If you’re one of those runners who absolutely hates the gym, read on.
It’s a myth – perpetuated by the gym industry – that most strength and conditioning (S&C) exercises need a gym or require any particular fixed equipment. Nearly every S&C exercise we recommended for runners in last week’s blog can be done at home or in a park. In fact, provided the weather is dry it can be more invigorating doing S&C outside.
All you need is a mat, a few weights and a bit of imagination. If you can find a low wall and a railing in the park for garden, it can also help. A wall can be helpful for stretching hamstrings and doing sit-ups and press ups, while a rail is good for tieing up your resistance band. Here are a few exercises suggested by Optima Racing Team Coach, James Beckinsale.
The back bridge is an important trunk-stabilizing movement which activates the large gluteal muscles in your buttocks.
Nordic hammies into dynamic press-ups are great for strengthening your hamstrings.
Skipping is perfect for training the Stretch Shortening Cycle for your running.
Once you've done your work-out it's useful to make some notes, chat it through with your coach (if you have one). Rehydrate and relish the feeling of making your body stronger!