I’ve been talking about strength training frequently, and part of the reason is because I’ve been loving the balance of short strength workouts to balance my long runs. It seems like there has to be some give-and-take in running and strength training; the longer the runs, the shorter the strength training workouts. Sometimes, less is definitely more!
One of the easiest and most efficient ways to add strength training into your running routine is by sneaking in some exercises after your run. You’re already warmed up, wearing workout gear, and sweaty, so why not take advantage of that and tack on 15 minutes of strength training?
These post run power workout combines explosive plyometric moves with stability exercises to maximize your strength training while minimizing the time spent working out. The stability exercises provide a brief active recovery from the plyometric moves and the combination of the two types of exercises makes this workout interesting and fun.
Plyometric movements recruit fast twitch muscles, which help you run faster, and thus maximizes muscle recruitment. The better your muscle recruitment, the faster you can turn your legs over and the harder you can push off the ground while running. Essentially, plyometric moves help you run faster and provide an effective supplemental workout for runners.
Stability exercises work those tiny supporting muscles that, when strengthened, will prevent overuse injuries and make you a stronger and more efficient runner. Stability exercises will work everything from your back through your core to your glutes and thus improve your running form.
Simply add this routine after your easy runs 1-3 times a week. Even a little bit goes a long way when it comes to building strength, power, and stability!
Post Run Power Workout
Squat Jumps: Stand with your knees slightly wider than hip width apart. Lower down and back into a squat and then explosively jump straight up into the air, extending your legs. Land gently, lower back into the squat, and repeat.
Plank: From pushup position, bend your elbows to 90 degrees, rest your weight on your forearms, and engage your abs. Your body should form a straight line from your feet to your head and your shoulders should be down and away from your ears. Hold for one minute.
Mountain Climbers: Begin in a pushup position, with your arms directly beneath your shoulders, your back straight, and your abs engaged. Quickly bend your right knee up towards your right shoulder, pause, and then switch to bend your left knee up towards your left shoulder. This is one rep; continue to repeat the reps in quick succession.
Bridge Hold: Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Engage your glutes and raise your hips up, forming a straight diagonal line from your hips to your shoulders. Hold for one minute and then slowly lower down to the ground.
High Knees: Stand up straight with your arms bent at 90 degrees by your side. Quickly lift your right knee up to hip level and then immediately switch to bring your left knee up for one rep; repeat all reps in quick succession. Focus on driving up your knees quickly and landing lightly.
Left Side Plank: Lie on your left side with your shoulders, hips, and feet stacked. Prop yourself up on your left forearm, with your elbow bent, and push up into a plank. Your body should form a straight diagonal line from your head to your feet and your abs should be engaged. Hold for one minute.
Butt Kicks: Stand up straight with your arms bent at 90 degrees by your side. Quickly raise your right foot towards your butt as if you were kicking yourself and immediately switch to kick up your left foot. Repeat all of the reps in rapid succession, making sure you land lightly.
Right Side Plank: Do the same as the left side plank, except for on your right side.
For beginners: start with ten repetitions of the plyometrics and 30 seconds of each stability exercise.
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