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Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Get race ready!

Surely not? If I want to get better at running, then surely the best thing to do is get out there and run... no? 
I don't hold a plank or throw in a mid race burpee, so why would I need to do that in my training?

Follow this running specific training guide that targets the 4 key muscle groups used whilst running to find out why they're important. Then find out the 7 best strength exercises to become an injury free running machine.

4 Key Muscle Groups

Developing good core strength helps your pelvis, abs, hips and lower back to work together when you run. It will also help improve your stability and balance.

Hips, Hamstrings, Glutes
Develop these 3 muscles to improve your running performance. The Biomechanical process of these 3 muscles is called hip extension. The more powerful that your hip extension is, the faster you will go. The hips help to stabilise your landing and the drive in every stride.

Lower Back
Keeping your lower back strong will help prevent any strain on the hamstrings, it will also help to keep you injury free.

Upper Back & Shoulders

A strong set of shoulders will help you to breathe more efficiently when you run. If your upper back and shoulders are weak it will give your arms a difficult job to propel you when you run. 
Treadmills at Virgin Active
7 Quick Exercises To Help You Smash Your PB'S

TRX Core Crunch 
Place both feet in the two available handles. Adopt a press up stance (Hands directly underneath your shoulders) so that your feet are now being held up by the trx. Then bring both knees towards your chest and then back out and repeat. If this is too difficult then simply hold that stance.

Side Plank
Support your body weight on one elbow (directly underneath shoulder) and with the other hand tuck underneath your body and then reach all the way up towards the ceiling.

Medicine Ball Russian Twists
Grab yourself a medium sized medicine ball. Sit on your bum, lift your legs up and lean back to balance yourself. Keeping a straight body, move the med ball from side to side.

With a burpee, position 1 is lying chest to floor and position 2 is jumping up from there. How you get between the two is up to you. Imagine you're jumping up after hearing your favourite song.

Kettlebell Swing
Stand with your feet, shoulder width apart. Hold the kettlebell with both hands and make sure your knuckles are facing away from your body. From there you are going bend your knees slightly and push your bum back and keep your chest up. Then you are going to thrust your pelvis forwards to create the swing, and be ready for the return of the kettle bell to then repeat.

Sandbag Overhead Walking Lunge
Lift the sandbag so it's above your head, keeping your arms completely straight. Then lunge forward keeping your chest up, your knee at 90 degrees and your back knee touching the ground and then continue so it replicates walking.

Swiss Ball Leg Curls
Lie on your back, and put your calves (the back of your lower leg) on to the swiss ball. Keep your hands on the floor to help you balance. Lift your hips up so that there is one straight line from your shoulder to knee. With your heels drag the ball towards you until your feet are flat on the ball. Keep your hips up and your bum tensed throughout.

The Workout 
You are going to perform these exercises in a combination circuit. You have 7 stations to work through (using the exercises above) you'll work through each station for 45 seconds with a 15 seconds rest in between each station. You'll do 2 complete circuits, 14 minutes work. Then you'll rest for 2 minutes. Then you'll complete another 2 circuits. So including your rest periods its a quick 30 minute workout. Leaving you sometime at the end of these circuits to jump on the treadmill for 2 x 1k run with a minute rest in between. Aiming to complete the 1k as quickly as possible.

This workout is designed to improve your strength and endurance in a short space of time. I strongly advise to download the a timer app onto your phone. 'Seconds' is a good timer for interval training. That way you can re create race like conditions by working to a strict time scale, and it will help you to push yourself.

I look forward to hearing about you all smashing your personal bests.

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