1. Strength training. It is important for runners to help prevent injuries, and to improve performance. Several studies have shown that while most forms of strength training can help improve overall performance, adding heavy resistance exercises can make you faster during the final sprint of a race. It is recommended to strength train about 3 times per week, especially if you’re putting in long runs.
Since gym workouts are higher intensity, do these after you run (immediately or later in the day) on moderate effort days. Try not to do the strength training on the same day as your long run, your form will suffer since you’re already tired.
2. Working the core. It’s good to work your core for a lot of reasons. For runners, you need a strong core to run efficiently. If your core is weak, it is really hard to have the right form while you run, and you can fatigue quickly. Having a strong core will also help brace your body from the force of when your feet hit the ground.
3. Stretching. Stretching is so good for your muscles. You only want to stretch when you are warm though. So after you’ve warmed up, or at the end of your workout. If you don’t stretch, your muscles are so much more tight, and stretching helps you keep your range of motion. Especially in your IT band. Keeping it stretched can really help prevent injuries.
4. Plyometrics. This is also known as jump training, these are exercises based around having muscles exert maximum force in as short a time as possible, with the goal of increasing both speed and power. Plyometrics produce greater power by training the muscles to contract more quickly and forcefully from an actively pre-stretched position. These will really help you improve your running speed and endurance.