Truth is, there are no secrets. It takes a variety of workouts and nutritional smarts to reach your running and fitness goals.
Today were going to talk about training. We all enjoy running outdoors and so doing running specific exercises on a mat has never appealed to me until now. Most of the years big races have already come and gone making now a good time to build a foundation of strength for next year.
With the help of registered physiotherapist Jenny Kirkwood at Nicky Akermanns Cape Town practice, Im revealing three exercises that, if executed properly, can make you a stronger, faster, more confident runner. Time for some action
Here we go
1) Lie on your back with both knees bent at a comfortable angle, feet on the mat:
Engage your core muscles by relaxing as you inhale and contract your abdominals as you exhale
Lift your hips off the mat slightly
Now lift one foot off the mat
Keep the hips level and hold for five seconds. Thats one repetition. Repeat six times to complete one set and repeat with your opposite leg.
2) Similar to the first exercise, but:
Bring one knee toward your chest while the foot that remains on the mat now does a calf raise (Pictured). Repeat on the other side.
3) Lying on your back with both knees bent at a comfortable angle, feet on the mat:
Place a rolled up towel or foam block between your knees
Engage core muscles
Squeeze towel/foam block with knees and lift your hips off the mat slightly
Make sure your core muscles remain activated and remember to breathe
Hold for 30 seconds and repeat three times.
Making time to fit these exercises into your schedule will be worth the effort. After performing these movements for six weeks Ive increased my lower-body strength and can feel my hips and glutes powering me forward on training runs, in time trials and in races. Its now much easier to shift gears when I need to. Ive benefited from these workouts and I have no doubt you can too.