Welcome to the latest edition of Workout Wednesday when each week I share a new running or runner-specific strength training workout. This week I am combining the best of both worlds with a running workout that includes strength training. Runners always tell me they don't have time for strength training, but if you combine some strength moves with your running intervals you can fit it all in with a quick and efficient workout.
In this run, rock and reps workout, the rock refers to an isometric hold. Isometric training is holding a position without movement. Isometrics build strength by holding the muscle under tension against the resistance of our own bodyweight.
Reps refers to the number of repetitions of each exercise.
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RUN 1/4 MILE
After warming up you start the workout by running 1/4 mile at a hard effort pace (see RPE chart for effort levels). This pace should feel challenging, but not an all-out-sprint. You should be able to hold the pace for the duration of the run. This workout is great for the track or treadmill where it is easy to measure out 1/4 mile. You could also use your GPS watch (<- this is what I have) or just use a timer and run for two or three minutes.
With your toes pointing straight ahead and your feet about hip width apart, push your hips back keeping your back straight and your chest up, lower into a squat position until your thighs are parallel to the floor (or as low as your flexibility will allow). Hold the low position for 30 seconds while breathing normally. Take breaks if you need to (feel the burn) but work up to holding for 30 continuous seconds. You can also do this exercise with your back flat against a wall.
After you complete the squat isometric hold follow with 15 repetitions of a squat. In the low position, engage your core, squeeze your glutes and push up to standing. Take a deep breath in as your lower to the squat and breath out as you return up to standing.
STRAIGHT ARM PLANK HOLD
Start in a straight arm plank position with your wrists directly under your shoulders with your legs slightly wider than hip width for stability. Keep your body in a straight line from your shoulders to ankles while engaging your core. Do not allow your hips to hike up (get that bum out of the air!) or sag down. Hold for 30 seconds.
After holding the straight arm plank you are in the perfect position for 15 reps of pushups. Keep your body in a straight line with your core engaged, bend your elbows to slowly lower your chest to the floor. Once in the low position, push back up to the starting position. If this is too challenging place your hands on an elevated surface like a weight bench or a counter top. As you get stronger, reduce the elevation until you are on the floor.
Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Raise your hips off the floor so that your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Engage your core and squeeze your glutes as you hold the position for 30 seconds. For an added challenge, while keeping your knees together, straighten one leg off the ground for 15 seconds, then switch legs.
To perform 15 reps lower your hips back to the floor before quickly pushing back up to the bridge position. Take a breath in as you lower and breathe out as your raise back up into position.
Perform this circuit a total of four times to run one mile and complete four sets of each of these exercises.
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