Since 2008, I have been running long distance and racing distances between the half and full marathon. Last summer however, I raced two 10Ks and a 5K and realized how much I have been overlooking the value of short races (Lauren Fleshman sums it up here…). The training for it is a little less time consuming than what you would experience for the half or full marathon and therefore it fits into a busier schedule.
However, training for shorter distances requires a little more attention to speed work and to STRENGTH. And research supports this! Runners and cyclists who strength train on average twice per week were able to workout longer and increase leg strength.
There are many ways to get in strength training and it doesn’t have to be in a gym setting. Body weight exercises such as squats, pushups, crunches, and lunges can be a great addition to any training program. Utilization of equipment such as the TRX recruits stabilizing muscles and core strength. If you’re interested in purchasing or learning more about TRX, follow my link for a special offer! Also inbox me if you have any questions about the TRX – I’m a little bit of a fanatic (and a certified TRX instructor)
Since running the Cherry Blossom 10 miler mid April, I’ve started focusing on the shorter distances, planning my summer race schedule, and incorporating three days of strength training into my routine. Here is my current program:
- Monday: Teach Strength Training Class (this is 60 minutes of full body exercises with light weights and high reps)
- Tuesday: 20 minutes of HIIT Training/Running Intervals + Plyo Circuit (see below!)
- Wednesday: Rest Day
- Thursday: Strength Training focusing on Back, Biceps, Quads, and Hamstrings
- Friday: 45 minute cycling class or 45 minute run
- Saturday: Strength Training focusing on Chest, Triceps, Shoulders, and Glutes + 20 minutes of running
- Sunday: 45 minute cycling or 45 minute run
As you can see, it’s not a lot of running right now. I’m in a phase where I do have a good base from training for the Philly Half in March and then the 10 miler. This works with my schedule also! So consider your commitments and goals when constructing your workout plan!
You may have noticed that I dedicate an entire day to interval training and and plyometrics. Why? Well,think of your legs like springs. Plyometrics helps them become stronger springs with greater force, meaning you get more power to push off with each step. Want more info about plyo and running? I’m a fan of this short but sweet article from Runner’s World.
Want to try my plyo workout? You will need a kettlebell, jump rope, step bench, and med ball.
This can be used as a quick and effective workout when you are short on time, or an addition (like how I use it) with another workout. If you don’t have a kettlebell, you can always use a dumbbell. I use a 20# kettlebell for this workout.
(as always, this is a workout that I enjoy and is safe for my body, always consider past injuries and consult your doctor before beginning any new training program)
And if you’re wondering, I’m the worst jump roper ever, but it’s another one of my goals I think it fits nicely with my Summer of Speed and Strength.
Current Summer Race Schedule
Lawyers Have Heart 10K – Georgetown June 13
Autism Speaks 4th of July 5K – Potomac July 4
Rockville Twilighter 8K – Rockville July 18 (TBD)
Trying to find a 5K or 10K in August! Any suggestions?
What are your training goals this summer?