Quick Strength For Runners

At the library this weekend, I borrowed Quick Strength For Runners, which promises a better runner’s body in 8 weeks. It’s a nice big square book with lots of colour photos, and less than 200 pages, and it doesn’t muck about.

If you’ve bought a book about this, you should already be slightly committed to strength training, but just in case you weren’t, there’s two photos in the introduction; a cautionary picture of Paula Radcliffe looking anguished in Athens in 2004, and another of her much stronger two years later. There’s also a fair amount of analysis of why she was doing badly, all wonky hips and neck and back and all, although nothing about the horrendous running shorts world class distance athletes have to wear.

The rest of the book is nice and businesslike; there are sections on exercises to do on the floor and standing exercises / exercises to do with weights. What I like about this book is it’s mostly reliant on body weight, but not as though you’re a wannabe prison hardman. There’s a programme that promises you impact in an hour a week for 8 weeks, and most importantly, there’s a simple set of exercises to do in your hotel room if you’re travelling, utilising water bottles as free weights as necessary.

I’m travelling all of next week and have to report I did less than half the hotel room workout, defeated and exhausted and shaking afterwards. So I suppose that proves I need more strength. I’ll keep at this from now until the middle of August, and we shall see how things turn out. Will I get a faster 5k time? Let’s wait and see…

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