Everyone who runs understands that in order to achieve good results, you need to constantly train. Strengthening your body and gaining endurance can be accomplished by incorporating a fitness program into your running practice. You will learn some secrets about how to workout so you can be the best runner in the city!
This workout program focuses on the leg muscles that power your stride, strengthen your core to help you maintain proper form, and support the areas of your body that are prone to running problems (knees, hips, lower back). The workout can be added to any running routine, whether you’re training for a half-marathon or simply running for fun.
If you want to learn more about stretching for running, check out this article.
Here’s a basic primer on how to train for running:
- Boost your power: strengthen the muscles you utilize the most: quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings, and abs;
- Increase your stamina: train your muscles to function better over time, just as you raise your mileage;
- Cross-train: find an aerobic exercise that you love (such as swimming, bicycling, or yoga) to give your legs a rest from the repetitive motion of running.
Consult your doctor or a licensed training professional before commencing any training program.
Running Training Program
This fitness program is intended to supplement your running days. Begin it six to eight weeks before an event shorter than a half marathon. To run a half marathon or a more extended event, start training sooner (eight to 12 weeks before the race). Perform these workouts a few times each week, easing off as your running mileage increases. As the race date approaches, attempt to execute the activities at least once a week to maintain the advantages.
Running Training Exercises
As you train, keep the following in mind:
- If something doesn’t seem right, change it up;
- Train gradually at the start and your speed;
- As your training advances, increase the number of repetitions or add extra resistance or weight.
Warm-up: Begin your exercise with five to ten minutes of easy cardio. This may be a quick exercise on the treadmill or stationary cycle, jumping jacks, or running.
Here are some pointers for all of the exercises:
- Inhale as you begin to strain yourself, then exhale as you return to your starting position. During quicker workouts, breathe regularly;
- At the start, rest for 60 to 90 seconds at the completion of each workout (unless otherwise noted). If you grow fitter or want more cardio challenges by keeping your heart rate up, shorten your rest period to between 30 and 45 seconds;
- Perform the whole set of exercises, then rest for two minutes before repeating the entire collection once or twice;
Walking Lunge Exercise with Rotation
This exercise warms up your quads, hips, and lower back while also getting you into your running stance and improving your balance.
- Place your feet slightly apart.
- Step forward into a lunge with one foot. Your rear knee should be bent at 90 degrees to the ground. Your front knee should be at a 90-degree angle as well.
- As you take a step forward, rotate your body to the side in the direction of your lead knee. Keep your arms at chest level, slightly lifted from your sides.
- You are driving up and through your forward leg to take the following lunge step. Your rear knee should now be in front of you.
- Repeat 10 times on each side for a total of 20 repetitions.
Modifications and suggestions: If you don’t have enough space, you can alternate your legs in one position. Keep your rear portion straight to make it simpler. Maintain a straight line with your foot and hip by keeping your knees from inwards bending.
Exercise for Hip Rolling
Hip strength is essential for keeping your knees aligned as you accelerate forward. You can prevent your knees from twisting inward at each step by strengthening the hip muscles, which include your glutes. This will also lessen the possibility of knee discomfort.
Prop: a chair can be used if needed for balance
- Place your left foot on the ground;
- Lean forward at the hips, keeping your back straight, and lift your right leg behind you, slightly off the ground;
- Move your hip away from your standing foot by rotating it (rolling it);
- As you roll your hips back, keep your body in a straight line;
- On each side, repeat 10-15 times.
Modifications and suggestions: If it’s too difficult to balance, grasp the back of a chair or keep your toes on the ground.
Squat Reverse Lunge with Knee Raise
This workout targets the vital running muscles: quadriceps, glutes, and calves.
- Place your feet shoulder-width apart;
- Squat as though you were sitting back in a chair;
- Stand up and take a step back into a reverse lunge with one leg. Your knees should be 90 degrees to the floor. Keep your knees in line with your feet, and don’t let them sag;
- As you come out of the reverse lunge, push your back knee forward and elevate it to a 90-degree angle in front of you;
- Raise your standing leg to your toes;
- Return to a squat position and repeat with the other leg;
- Perform 10 repetitions on each leg.
Modifications and suggestions: Avoid arching your back. You may adjust the workout by touching your foot back instead of going all the way into a deep lunge.
Exercise for Lateral Ski Jumping
This dynamic workout strengthens your quads, glutes, and hamstrings while increasing explosiveness for faster running. Your balance and agility will also improve due to the lateral motions.
- Balance one leg while standing with your feet hip-width apart and your knees slightly bent;
- Jump to the side and land on the other leg. Consider landing softly and with your knee slightly bent;
- Then jump to the opposite side, landing on the opposite leg;
- Swing your arms across your torso sideways, like a speed skater;
- Repeat 15 times on each side for a total of 30 times.
Modifications and suggestions: If you find this workout to be too tricky, difficult try smaller side leaps, moving slower, or touching your toe to the ground instead of holding it off the floor.
This workout works your abdominals, glutes, shoulders, and calves. It enhances your leg’s full extension, which helps you drive yourself ahead when you run.
Prop: a medium-resistance workout band
- Use a resistance band that you can tie around your ankle;
- Stand sideways to where the band is attached and position yourself such that there is tension in the bar when you hold the end of the round with both hands;
- Rotate your torso upward, dragging the end of the band at an upward angle across the front of your torso; let your feet rotate until you are facing the other direction, arms straight in front of your body. Straighten the leg closest to the band and push up on the toe of that foot;
- Return to the beginning position while keeping the band tension equal;
- Your core muscles should be propelling the action throughout; your shoulders should be square, and your hips should be aligned, and your elbows and wrists should be as straight as possible;
- Do this 20 times, then switch sides and repeat for another 20 reps.
Modifications and suggestions: Adjust the band resistance level by shortening it to increase resistance or extending it to decrease resistance. You aim to be tired after each rep but not so tired that you struggle to complete them.
Hip Clock Workout
This workout focuses on the glutes and hamstrings. The stronger your hips are, the more control you have over your knees.
- Stand with your weight equally distributed on your left leg and a slightly bent knee;
- Maintain a straight back and focus your weight over the standing knee;
- Consider yourself to be at the center of a clock. Raise and stretch your right leg, reaching towards 12 o’clock;
- Return your leg to the middle;
- Rep the moves toward the 3 o’clock, 6 o’clock, and 9 o’clock locations. Maintain your balance over the standing leg and avoid allowing your hips to slip side to side as you reach for each position;
- Repeat on the opposite leg; perform 5 to 8 sets on each leg.
Modifications and suggestions: For balance, keep your hips level and press into the ground with your standing foot. If you feel off-balance, make smaller leg motions.
Bird Dog Exercise
Core strength will help protect your lower back, stabilize your body, and maintain appropriate running form.
- Begin in a balanced position on your hands and knees, staring a little down. Take a small step back to keep your neck in a straight line;
- Exhale and contract your abs. Throughout the exercise, imagine sucking your belly button into your spine while holding a glass of water in the small of your back;
- Your arms and legs should be raised to the same level as your spine. Do this for both sides. If your spine isn’t straight from the top of your head to the bottom of your heel, your hips should not fall. Breathe normally as you do this;
- Return to the starting position slowly, then repeat on the opposite side (raising your left arm and right leg);
- Perform 10 leg/arm lifts, rotating the leg/arm combination while doing it.
Modifications and suggestions: Keep your abs and core firm enough to avoid lower back mobility. If you find it difficult to lift an arm and a leg simultaneously, extend the leg first and then the opposite arm after you’re balanced.