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I'm looking for bodyweight exercise for improving long distance running, because winter is coming to the Northern Hemisphere.

I can still running outside, but sometimes weather is really bad.

Do you have any recommandation for exercises, which helps me to improve my running?

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Are you a short distance or long distance runner? –  Grohlier Dec 11 '12 at 19:03
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2 Answers

There is nothing wrong with running outside. Simply wear layers and take precautions when running where ice buildup is likely. I spent quite a few years running cross country at 8000' elevations for college, and outside for the vast majority of it. This included during rain, snowstorms, predawn in the dark, etc.

If you would rather run indoors, a treadmill is an acceptable substitute, or pool running is an alternative as well.

There aren't really any weight routines that will maintain/improve distance running fitness. The only way to really maintain running or improve it is to run. There are some studies that show plyometric exercises can help increase running speed, but these are mostly for the shorter (400m and shorter) distances, and are mostly related to the explosiveness of the start.

If you want to run at night, Petzl and a few other companies make very nice headlamps. I would get a headlamp that runs at least 40 lumens, a flashing taillight and a lightweight reflective vest. That's the setup I currently use when running at night.

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The question is: In what way do you expect do improve doing strength training. As a long distance runner, your main training focus should be on increasing your muscular endurance and cardiovascular endurance (VO2max and so on), which is mainly achieved by maximizing the number of "repititions" (milage), and interval training. Low repitition strength training does not achieve this, as it stresses on other types of muscle fibres (the fast-twitching ones). So you should definitely prefer running over strength training.

However, if you are not able to run for whatever reason (injury, weather conditions), a little bit of bodyweight training can of course be benefitial (stabilizing joints for instance), but then you should go for higher repitition ranges in my opinion. Squats are one possibility as they are a good compound exercise for legs, bould you should do them unweighted in order get a low intensity, high volume workout.

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