If you want to run faster, and pain-free, you need to strengthen your body.
Strength training is critical to success. Lifting can be a key component in building speed and mobility – the more power you can generate with each stride, the faster you can run. The stronger you are, the longer you can generate that power without fatiguing – meaning you can maintain that pace.
Want to run longer, run faster, get stronger, and have better posture? Do these 7 exercises:
- Shoulder Rolls: stand or sit in a comfortable position. As you inhale, raise your shoulders and shoulder blades to your ears. On the exhale, pull your shoulder blades down, back, and together. Repeat 5 to 10 times
- Pyramid: Step your left foot back so it rests fully on the floor. Square your hips. With your legs straight, clasp your forearms behind your back, exhale and lean forward from your hips over a straight right leg (don’t round your spine). Take three to five breaths and rise. Switch sides.
- Chair pose: stand and raise your arms to shoulder height straight in front of you. Contract your arm muscles. Exhale as you bend your knees (no more than 90 degrees) and keep them over your toes. Take two breaths; stand. Repeat three times.
- Standing side bend: touch your left hand to the side of your head. Ground both feet and guide your head to the right until you feel a stretch along the left side of your body and shoulder. Take three to five breaths. Switch sides.
- Glutes: while standing, activate your glutes by lifting one leg out to the side and drawing basketball-sized circles with that leg. Do 10 circles in each direction with each leg. After you’re finished your run, release tension by crossing one ankle above the opposite knee and sit your hips back and down until you feel the stretch. Hold for 10 breaths and switch sides.
- Hips: a strong core helps maintain a neutral pelvis. Lie down on your back and lift your legs straight up as high as you can while keeping your pelvis level. Lower your legs toward the ground. Bring your legs back up. Repeat 10 times.
- Planks: prop yourself on your elbows and forearms with your feet slightly apart. Align your body, tighten your abdominal muscles, make sure your shoulders are directly above your elbows. Prop yourself up off the ground and hold this position for 45 seconds to one minute. Slowly come back down to the ground, take a breather and repeat.