TAMPA, Fla. — Whether you're training for the Skyway 10k, or just looking to get into running, it's important to not forget about strength training. 

Ian Phillips, the personal training manager at Crunch Fitness - Channelside, says some runners fear that strength training will bulk them up, and slow them down. However, if you workout properly, strength training can be a huge asset.

"By strengthening the muscles, and connective tissue, you’re actually strengthening the joints, improving the ability that your body is going to have to prevent injuries and keep your body nice and safe," Phillips said.

Here are some simple exercises Phillips recommends:

Lower body:
Body weight squats.
Conventional and Romanian Dead-lifts
Lunges.

"Being able to increase the amount of strength in your legs, the power output, you’re obviously going to have significant benefits in increasing your stride," Phillips said. "Your speed is going to increase, your coordination is going to increase. The efficiency that you’re going to run at, is going to be greatly increased as well."

Upper Body:
Push Ups

"It’s not just about the leg stride, to your arm stride also has a great effect on your body ability to maintain good efficiency when you’re running," he added.

Core:
Planks

"It’s going to improve your body’s ability to maintain good stability in your hips which is going to help with the coordination also."

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