Running can be tedious, but we all want to be faster runners. What if to improve your running, you don’t have to run? I think that would change up my workout nicely. Here are some excellent intense exercises to help improve your running time without making you go for a run.
Staying in Place
A great way to improve your leg strength and hip flexor strength is to workout on a stationary bike. This will help you improve your stride while you run, which will increase the distance you run while decreasing the amount of time it takes to get there. Keep yourself positioned properly on the bike and focus on fast rotations to reap the most benefits of this exercise.
The word ‘plyometric’ might sound scary, but it’s just a big word for adding jumping and leaping into your normal routine. It’s a high intensity workout that focuses on building strength in your legs, which will help you produce the power you need to run faster. There are many different plyometric exercises but a few of them are explained below.
The box jump is a relatively easy plyometric exercise. Find something sturdy, like a large step or equipment that could mock a step. Start on the ground and then jump up with both feet onto the step. When you jump up, tuck your legs into to gain height. Your arms should have elbows bent and your hands should be in the center area of your chest. Land on the step with both feet. Then jump back down. Repeat.
To do the bench sprint, find a sturdy bench. With your right leg push off the ground and land on the bench, then alternate legs. Think of it as trying to run in place, but the bench is in your way. This exercise targets your quadriceps while maintaining high intensity to give you the power you need.
The burpee is always a dreaded exercise in my book, but the burpee pull up is an essential high intensity workout. To do the burpee pull up you will need a secure pull up bar. Do a burpee and when you hop up, do a pull up. This is a full body workout and at high intensity, so be careful not to overdo it with this one.
Do your shoes need to go on a diet? If your shoes are not light weight enough, than you should break up with them and find a better pair. Wearing lighter shoes can help boost your performance. Don’t forget the padding though, too light and no cushion does not make a happy runner, but heavy shoes don’t make a fast one. Find a happy balance and watch your performance soar.
Keep That Core Tight
Having strong core muscles will improve your posture and reduce the amount of energy lost while running. Core exercises are fairly simply, but if you want to spice it up a bit, try adding a medicine ball into your core workouts to help intensify them. Not only will core strengthening help you on the run portion of a triathlon, but it will also help you have proper form on the bike portion. Cutting my time in running and cycling, sign me up!
Wall squats are ridiculously simple, but also extremely effective. All you need is a wall and your body. Start by having your body with your back touching the wall, like your waiting for something. Then slowly dragging your back down the wall, pretend like you are sitting in a chair. Your back should be straight and your knee should be at a 90-degree angle. Hold this position. I like to do these for as long as I can stand them, but consider trying to do these for 30 seconds after your squat or lunge routine. Yes, it will burn.
High intensity workouts are the key to improving your running time without running at all. Of course, these won’t magically make it so you never have to run, but it will allow for a day off of running every now and then. And as always, find what works best for you.
Happy Running, er uh Not Running!