3 Minute Kettlebell Workout

Does Strength Training Make You A Faster Runner?


There is a lot of research to suggest that strength training will help you to run faster. This is equally as true for distance runners as it is for sprinters.

In a study published in 2005, researchers assigned a group of participants into different training schedules to be performed twice a week for 12 weeks. The groups included running endurance training on its own, strength circuit training on its own, endurance and strength training together and a control group. The group that combined endurance and strength training improved an average of 8.6 percent in a 4K time trial, increased their V02 max by an average of 10.4 percent and ran to exhaustion 13.7 percent longer than the other groups. Interestingly the study found that performing the strength training immediately after running was more beneficial than performing it before a run.

The main point, however, to take from this study, and many other similar studies, is that your running will improve more if you combine strength training and running, than running alone.


What type of strength training should you do?

There are many different types of strength training options, all of which will help your running in different ways.

  • Olympic Lifting
  • Body Weight Exercises
  • Traditional Gym-Based Weight Training
  • Kettlebell Training


Kettlebell Training

Kettlebells provide an easy and safe way of introducing some strength work to your training routine. The more running-specific your choice of kettlebell exercises and routines, the more effective they will be at reducing injuries and improving performance.

To have the best effect, you need to focus on exercises and movements which target the "power generators" of the running stride – the hips, glutes and hamstrings. These are the most common weak areas for runners that contribute to running injuries.

This 3 Minute Kettlebell Workout targets your hips, glutes and hamstrings. Start with a light weight (2kg - 4kg) and you can increase this up to 8kg as your strength and stability improve.

Adding kettlebells to your training can dramatically improve your running economy and help you to develop a more powerful stride.


Watch these videos below for a thorough description and demonstration of each of the three exercises in the 3 Minute Workout.