I find that putting down some sort of mulch will help with keeping weeds down and water in.
You can certainly buy mulch, but if you happen to have leaves or grasses you recently trimmed (really, anything that is not going to try to grow on you! So no roots, and no succulents), you can put them down around your strawberries. This tends to be easier, in my experience, with recently cut leaves and grasses, simply because they are still pliable. If, however, you have dried out stuff, you can just be sure to layer it more carefully. The only real problem with using this kind of mulch is that it will biodegrade more quickly.
When you have runners, you can always move aside your mulch to allow the runners to root.