Get strong legs for a Marathon

Photo by Gary Butterfield on Unsplash

My Research (Well, Google Search…)

Time for my usual solution to most problems (research-based anyway) and a quick google for “improve leg strength for a marathon” led me straight to a number of good informative sites and articles which actually give pretty similar advice around improving your leg strength specifically for a marathon.

A Strength Plan

For the full article and exercise description see faster in five.

  1. Single-leg Squat
  2. Balance Run
  3. Heel Raises
  4. Hamstring Push-up
  5. Plank + Lift

Strength Training for Marathon Runners

With the start of marathon training or distance running events, many guys ditch the weights in favour of additional miles on the road. While the added mileage might be beneficial for increasing endurance, it might actually lead to extra injuries. The pounding from running puts an immense strain on the body. If the muscles aren’t prepared to handle the load, stress gets absorbed elsewhere including bones and connective tissue. Maintaining a strength training program is critical for improving running efficiency particularly for those going the full 26.2.

Rule 6: Make your long runs count

Most runners training for a marathon believe that long runs of 18–20 miles prepare them to handle the full 26.2-mile distance. But these runs only prepare you to run part of the marathon at a slower-than-marathon pace. To make your long runs more specific to the upcoming race, you should run the early miles at 45 seconds per mile slower than the marathon pace but then run the last three miles at the marathon pace. This will teach your leg muscles to function at your goal pace even when they’re already tired, which is exactly what you will need them to do on marathon day.



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Andrew Crabtree

Andrew Crabtree

Husband, Dad, Programme Manager in the Nuclear Industry | ex-pro rugby player, 4x Ironman finisher, ex-Bank Manager |