Is your body race-day ready? The Broad Street Run, Philadelphia’s favorite 10-mile race, is only a few short weeks away. For most runners, the obvious training method for mastering this course is running. And although cardio is key in preparing the body for the blocks of Broad Street, the real ace up your sweaty sleeve will come from strength training.
Strength training will promote your pavement-pounding performance. Because running is a high-impact, repetitive exercise, muscle and joint injuries can develop from overuse. At this point in your training, it’s likely you’ve started to notice common running side effects, such as tight hamstrings, a stiff lower back, or tender ribs. By incorporating strength-training exercises, sensitive spots become more stable as the entire body works to generate more force.
Below are three exercises that every runner should do.
For best results, repeat this circuit three times on the days you aren’t running.
The best way to improve your stride is to strengthen the muscle groups responsible for running. The walking lunge is an effective toning tool because it mimics the body’s mechanics of running while helping correct muscle imbalances, and develop flexibility and coordination.
For beginners, start by using your body weight and practice perfecting your posture and form. Once you feel comfortable with the lunge, incorporate free weights for an added challenge.
Plyometric exercises help to develop and enhance fast-twitch muscle fibers responsible for explosive strength, fast feet, cardio capacity, and overall endurance. Since this jumping pattern has your feet landing on an elevated platform, it lessens the impact, which makes it easier on the joints than a standard leap.
Box jumps require a sturdy surface. Start with a low, manageable box height, then progress to a higher elevation when ready.
Running is a continuous forward motion. When developing a cardio training routine, it’s important to incorporate exercises that take the body through other mobility patterns, such as rotation. Doing so helps strengthen the body and prevent injuries.
A well-rounded training routine is the best way to hit your stride.