Optimizing S&C into your week with Trang Nguyen

Title: Optimizing Strength and Conditioning for Runners with Proximal Hamstring Tendinopathy

Introduction: Welcome to the Run Smarter podcast, where we delve into optimizing strength and conditioning for runners dealing with proximal hamstring tendinopathy (PHT). In this episode, we’ll explore effective evidence-based treatments and dispel common misconceptions about this condition. Whether you’re an athlete or not, our goal is to empower you to take the right steps to overcome PHT and improve your performance. I’m Brody Sharp, your host, an online physiotherapist, recreational athlete, and chronic PHT battler. Join us as we provide you with valuable knowledge and practical takeaways.

Strength and Conditioning: A Crucial Element for PHT Rehab

Strength and Conditioning in the Context of Proximal Hamstring Tendinopathy (PHT)

In this episode, we’re repurposing content originally intended for runners looking to improve their performance. However, the principles discussed apply equally well to individuals managing or recovering from PHT. Strength and conditioning play a pivotal role in achieving a balance between rebuilding strength and safely returning to your sport.

Timing Your Strength and Conditioning Sessions

Balancing Strength and Cardiovascular Activity

When combining strength and conditioning with cardiovascular activity, timing is crucial. To minimize interference between these two types of training, it’s recommended to wait at least eight hours after an endurance session before engaging in strength training. This separation ensures your body receives clear signals for optimal adaptations. Additionally, after strength training, allow at least 24 hours before performing high-intensity endurance sessions.

Strength and Conditioning: Must-Have Elements

The Four Key Muscle Groups: Quads, Glutes, Hamstrings, and Calves

Effective strength and conditioning programs for runners should target four key muscle groups: quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings, and calves. These muscles are essential for improving performance, minimizing injury risk, and managing PHT. Incorporate exercises that engage these muscle groups to build overall strength.

The Core: The Foundation of Running

While the core may not directly generate force in running, it plays a vital role in providing stability and controlling movement. A strong core ensures proper posture and efficient running mechanics. Incorporate core exercises to strengthen your torso and improve running performance.

Exercise Examples:

  • Leg exercises: Squats and lunges
  • Calves: Heel raises (both straight-leg and bent-knee variations)
  • Core: Plank variations (plank, side plank, and progressions)

Choosing the Right Repetition Range

When selecting a repetition range for your exercises, consider your goals and training phase. Generally, any range under 15 reps is suitable for runners, with significant benefits observed even at higher rep counts. However, lower rep ranges (e.g., 5-8 reps) can engage the central nervous system more, making them ideal for building strength while minimizing peripheral fatigue.

Periodization for Marathon Preparation

Adjusting Strength and Conditioning for Marathon Training

Marathon preparation involves periodization, modifying your training program throughout the year to peak at the right time. Here’s a basic guideline:

  1. Off-season: Start with 2-3 strength and conditioning sessions per week.
  2. Pre-marathon training: Gradually increase the frequency and intensity of strength training as you transition into your marathon program.
  3. Marathon training season: Maintain 2-3 sessions per week but adjust intensity based on your running load and fatigue levels.
  4. Final stages: As you approach your race, reduce strength training intensity to preserve energy for running.


Optimizing strength and conditioning is essential for runners, including those managing proximal hamstring tendinopathy. Focus on targeting key muscle groups and incorporating core exercises. Tailor your repetition range to your goals and training phase, and remember to adjust your strength and conditioning program to align with your marathon preparation. With the right approach, you can enhance your running performance and reduce the risk of PHT.