Supplemental Workouts Every Runner Should Do
This time of year is my favorite in California. The Fall weather is perfect with highs in the upper 60s and low to mid 70s. It seriously is the best running weather. I don’t have to wake up before the crack of dawn to get a run in before the unbearable and relentless heat strikes. I’ve been able to really focus on my training plan to increase my pace. In addition to the track repeats and tempo runs, I’ve been working on my flexibility and strength training- both will help improve my running (I hope).
By adding a few supplemental workouts every week, runners can improve their running. ocusing a few hours a week on non-running activities (like the ones listed below), you can take your running to the next level. Here’s a few examples of supplemental workouts and how they can boost your running.
- Hill Sprints (I know, this IS a running workout.)
- Strength training
Now, I know, I just named your favorite workouts right? Ha ha, I mean who doesn’t love doing hill sprints? Hill sprints are a great way to add power to your legs. There is one hill on the trail close to my house that I dread every run, but guess what? We’ll be spending a lot of quality time together because it is my new sprinting hill. Start with a 10 min hill sprint workout once a week and slowly build it up over several weeks.
Strength training is crucial to any running or training plan. Even just 20 minutes a week can make a difference. Any runner who logs a lot of miles every week, needs strength training. My husband worked with an endocrinologist who tried to convince him that running is horrible for the body. She has treated several runners who had bone loss and lots of other problems. She said when someone starts to run a lot of miles, the body will do whatever it can to make itself lighter, including trying to lighten the bones. This can cause major problems later in life. Here’s the good news- all these problems can be prevented with weight training. When the body experiences consistent weight training, it makes the bones denser so they can be stronger and hold more weight. Weight training should be done at least once a week, but ideally three times a week. And let’s be honest, all pictures of the elite runners shows off their toned bodies. All that muscle did not come strictly from running.
According to Matt Fitzgerald, ““Plyometrics, or jumping exercise, is something that every runner should do and that most runners don’t do. Running is a form of jumping. Plyometrics isolates and exaggerates the jumping element in running and thereby improves running performance in a way that running itself does not.”
Now onto yoga. I’ll be honest here, the only yoga I’ve ever done is the yoga workout in p90x. Does that even count? Flexibility is a major weakness of mine. I know yoga is a workout I need to start incorporating. Yoga helps to maintain balance in the body- especially in the muscles. Runners who only run will naturally create an imbalance with some muscles, this can cause problems, like runner’s knee. I’ve had runner’s knee- it’s no fun, no fun at all. I’m so not flexible, I’m a little nervous to join a yoga class, but if it will help my running, sign me up.
As with everything in life, running needs balance. These activities will help provide balance and as a natural result, more power and endurance. Happy running everyone! Check out this website for more info.