Tag Archives: plyometrics

Strength Training As A Runner

Strength training as a runner is a hotly debated topic.  How much to do, when to do it, what kind to do?  No matter what your answer is, at the most basic level, strength training as a runner makes sense.  The more powerful your legs are, the more force they can put into the ground with each step.  This means you’ll be able to propel further forward at a faster rate without any increased effort.  The stronger your core is the better your running form will be.  If you’re not including muscle building activities in your training plan, you’ll miss out on all the bone density increasing, injury preventing, faster running and better form benefits it provides.

If strength training as a runner has so many benefits, what’s the problem?  Most runners aren’t sure how to add these types of workouts to already packed training schedules and end up leaving it out altogether.  This can lead to unwanted muscle imbalances, injuries and plateaus in race times.  Luckily, there are lots of ways to add strength training to your routine that won’t cramp your program and the best news is there aren’t any hard and fast rules for strength training as a runner (other than you have to do it!).  strength training as a runner

Want to try running in deep sand?  Requiring 60% more effort than running on pavement, that slippery sand works your calves, feet and ankles overtime as they try to stay stable on a moving surface.

How about Crossfit?  High intensity strength building workouts can replace easy ‘junk’ miles with lots benefits.  Increased bone density, mobility and balance will all make your more durable and prevent common overuse injuries.

Plyometrics and other body weight exercises are fantastic ways to build a better runner.  Burpees, box jumps, push-ups, pull-ups and jump rope require little space and a small strength training as a runnerinvestment in equipment.  Running hills counts, too, especially if you don’t have the beach to run on.

Mobility work and yoga is must for any runner, even if it’s just a foam roller followed by a few sequences at home.  Aiding in recovery, stretching and massaging will help muscles recover from workouts as well as eliminate imbalances that can lead to injury or poor form.

Get stronger and lower race times by using these tips for strength training as a runner to start today!

Coach Meredith

Don’t Run from Plyometrics

Plyometrics can sound scary.  Also known as jump training, ‘plyo’ workouts are made up of exercises that encourage muscle to exert maximum force as quickly as possible.  A great addition to any runner’s program, these explosive movements are designed to build both speed and power, helping athletes improve their performance.  Runners can benefit specifically from two elements of plyometric training.  Conditioning the neuromuscular system to work quickly and increasing the elasticity of muscle, both functions of plyoplyometric exercise training, work together to produce more power through a wider range motion.  Put those together and it means increased turnover, more speed and lower finish times.

Plyometric work can benefit anyone, but might be the perfect alternative for runners who don’t like to rack up a ton of miles each week.  A Japanese study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning found that over eight weeks a group of ‘running only’ runners had comparable improvements in 5K times to those who had run 25% less but included bodyweight plyometric exercises in their programs.  Adding plyometric training was also shown to improve running economy by anywhere from 2.3% (2003 study) to 4% (2006 study).  Increased running economy means less oxygen was used at a given speed after plyometric training than before and increased running efficiency.

There are hundreds of plyometric exercises, but some of the best for runners include jump squats, rocket jumps, box jumps, side to side jumps, jumping lunges, single leg hops, broad jumps and tuck jumps.  While not a comprehensive list, these are a few activities your running might benefit from.  Here’s an example of a plyometric workout you can add to your routine after any run:

15 Jumping Jacks
20 Jumping Lunges
15 Jump Squats
20 Rocket Jumps
15 Tuck Jumps

Want more?  Ask us!  Team FitNice loves adding plyometrics to every workout.  Email Info@FitNicePT.com or fill out the form below.