Written by: Coach Walt
Now we’re all stuck at home with limited equipment, running seems to be everyone’s ‘go-to’ exercise! Easy to do, easy to pair with something else or do on its own and get one hell of a workout!
Running is often approached as a game of numbers: a point A and a point B quantify the run, the number of miles between those points define the challenge, and the number of minutes elapsed dictates success. Lot’s of people dread the idea of becoming a “better” runner and see punishment ahead. But we were going to flip the script. Get better at running –– without running
Here are 5 tips you can do to improve your running without just running more!
– Single leg strength – If you break running down, all it is is a series of continual single-leg bounds. We need to make sure we have the capacity to handle our entire body weight on a single leg over and over again. Exercises like single-leg squats, lunges and single-leg deadlifts all help improve your single-leg strength.
– Ankle and knee stability – Along with having strong legs they need to also be stable. Improving the stability around your knee and ankle will allow you to be more efficient at applying force into the ground with each step. Exercises such as banded walks, lunges and glute bridges all help improve glute strength which is one of the main components to lower limb stability.
– Core stability – Improving core stability plays a big roll in our efficiency. Being loose in our core and having excess side to side movement means loss of force into the ground. Being able to keep our core stable while moving our limbs is crucial. Exercises like dead bugs, bird dogs and hollow rocks all train core stability during motion!
– Rate of force development – In order to run fast, your feet need to be in contact with the ground as little as possible. We also need to make sure we can create a lot of force in this short period. This is your rate of force development or explosiveness. Being able to produce a high amount of force in a limited time is key to running faster. This can occur by doing higher velocity movements and plyometrics such as box jumps, depth jumps and pogos.
– Running posture – The posture you hold while running can make each stride more efficient. Linked with core stability but focussing more on the muscles in your upper back. Having your shoulders and spine in a neutral positions means all of your force is being spent on propulsion. This also helps keep your airways open to be able to maintain breathing rhythm. Exercises such as single-arm dumbbell rows, bent over rows and band pull aparts all help build the muscles in our upper back to maintain posture during running.
Start performing these exercises and watch your running improve in a matter of days!