Kettlebell Training for Faster Running

Understanding the little known benefits of kettlebell exercise for running athletes
John Shepherd

Kettlebells, those cannon balls with handles on, have been around for more than 100 years and are widely used in strength training for a variety of sports. Only relatively recently have the benefits to runners become apparent in terms of using them to condition your body to withstand the forces that running creates.

As this 69-page report and exercise activity manual points out, kettlebells can serve a key role in reducing the chances of you sustaining a running injury – as well as boosting your actual running performance (in terms of endurance and speed) whether you’re a marathon runner, fell runner or sprinter.

Kettlebell training can be a very dynamic activity if you perform exercises such as the “swing” and the “high pull” and this is a great plus point for benefiting run training. However, kettlebell training can also be controlled, and this will also benefit your running as you improve your core stability and balance.


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You’ve seen kettlebells being used at your local gym. But are runners using them? According to author John Shepherd, runners should be, mainly as a way of strengthening muscles and joints to improve core stability and prevent injuries.

In Kettlebell Training For Faster Running Shepherd makes the case for their use more widely by runners and has compiled his take on the best and most effective exercises and advice to enhance your running performance through the unlikely power of the kettlebell.

A library of exercises are backed up by scientific research and tried and tested by the author, with the specific objective of faster running for all types of runners.

It is interesting to note that Alberto Salazar – coach to Mo Farah and numerous other elite distance runners – uses kettlebells to train his runners among other conditioning tools.


Section 1: Kettlebell History
Section 2: Training Needs of a Runner
Section 3: Exercise Principles and Training Systems
Section 4: Exercise Library
Section 5: Kettlebell Workouts and Strategies for Faster Running
Section 6: The Finish Line


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JOHN SHEPHERD is a former Great Britain international long jumper. John has also worked as an England team coach, and has since coached a number of athletes to national and international titles. He now works mainly with young promising athletes. In addition to his coaching duties, John has written eight books on sport, fitness and health and has edited two national fitness magazines.