Strength Training Routine for the Cardio Queen


As an online personal trainer, the amount of ex-distance runners that I train is incredibly high. Once a proclaimed endurance athlete, they come to me burned out, ready for a change, and ready to change their physique. I’d estimate that half of my clients were once either triathletes or marathoners.

On the other hand, I also run into this scenario quite often:

“Hi Paige! I’m a distance runner training for my next marathon. I love running, but I know I should be doing some strength training, too. Do you have availability?

This client doesn’t necessarily want to overhaul their physique or put strength training before their running, but they know that it’s good for injury prevention and bone health.

Now, while these two clients both have distance running in common, their training plans would look nothing alike. Granted, no two clients of mine have the same training plans, but there would be far less commonalities than differences in these two specific clients.

Why? Well, the latter client – the one who is currently distance running – typically thinks 3 things about strength training:

1) it’s boring

2) it’s overwhelming

3) it’s sort of a waste (because they don’t get the same feeling that they do from running while doing it)

And that’s completely understandable – seeing form where they’re coming from. However, my job is to prove those three variables as untruths.

Before even beginning to write their program, I’d generate as much excitement as I could about three benefits they’d get from strength training:

1) It’ll likely make their form of distance training more enjoyable, by adding in some variety.

2) It’ll likely prevent injury down the road by strengthening muscle weaknesses.

3) It’ll likely shave time off their mile by strengthening muscle weaknesses and improving muscle imbalances.

Yay strength training! Now it’s time to write their program.

Now, no two individuals are alike when it comes to program design, and every one of my clients goes through an extensive client consultation. While I don’t like to stereotype, if I’ve learned anything about endurance athletes over the years, it’s that they a) enjoy workouts that keep them moving, and b) they can be just a little competitive ;)

That’s why AMRAP circuits are perfect for the endurance athlete. They move quickly from exercise to exercise, keep the heart rate high the entire workout, allow you to compete against yourself, in one strength training workout.


Of course, AMRAPs (as many rounds as possible) aren’t the only strength training format a cardio queen (or king!) would enjoy, but it’s the one I’m going to share with you today :) The exercises in the workout are also beneficial for runners specifically for the reasons listed in this post on strength training for runners.

Strength Training Routine for the Cardio Queen – please check with your physician before beginning any new exercise routine.


 Skater Squats

Floor Push Up

Lateral Lunge

Side Plank w/ Knee Tuck

Plyo Lunges

What’s your favorite format to strength train?

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