3 Add-Ons To Make Your Run A Complete Workout
I have 3 pillars that underwrite every single one of my training plans:
Building A Better Athlete
Today I want to focus on the second of those pillars… that is drills, exercises and other things you can do to make your run a more complete workout. The troubles that we often run into during training often manifest themselves in overuse injuries… or injuries from doing too much in one plane of motion. The constant pounding of the pavement will do a lot of damage especially if that happens to be all that you do. It may seem counter intuitive — we should want to use all of our energy towards the actual act of running right?
Mileage is still King, don’t get me wrong, but we need to do things that help us maximize that mileage and keep us healthy enough to keep increasing our mileage.
So what can we do? Well here are 3 examples of exercises, drills & mobility that will make you a stronger runner and a better athlete overall.
Ask any one of my athletes and you’ll understand how important strides are for me — I’ve written about them a lot in the past — I usually like to touch on them 2–3x a week. Strides are short 60–100 meter accelerations where you build up to a hard run (think mile pace) and come back down. The idea is that you teach your body how to change speeds while building explosiveness, when used after a run you are also teaching your body to run fast when it is tired. This has the added benefit of adding muscle tension back into your legs which helps you feel snappy during workouts and races. They are a huge boon to any training plan, just adding strides multiple times a week can do a ton for your training.
Mobility drills like the ones I have talked about in previous posts, often involve exploring the running range of motion such as the couch pose pictured below.
The goal of mobility is to ‘mobilize’ your muscle — so think of dynamic stretching but focused on extending range of motion in the muscle. I love Kelley Starrett’s work — he describes the perfect muscle as being “supple” and I love that description so I’m not going to add anything to it. A supple muscle being a strong muscle that has a great range of motion and is strong.
Jump Squats!! Plyos are my favorite form of strengthening but you have to be careful because they are the most stressful on your body. Plyos must be practiced with perfect form and must be done as a separate workout. This is why I don’t give out these workouts as much as I want to — we used them in college all of the time but you must be fresh and must have control over your body the whole time. What do plyos do? They build strength — explosive strength — while working on your proprioception and overall athletics. Strong joints and mobile muscles is the name of the game. Here’s an example of a short plyo workout:
2 x 30 seconds of Jump squats, side shuffle, agility ladder, single leg hops, rocket jumps (with 10 seconds rest in between reps and 5 minutes in between sets)
There are more things you can do to work on your athleticism and on your general strength and ultimately any of this work will turn your run into a more complete run and will turn you into a more complete runner. Don’t forget to warm up first and make sure you are mindful about the task at hand.
I’ll go more in depth on the topic in this week’s podcast but if you have further questions reach out to me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. You can always email me as well — Justin@anthrophysique.com
As always happy running,
I’ll use this time to update you on my coaching plans, here is what I am offering right now in the form of custom plans:
Monthly Training w/ no commitment $175
Monthly Training & Lifestyle Coaching $99 w/ 2 year commitment
12–16 week training plan $125
Strength & Mobility Training Plan $50