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?

  • 5
    Are you a short distance or long distance runner?
    – BryceH
    Dec 11, 2012 at 19:03

3 Answers 3


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.


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.


After a warmup with 3D plank to activate your core:

simple plank or bird dog plank (one arm one leg), side plank and reverse plank(glute bridge), aim for one minute each. see recommended routine for details and an advanced strength program.

Then do strength training:

only don't eat big so you don't get big.

do 1 or 2 sets to train almost every day, or kick 5 sets and train 3 time a week with 2 to 5 reps (strength range) for each set.

for legs: pistols(one leg squats) and/or weighted lunges (Elevated Reverse Lunge).

for the core: leg raises/L-sit->V-sit, back lever progressions

for arms horizontal: push-ups, body-rows (reverse rows)

for arms vertical: pike push-ups/handstand push-ups , negative pull-ups/pull-ups

Then do endurance/stamina training:

alternating between high knees(hip-flexors) and butt kicks(hamstrings) (High Knees Butt Kickers in Place for spring training www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVE_r1Af9r8) (Non Stop 1 hour High knees challenge v=l_p-wokHvzQ)

tons of reverse lunges (or walking lunges) with knee raises combo they are better than squats for running (sets of 100 to thousands) build to do them for the time of your distance (example: for 10k aim for 40min-1hour of lunges) (Runners lunge to knee drive www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KjeQxK3ii8).

jumping lunges, jumping jacks.

for more stamina you can also have days of Burpees, kettle-bell swings(for posterior chain)...

and finally you can have days to build core stamina through plank sets and then build for one [knee] plank of 40min or more.

  • 1
    "then build for one plank of 40min or more" - What? Why on earth would you do a plank for 40 minutes?
    – Alec
    Sep 4, 2017 at 17:03
  • 1
    I'm always mystified by advice to "activate your core". Your core by definition is active as soon as you even sit up. You don't have to do anything special. And doing hundreds of lunges with knee raises will get you good at doing lunges with knee raises. It will have minimal (if any) effect on your running.
    – JohnP
    Sep 5, 2017 at 1:29
  • this activation is for warming up, its not simple activation. it is like doing some incline push-ups before doing normal push-ups. you can see this core warmup in the recommended routine above.
    – anonymous
    Sep 5, 2017 at 9:38

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.