Tagged as: running

PART 3: If You Want to Run Faster… Build These

As we have discussed previously – one of the major benefits of strength training is its ability to improve the running economy of runners.

If you have missed this discussion I invite you to go back and read Part 1 of this series Kickstart You Running. Part 2 of the series, 3 Mistakes to Avoid is also worth a look

IF YOU WANT TO RUN FASTER you need to build strength in these muscle groups:

  • Quadriceps
  • Hamstrings
  • Gluteals
  • Calves

QUADRICEPS

Key muscles: Vastus Lateralis, Vastus Medialis, Vastus Intermedius, Rectus Femoris

Key Functions: knee extension and hip flexion

Key Exercises: Squats, Lunges

NOTES

I will often incorporate both of these exercise into a runner’s program. At times I will run them concurrently, with the most of the heavy lifting being done in the squats while the lunges are used to develop strength and stability on each leg individually. At other times I will use variations such at the Bulgarian Split Squat or Front Loaded Split Squat to target the muscle differently.

HAMSTRINGS

Key muscles: Gluteus Maximus, Gluteus Medius, Gluteus Minimus

Key Functions: hip extension and knee flexion

Key Exercises: Deadlifts, Nordics

NOTES

Both of these exercise will load and strengthen the hamstring. Early on you need to be aware of soreness and how this will impact your running.

When using Deadlifts I like to mix up the range of movement (from the floor, raises, deficit and Romanian style) and the means of weighting the lift (Hex Bar, Olympic Bar, Dumbells, Banded).

There are a great number of variations of the Nordics. Throughout the season I like to vary the style to challenge the muscles in a variety of ways. My absolute favourite is using the Glute Ham Raise (GHR).

GLUTEALS

Key muscles: Gluteus Maximus, Gluteus Medius, Gluteus Minimus

Key Functions: hip extension, external rotation, transverse abduction (Glute Med), Internal rotation (Glute Med), Abduction, Transverse Abduction (Glute Min)

Key Exercises: Hip Bridging, Bench Hip Thrust

NOTES

My “go-to” exercise for the Glutes is the Bench Hip Thrust. It has the ability to move a heavy load in a running specific direction (esp in terms of acceleration) without the overloading of the spine that can occur during squats and deadlifts. To incorporate Glute Med & Min I place a band around the thighs just above the kneecaps and then resist the pulling together of the knees caused by the band.

CALVES

Key muscles: Soleus, Gastrocnemius, Tibialis Posterior

Key Functions: Dorisflexion (Gastroc, Soleus), Plantar flexion. Inversion (Tib Post)

Key Exercises: Standing Single Leg Calf Raises (barefoot), Weighted Seated Calf Raises

NOTES

Being able to develop strength in the calves in both the straight leg and bent leg position will help to significantly reduce the chance of common running injuries such as Achilles Tendinopothy and Plantar Fasciitis.

One of the common ideas we use is to develop the eccentric strength first, working slowly on the downward part of the moment (often under weight) and then being assisted in the rising motion.

Sets 2-3 of 15-20reps on a single leg will assist in building the required strength.

The exercises we have listed above will help develop strength in the key muscles involved in running. These exercises (or those that work the muscles similarly) should form the core of any strength programme aiming to improve running performance.

For more information on how Strength and Conditioning programmes can help you improve your sporting performance go to www.damnfitsc.com.au/strength-and-conditioning

Improve Your 2km Time Trial

With the AFL season fast approaching and preseason underway for most players, I thought I’d share one of my favourite workouts for improving your 2km time trial.

This workout works best as part of a weekly schedule which incorporates a longer runs (3-5km) and some strength work for running economy and stability.

In 2018 Jacob Kennerley (drafted by Geelong) set a new AFL combine record for the 2km time trial with an effort of 6.04min. Whether you are in Jacob’s league, or just keen to improve your 2km time and catch the coach’s eye – this training set will help you towards your goal.

This session is designed to teach your body to run faster than it is accustomed to.

WARM UP

Theraband Glute Activation:

  • Clams 2×10 each side
  • Banded Hip Thrusts 2×15

General Active Stretches: Ankle, Calves, Hamstrings, Quads, Hips, Glutes, Back, Shoulders

RUNNING DRILLS

A Skip 3x20m with walk back recovery (WB)

Figure Four  3x30m WB

Strides 5x100m WB

WORKOUT

10x200m with a 200m walk (or 200m slow jog) between reps

The aim for each 200m rep is to achieve it roughly 2-3s faster than your target time.

EXAMPLE

2km Target Time: 6.04min ie the average time per 200m is 36.40s (6.04min/10)

Target Time for 200m reps is 33.40s

VARIATIONS

I love to play around with this session. Once I can hit my training targets with a 200m walk between reps, I like to experiment to push myself further and maintain the target time but reduce the recovery by walking only 100m between reps. On one occasion I also “played” with dropping the recovery to a 50m walk between reps but found I was unable to still hit my target times. This is a speed endurance oriented session… when you can’t maintain the speed you are no longer working that aspect of the activity.

Give it a try and GOOD LUCK

For more information on how Strength and Conditioning programmes can help you improve your sporting performance go to www.damnfitsc.com.au/strength-and-conditioning