5 Benefits of Circuit Training for Runners

Friday, 27 February 2015  |  Running + Triathlon


It’s been over 2 months since I started circuit training with my Personal Trainer at Fitness First. The workouts are exactly one hour, but they are lung-busting, sweat-inducing, and downright exhausting. (Just the way I like my workouts!) If you ask me, I think every runner should include circuit training into their routine.

What is circuit training?  It’s a form of resistance training where you quickly move from one exercise to the next using high-intensity aerobics. It builds strength and muscular endurance at the same time.


The best thing about it? It can considerably improve your performance in running. I personally noticed it most at Condura Half Marathon. I wasn’t planning on racing that morning.  It was to be a training run.  I didn’t train for the race at all, but I found that I could climb the hills with ease, I could keep my form without tiring even in the last few kilometers, and the run just felt enjoyable (what a huge surprise LOL).  Aside from the benefits in running, I thoroughly enjoy circuit training because the workouts vary every session (never gets boring!) plus it doesn’t take too much time (yes, I’d still rather be running, you see!)


Anyway, here are more reasons why circuit training can be beneficial to you:

1+ Builds lean muscle mass. Runners, especially long distance runners, spend hours burning through their muscle. Runners need to spend at least twice a week building muscle.

2+ Great for overall strength.  Strong runners don’t just have strong legs. They have overall body strength. Runners should make the time not just to develop strength in the calves, glutes, quads and hams, but also in the upper body and core.

3+ Improves stability and balance. Don’t underestimate the importance of balance and stability.  This can not just reduce the chances of injury, but also improve performance.

4+ Time-efficient workout.  Circuit training is a combination of strength and cardio workouts. So, for runners who have little time to exercise, circuit training at a gym can help develop running-specific strength while you’re burning calories in as little as an hour per session.

5+ Great way to lose weight. Often times, runners who have been running for a couple of years hit a plateau and can’t figure out why they can’t drop the weight even if they’re running 5x a week at long distances. Circuit training can jolt your body into dropping weight again. Some studies show that circuit training actually burns more fat per minute than any other type of exercise.