For most endurance athletes a majority of our time is spent in the outdoors. Whether it’s running, swimming, skiing or climbing, being in the outdoors and connected to nature is what brings us joy, thrill, adrenaline, and so much more. Of course, when given the choice I think most athletes would always opp for outdoor training vs. spending time in the gym. Research even shows that connecting with nature in this way can improve mood, so no wonder we feel so much better after being on the trails vs. the dreaded treadmill.
That being said, it is easy to see how strength training for endurance athletes can become neglected. I’m no scientist…but in terms of injury prevention, building power, and boosting the speed of acceleration for outdoors sports, lifting weights is important. It has made a huge difference even in my own training. So it might mean a few mornings a week spent inside, but it will be worth it in the long run. So here’s to enduring early morning gym sessions for longer, more effective workouts in the outdoors.
These are 5 of my favorite injury preventative and glute activation and strengthening exercises:
Band monster walk
Single leg squats
Single leg deadlift with dumbbells
Glute bridge with weight (25-50 lbs)
Run through 10-15 reps of each exercise 3-4 times through. This can be done at the beginning or end of strength sessions to activate and fire the right muscle groups. Don’t forget to stretch and roll afterwards as well.