by keeping your head up and back straight, engaging your core muscles and driving with your legs from the hip, rather than leading with your knees or feet. Additionally, focus on taking slow and steady breaths throughout the duration of your jog for maximum benefit.

Strength Training

Strength training is an essential part of a runner’s workout routine, as it helps to build muscle strength, improve posture and balance, and help prevent injuries. Strength training can also help you run faster and more efficiently.

Let’s take a closer look at how strength training can help improve your running performance:


Squats are often cited as one of the most important exercises for overall muscle strength. This is because when performed correctly, squats help you target multiple muscle groups in your legs, including your glutes, quads, and hamstrings. By strengthening your leg muscles through squats, you’re better able to generate more power when running. Squats can be done with or without weights for runners looking to increase their efficiency and performance.

When performing squats it’s important to pay attention to proper form: using a full range of motion and engaging your core throughout the exercise will make sure that you’re getting the most out of the movement while avoiding potential injury. Doing sets of 8 to 10 reps may be beneficial for runners looking to improve their speed and endurance. Ultimately, incorporating squats into your workout routine can help support strong running performance over time.


Lunges are a great strength training exercise for runners. Strengthening your leg muscles is extremely important when it comes to running since your legs must support the entire body’s weight and movement. Lunges target the quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes–all of which are major muscles in running. Lunges also focus on hip flexors, which help to stabilize the hip as well as provide necessary power when running.

To do a lunge, you stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and step forward with one foot so that your legs form a 90-degree angle at the knee. Push back up off of the front foot, keeping most of your weight on the back foot until you’re standing in a straight line again. You can do static lunges (where you stay in one position) or dynamic lunges (where you move from side to side). Lunges are an excellent way to strengthen your legs while also working on balance and stability–two key components of successful running!


Push ups are a classic exercise for runners, and for good reason. They not only provide a great full-body workout, but also target muscles specific to running: the chest, triceps, deltoids and core. When done correctly on a regular basis, pushups will help improve your running form by strengthening the muscles used to keep your upper body upright and stable while running. Pushups also build stronger arms to help you drive them forward with greater power.

To perform pushups effectively, start in the plank position with your hands shoulder width apart and shoulder blades pulled back and down. Lower yourself until your chest is an inch or two off the ground, then press back up to full extension. If you’re having trouble keeping good form during pushups, try:

  • Starting on your knees
  • Doing them against a wall instead of on the floor

Start with 3 sets of 8-12 repetitions for beginner runners and aim to build up from there as you get stronger over time.

Core Exercises

Core exercises are an important part of any running program. They help to improve your balance and coordination, reduce the risk of injury, and help you to perform better while running. Core exercises can be done using body weight, resistance bands, or weights.

Let’s take a look at some of the best core exercises for running:


The plank exercise is a great strengthening exercise for the core and it forms a fundamental part of any runner’s training routine. During a plank, your body is held in the same form as if you were about to do a push-up. You use your arms to hold your torso off of the ground, keeping your back flat and parallel with the floor, engaging your abdominal and glute muscles to maintain this position.

Not only does this exercise target the main muscles involved in running – such as your abdominals, glutes, quads, and hamstrings – but it also works on strengthening the stability of those muscles groups. This stability will help you to be more efficient while running, allowing you to maintain better form and posture while doing so. As such, planks are recommended for runners of all levels or ability as they offer an effective way to strengthen key leg and core muscles while promoting good running form.


Crunches are a core exercise often used in running because they work the rectus abdominus and other muscles of the core (transverse abdominus, museles of the lower back and obliques). The rectus abdominus is the prime mover for stabilizing your pelvis and vertebral column. If your pelvis is not stable, it can lead to injuries.

Crunches should be done correctly to get the most benefit from them. Your head should remain neutral with your chin tucked in towards your neck. Your chest should also stay elevated, with no arching of your back. When you are lifting up make sure to contract your abs, which will provide additional support for your spine during movement. To make crunches more challenging you can:

  • Lift both feet off the ground
  • Hold a medicine ball above your chest while doing them

Doing crunches regularly will help improve your performance as a runner by strengthening the muscles that control stability while running.

Russian Twists

Russian Twists are a core exercise that involves the hip flexors and core muscles. This exercise helps tone and strengthen your abdominal muscles, as well as increase your overall strength and stability. The Russian Twist is a great addition to any running workout, as it will help improve your core stability, speed up recovery time after runs, and lead to greater performance during runs.

To do this exercise, sit on the floor with your legs bent in front of you. Make sure your back is straight and upright throughout the entire movement. Next, twist at the waist while slowly and steadily raising both legs off of the ground until they are parallel to the floor. Keep the legs together for increased resistance—this strengthens more muscle fibers at once! Finally, lower them back to their original starting position before repeating on the other side.

Plyometric Exercises

Plyometric exercises have been proven to be some of the best exercises for running. These exercises target the muscles used in sprinting and running, making them more powerful and efficient. Additionally, plyometrics exercises can be used to help improve endurance and reduce the risk of injury when running.

Let’s look at some of the reasons why plyometric exercises are beneficial to runners:

Box Jumps

Box Jumps are a type of plyometric exercise that involve jumping onto and off of a box or platform. This exercise strengthens the major muscles of the lower body, including the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes and calves. It also increases flexibility, mobility and coordination.

The box jump is an explosive movement that involves quickly extending the hips, knees and ankles while maintaining an upright torso. When jumping onto the box, be sure to land lightly on your toes with bent knees in order to absorb impact and minimize risk of injury. When performing this exercise it is important to keep your core engaged in order to maintain balance and stability throughout the entire movement.

Performing box jumps with correct form will help you develop running speed and power – essential for any long distance runner!

Jump Squats

Jump Squats are a type of plyometric exercise that involve explosive movements. It is a great way to increase speed, power, and overall strength. This exercise is simple but effective.

To perform a jump squat, begin in a standing position with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart and your core tight. Bend your knees and lower your body into a squat position, then jump as high as you can from the spot you’ve created. As you land back down in the squat position, repeat the motion without pause for the desired amount of reps or time.

Jump squats are beneficial for running because they help condition the body for quick bursts of movement with fast accelerations, just like when running. They help to increase muscle strength in the hips and legs which is important for maintaining steady endurance while running long distances. Jump squats also help improve balance and agility which helps runners be ready to sidestep any potential obstacles that may come their way while out on the track!


Burpees are a great form of plyometric exercise that can be used to improve your overall strength, agility, and cardiovascular endurance. Burpees involve doing a squat, kicking your feet back into a plank position and immediately jumping back up again into the starting position. Burpees can be modified for different levels of intensity, depending on how much resistance is used. For instance, you can add weight to the burpee by holding a dumbbell or medicine ball as you perform the exercise. This increases the difficulty of the move and adds even more endurance benefits.

Burpees are an effective way to improve your running performance as they develop lower body strength and help build explosive power. Therefore, if you’re looking for an exercise that can make you faster without compromising on agility then burpees should definitely feature in your weekly workout routine!

Cool Down

Cooling down after running is essential in order to reduce lactic acid build up and avoid muscle stiffness. It also helps to reduce the chance of an injury, as well as allowing the heart rate to gradually come back down. It is important to cool down after any exercise, but it is especially important when running.

Let’s look at some of the best ways to cool down after a run:

Static stretching

Static stretching is a type of stretching that involves holding a stretch in one position for at least 10-30 seconds. This type of stretching helps to improve flexibility and range of motion in the muscles and joints. It can also help to reduce muscle tension, making you more relaxed and less prone to injury from running.

Static stretching is best done after your run, when the muscle fibers are warm, as it helps with cooling down and improving recovery time.

Examples of static stretches for runners include:

  • Hamstring stretches
  • Hip flexor stretches
  • Calf stretches
  • Achilles tendon stretches
  • Quadriceps stretches
  • Gluteal stretches
  • Groin stretches
  • Chest/shoulder/neck stretches

Stretches should be held for 10-30 seconds each and repeated 3-5 times per body part.

Foam Rolling

Foam Rolling is one of the best exercises to cool down after a long run. It encourages faster recovery time and helps reduce muscle soreness and tightness.

To foam roll, use a specialized foam roller which is available in a variety of sizes and densities, depending on the intended purpose. During foam rolling, your body weight applies pressure to the roller while you move back and forth over it. The pressure causes tiny tears in tissues that can help reduce inflammation, relax muscle fibers and provide temporary relief from physical pain or tightness.

Foam rolling also helps:

  • Improve drainage from areas that have become congested by waste products due to exercise or other activity.
  • Improve mobility by increasing blood flow throughout the body.
  • Provide general relaxation for a quick recovery post-workout.

FAQs about: Best Workout For Running

Q: What is the best way to start running?

A: The best way to start running is to take it slow and focus on building your endurance. Start with a comfortable distance, such as a quarter of a mile, and gradually work up to longer distances. Make sure you have the proper running shoes and clothing, and warm up before you start running.

Q: What is the best way to improve my running speed?

A: To improve your running speed, incorporate interval training into your routine. This type of training involves alternating between periods of intense and moderate intensity running. You can also try running hills, as this will help build strength in your legs. Additionally, make sure to practice good running form, as having proper form will help you run faster and more efficiently.

Q: What are the best stretches for runners?

A: Stretching is a great way to help prevent injury and improve your running. To get the most out of your stretching routine, focus on dynamic stretches, such as leg swings and high knees. Additionally, make sure to stretch your hamstrings, calves, quads, hips, and glutes. Finally, remember to stretch after your run to help your muscles recover.

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