We’ve all had this experience: you’re in a race, working hard, giving it your all, when someone floats past you looking totally comfortable and effortless. There are loads of potential factors for that person’s performance but I’d be willing to bet that one of them is strength and conditioning work.
It’s something that many runners neglect because, well, it’s not running is it? As a coach – and from personal, painful experience – I know too well the massive benefits of implementing S&C into your routine. If you can find 15-20 minutes in your day to do just a few exercises consistently, you will reap the rewards in your form; endurance; posture; balance and even your metabolism. Here are a
few to try:
These target your posterior chain (glutes, hamstrings and back especially) and are great for building strength and becoming more aware of your posture.
These don't have to be just done with a barbell either, dumbbells, kettlebells or pretty much anything else you can pick up off the floor will work, especially when you are first starting out.
A fantastic simple exercise that can be modified easily and works your upper body and core. The great thing with press ups is you can easily make them easier or harder without too much hassle.
Finding them too hard - Elevate your hands.
Finding them too easy - Elevate your feet.
Another great compound exercise that will develop strength in your glutes and legs and get your hips and ankles more mobile.
Don't let your ego get in the way with this one, make sure that your thighs drop to at least parallel to the ground on every rep.
If you are struggling with checking how deep you are going, you can use a box as a guide, gently lowering yourself onto it each rep.
Do this at every opportunity: in the supermarket queue, brushing your teeth, waiting for the kettle to boil. It improves your proprioception and strengthens your feet and ankles.
If you can hold a plank, then move in it. Move your feet, your arms, twist, dip, bring your knee to your elbow. Anything you can do to challenge your stability will build core strength and give your brain a workout too.
Get someone who knows to show you how to do these properly and you’ll never look back!