As a triathlon coach, I am very big on strength training for my athletes. Even the busiest Ironman Triathlete that I work with will always have at least one full hour of strength training per week, and if time permits, maybe even two sessions of strength. It's pretty simple to me- when you have strong legs you are likely to have more power and speed in the cycling and running legs of your race. When you have strong shoulders, biceps, triceps, and lats, you are able to pull through the water faster and more efficiently. Strength training will develop your lean muscle mass quickly when accompanied by good nutrition. Lean muscle mass increases metabolism and can reduce your risk of injury greatly.
I once had a PT tell me that I would have way less injuries in my hamstrings if I would work on core strength. I soon came to realize that core strength is KEY to much of what we do in the three disciplines of swim bike run. As triathletes, core strength helps propel us through the water, keep us from sinking, and gives power to hip and arm rotation. Core strength holds us up on the bike for longer without having to lean on the drops for too long. And in running, core strength keeps our running form in check by supporting our head and neck, shoulders, hip rotation, and arm swing. As a coach I can tell when someone has poor core strength when their arms start to cross the midline of their body, their shoulders are elevated and internally rotating, and their knees are turning inward or outward.
Just a few words on my video below- runners sometimes forget that running isn't just a leg sport. We use our arms throughout the run so it's important to strengthen the upper body as much as the lower. That's why I included the hammercurls, barbell rows, tricep extensions, upright rows, and runner elbow lifts. When I googled "best strength training moves for runners" the deadlift comes up most often, perhaps because it works the hamstrings, glutes, tensor fasciae latae, and erector spinae muscles so well.
So here are a few of my favorite strength training moves for runners. Do 2-3 sets of 12 reps of each exercise and have fun with it!