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I, like most runners, tend to focus more on training and forget that some strength exercises are required to reach your performance peak.

What are some good exercises that you can do at home without gym equipment?

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up vote 12 down vote accepted

To me core straining are very central. Your core muscles includes all the main muscle groups in you torso and increasing the strength of these will not only help with your running but also with all sorts of back problems if you have a desk job like me. See about.com for a pretty good introduction to core training. Very few core exercises requires any equipment.

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In my experience, strength training for distance running has two major benefits:

  1. maintain the proper form throughout the run, when not running in proper form, the running efficiency decreases dramatically;

  2. help running uphill and speed up in the last sprint to the finishing line;

For 1, the core training is essential, and you can find quite a few training tutorial at runnersworld.com, they have great videos demonstrating core training from beginning to advanced level, and those all can be done without gym facilities;

For 2, workouts that build your overall body strength are enough, like some variations of deadlift as they work on from thighs and calves to back and to shoulder and arms, and sometimes two dumb-bells will do.

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Getting better at running uphill is also a metter of experience. Finding the correct pace and stride... –  Tonny Madsen Feb 10 '12 at 13:46
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I've ran twenty marathons and ultras, so far without injuries. I think this is because I do a lot of strength training.

The simplest is walking upstairs and downstairs. My building has 30 floors, and walking up and down 3-4 times is a nice workout in bad weather. When I walk upstairs, I step on the balls of my feet only, which better develops my calves and ankles.

Also I do a lot of core training, including kayaking - it develops pretty much the same muscles as sit ups, and is more scenic.

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