6 Interval Training Running Workouts for Maximum Results

woman doing speedwork running session

Are you looking to give your running performance a boost? If so, you may want to consider incorporating interval running into your routine.

A form of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), interval running has been a favorite of athletes for years. It’s a technique that involves alternating between intense bursts of exercise and recovery periods to build cardiovascular strength, power, and speed.

Think of interval running as a rollercoaster ride – you’ll experience thrilling moments of intensity followed by brief periods of rest before being thrown back into the excitement.

Now, you may be wondering how to get started with interval running.

Here’s the good news – You’re in the right place.

In this article, I’m going to give you the low-down on the six main speed work runs you need to add to your schedule: basic intervals, fartleks, treadmill intervals, hill reps 100m dashes, and tempo efforts. These workouts may not be an exhaustive list of speed work sessions, but they’ll definitely help you on your journey to becoming a faster, stronger runner.

Ready? Let’s go!

Interval Running Explained

Let’s talk about interval running.

This is the training method that’ll take your running game from zero to hero in no time.

So, what is interval running, you ask? It’s a fancy way of saying, “Run fast and recover.” Essentially, you run at a challenging pace for short distances and then take a break before doing it all over again.

This is where the magic happens – by challenging yourself with high-intensity intervals, you’ll increase your stride length, improve your running efficiency, and boost your overall speed.

Interval running is like a box of chocolates – you never know what you’re going to get. One minute you feel undefeatable, and the next minute you’re gasping for air like a fish out of water. But hey, that’s all part of the fun, right? Just keep pushing yourself, and who knows what kind of PB you’ll be able to butter next time around.

And the best part? You can do it anywhere! Whether you prefer pounding the pavement, hitting the track, or even tackling a steep hill, speedwork can be adapted to fit your style.

And don’t worry; you don’t have to be an Olympic athlete to start incorporating interval runs into your routine. Classic sessions like sprints, tempo runs, and fartleks are perfect for runners of all levels.

The Benefits Of Interval Running Workouts

If you want to give your running performance a boost, look no further than interval running workouts.

It’s like turbocharging your training, turning up the intensity to boost your speed.

But there’s more to it than just getting a kick out of a challenging workout. Studies show that interval training can increase your VO2 max, allowing your body to use oxygen more efficiently. This leads to increased fitness capacity, better athletic performance, and improved overall health.

Plus, you might even continue to burn calories at a higher rate long after your workout is done, thanks to the excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) effect. It’s like a bonus round for your fitness goals!

Warming up Right

Before you jump into your first interval workout, don’t forget to warm up properly.

A good warm-up increases your body temperature, boosts blood flow to the muscles, and prepares you mentally for a challenging run. It can also help prevent injury and burnout, so it’s worth taking the time to do it right.

Start with a gentle walk, then gradually increase to a slow jog for five to ten minutes. Then, add in some dynamic mobility and stretching drills like quad tugs, heel walks, butt kicks, scorpions, inchworms, lunges, and high knees.

The more, the merrier! And don’t forget to include some speed drills to get your legs firing.

Finally, complete four to six strides – quick accelerations lasting 20 to 30 seconds at close to 100 percent speed. Recover fully between each set, and perform them on a flat, smooth surface. It’s like priming your body for action – so you can give it all during your interval workout.

With the right warm-up and a positive attitude, you’ll be well on your way to improving your running performance, hitting your fitness goals, and having a blast while doing it!

Getting started

If you’re just starting out, begin your foray into interval running with a set of six to eight 200-meter at a 5K pace or a bit faster, interceded with an easy 200-m in between each to recover.

Here is how to proceed with your next (or first) interval run session:

  • Start with a decent 15-minute dynamic warm-up.
  • Run at an interval pace—roughly 85 to 95 percent of max speed—for one minute.
  • Jog for a 2-minute recovery break.
  • Repeat the on and off pattern four to six times.
  • Jog for five minutes to cool down, then stretch.

That’s it. Now let’s look at how fast you should be doing these intervals.

The Pace – How Fast To Perform Interval Runs

Interval training workouts are performed at 85 to 98 percent of the maximum heart rate, depending on distance and your fitness level and goals.

So, for instance, short intervals are performed at a slightly faster than 5K race pace, with relatively longer recovery breaks, typically lasting two to three times as long as the repetition time.

Longer intervals are usually performed at roughly a 5K race pace, with recovery bouts of equal length or slightly less than the fast surge time.

But, all in all, as long as you’re running faster than your goal race pace, you’re heading in the right direction.

Additional Resource – Here’s your guide to the Yasso 800 Workout

6 Interval Training Running Workouts For Speed

Without further ado, here are the Interval training running sessions you need to improve your speed and overall running performance.

Interval Training Running Workout I – The Basic Interval Run

The Basic Interval Run is perfect for new initiates as it helps them get their foot in the door without increasing the risk of injury or burnout.

It’s a simple yet effective workout that consists of two main parts. First, you’ll have a fast-paced segment known as the repeat. This is where you’ll run over a specific distance at a targeted pace goal speed.

The typical interval workouts consist of short repeats, lasting no more than 100 to 400 meters, or longer distances, lasting between 800 to 2000 meters. You can choose which distance works best for you depending on your fitness level and goals.

Then, the fast surge of effort is followed by a brief recovery. This can be short—lasting for only 30 to 60 seconds—or of an equal time or distance to the repetition. Don’t worry, the recovery time is just as important as the fast segment. It gives your body time to catch its breath and prepare for the next round of speed.

Once you’ve mastered the Basic Interval Run, you’ll be ready for our other Interval Training Running Workouts for Speed.

interval running

Interval Running Workout II – The Fartlek Bursts

Standing for speed play in Swedish, Fartlek is a form of training that mixes steady-state running with speed intervals in an unstructured format.

This form of training is like a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book for runners. You get to pick the pace, distance, and recovery time of each acceleration – it’s like being your own running coach!

But don’t let the unstructured format fool you – Fartlek training is a killer workout that can boost both your aerobic and anaerobic systems.

Pick an object in the distance – a parked car, a telephone pole, maybe even your neighbor’s house (just kidding, don’t be that runner) – and sprint towards it. Once you reach your target, take it easy with some light jogging to recover before your next surge. Start with a 10 to 15-minute jog to warm up your muscles, and then let the fun begin.

It’s like a game of tag with your own body, and you get to set the rules. But remember, you still need to challenge yourself. Run fast enough to increase your heart rate and breathing, but don’t push it too hard. You want to be able to finish the interval and recover fully before the next surge.

Additional resource – How fast can Bolt Run

Interval Training Running Workout III – The Treadmill Interval Routine

Feel like you’re running out of time but still want to sweat it out? Then this treadmill interval session is for you.

It’s the perfect way to challenge yourself and push your limits, all while fitting into a tight schedule. And the best part? You can do it all on a treadmill.

Start with a 5-minute warm-up jog to get those muscles firing, then get ready to kick it up a notch. At the 5-minute mark, it’s time to turn up the heat and hit a high-intensity speed of 9 mph or faster. You’ll feel the burn, but remember, you’re a runner – you can handle it! After your intense one-minute burst, take a much-needed recovery break for another minute before repeating the process. But wait, there’s more!

This time, add a 4.0 incline to mimic the outdoor conditions and make those leg muscles work even harder.

Take a breather and jog or walk for one minute before diving back into your high-intensity bursts and incline challenges.

Do five or six rounds of this routine, and before you know it, you’ve got yourself a total of 15 minutes of heart-pumping, calorie-burning goodness.

Finish off with a 5-minute cool-down jog and pat yourself on the back for a job well done. You did it! So, even if you only have 25 minutes to spare, you can still get a killer workout in with this HIIT routine on a treadmill. No excuses, just sweat!

Interval Training Running Workout IV – The Hill Routine

Are you looking for a workout that combines speed and strength?

Look no further than hill reps! These structured interval-style runs consist of hard bursts up a hill with the down section used as the recovery portion before assaulting the hill again.

Hill running is like a marriage between faster-paced running and traditional strength training, making it the ultimate power couple.

Think of hill runs as “speedwork in disguise.” Although they don’t force you to run at top speed, they still offer many of the same perks of traditional speedwork training.

Uphill running is the perfect way to promote good running technique because it forces you to lift your knees and drive your elbows back and forth to propel you forward. These are some of the most universal traits of good form.

And let’s not forget about the downhill repeats. They’ll work your quads like nothing else and increase strength in your joints and tendons.

When planning your hill workout, make sure to find a gentle slope that’s at least 100 yards long and not too steep – preferably, a traffic-free area.

The ideal hill should take you about 30 seconds to one minute to climb at 90 percent of your maximum effort. And if you live in a relatively flat, hill-free region, don’t worry! Find a bridge or highway overpass with about a 5 percent grade for your hill reps.

Now, it’s time for the session. After a thorough warm-up, assault the hill at a 5K effort pace (That’s effort, not speed). When you reach the end point of the uphill section, walk for 10 to 15 seconds, turn around, and jog slowly down to the start.

Then repeat. And remember to perform the reps with good form. Don’t lean too much forward, but focus on maintaining your balance, engaging your core, shortening your leg stride, and lifting your knees a little higher than you’re used to when running on flat surfaces.

Interval Running Workout V – The 100m Dashes

Are you ready to feel like a pro sprinter? Head to the track, but be careful. Only do this after interval workouts and fartleks have become a part of your routine.

You don’t want to pull a hamstring and end up sitting on the sidelines.

Before you go full speed, warm up with a 10-minute jog, then perform six to eight strides to get your muscles fired up and ready to do some intense work. And boy, will it be intense. Get ready for eight to ten 100m fast bursts.

Your first interval should include 40 meters at maximum speed. And to recover, walk or jog for half the duration of the faster interval before jumping onto the next one.

Aim for 95 to 99 percent of single max effort. So, for instance, if your 100m max effort is 18 seconds, then the slowest you drop to is 20 seconds.

As you get used to running on the track, increase the volume of reps and lengthen reps to 200 meters, sprinting nearly the entire time at top speed. Just make sure to cool down afterward and stretch those leg muscles.

Interval Running Workout VI –Tempo Runs

Tempo training is where intensity meets endurance. Think of it like running on the edge of a cliff – you’re pushing yourself to the limit but still maintaining control and balance.

These workouts are like a symphony for your body, with sustained effort over a preset time or distance. Classic tempo runs are the conductor, teaching your body how to maintain that comfortably hard effort over an extended timeframe.

And the benefits? Oh boy, let me tell you. A Dutch study published in the Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports & Exercise found that tempo runs can improve your overall running efficiency by up to 10 percent. That’s like adding a turbocharger to your engine!

But why does it work? It’s all about that anaerobic threshold, the point at which your body switches from aerobic to anaerobic systems. It’s like flipping a switch and unleashing the power within.

And as you push yourself to the limit, you may start to feel the burn of lactic acid. But fear not, because increasing your threshold at a given pace means you can maintain that pace for longer and power through the burn like a fiery dragon.

So, how long should your tempo runs be? Well, that depends on your training level and target race distance. But as a general guideline, start with 15 to 20 minutes and gradually extend as you build endurance and power.

Now, let’s talk about that tempo pace. It should be roughly 80 to 90 percent of your maximum heart rate or 10K race pace. That’s like hitting the sweet spot between hard work and sustainable effort.

When it comes to the workout itself, start with a 10 to 15 minute warm-up jog and then pick up the pace to your predetermined tempo segment. And after all that hard work, don’t forget to cool down with a five-minute easy jog to avoid that pesky blood-pooling phenomenon.

Interval Running Workouts – The Conclusion

Interval running workouts can be a game-changer in your fitness journey, and I hope that the tips and tricks I’ve shared will inspire you to take your running to the next level. By incorporating intervals into your routine, you can increase your speed, endurance, and overall fitness in no time.

So, lace up your shoes, hit the pavement, and let’s get started on this journey together. Remember, every step you take brings you closer to your fitness aspirations.

Thank you for taking the time to read my tips and tricks, and I wish you all the best on your running journey. Keep training strong, my friends!

Your fellow runner,

David D.

Run Strong, Run Far: The Ultimate Strength Training Program for Runners

woman running in trail

Are you ready to take your running game to the next level? Then you come to the right place.

Here at Runners Blueprint, I firmly believe in the power of a well-rounded training program that includes strength training.

As runners, we tend to focus solely on pounding the pavement and logging miles, but that’s only part of the equation. Incorporating weightlifting into your routine can help prevent injuries, improve your running economy, and ultimately help you reach your goals faster.

Now, I know what you might be thinking. “Weightlifting? That’s not for me. I’ve never lifted a weight in my life!” But don’t worry, my friend.

In today’s post, I’m going to break down the basics of weight lifting for runners. I’ll provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to design a strength training program that will work for you, whether you’re a seasoned weightlifter or a complete beginner.

So, are you ready to experience the same benefits? Let’s get started on designing the ultimate strength training program for runners!

What Is Strength Training?

Strength training is like a secret weapon for runners. While many runners focus solely on pounding the pavement, a well-designed strength training program can provide a wide range of benefits, from injury prevention to improved running performance.

But what exactly is strength training? In simple terms, it’s any form of exercise that causes the muscles to contract against an external resistance, whether that be weights, machines, or even just your own body weight. And while the idea of lifting heavy weights might seem intimidating, there are plenty of options for creating resistance that requires little to no equipment at all.

In fact, research shows that bodyweight exercises like push-ups and squats can be just as effective for building strength and improving endurance as traditional weight-lifting exercises. And the benefits don’t stop there. Strength training has also been shown to help prevent injuries, improve bone density, and boost metabolism (more on this later).

And what’s the best part? You don’t need fancy equipment or an expensive gym membership to get started. With just a few basic exercises and some simple guidelines, you can start reaping the benefits of strength training in no time.

The Importance of a Strength Training For Runners

So why should runners bother with strength training in the first place? Let’s check a few reasons:

Improved Performance

A 2020 study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports found that a 12-week combined endurance and strength training program improved running performance and muscle strength in female recreational runners. The researchers found that the combined training group had a significant improvement in 10 km run time, running economy, and muscle strength compared to the endurance-only group.

Improved Running Economy

A 2016 study published in the International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance found that a 6-week strength training program improved running economy in collegiate distance runners. The researchers found that the strength-trained group had a 2.9% increase in running economy compared to the control group that did not perform strength training.

Fix Muscle Imbalances

Regular resistance training can help correct muscle imbalances and mobility issues—the root cause of many an overuse injury.

Said otherwise, strength training can help safeguard your body against trouble.

Improved VO2 Max

A 2019 study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that a 12-week strength training program improved maximal oxygen uptake (VO2 max) in recreational runners. The researchers found that the strength-trained group had a 5.7% increase in VO2 max compared to the control group that did not perform strength training.

You Won’t Bulk up

If you’re shying away from strength training because you’re afraid of bulking up, then stop it.

The fact is, with the right resistance training program, you’ll be able to boost your muscle strength and density with no drastic increases in muscle mass and weight.

Arms Strength And Running

Arms strength is key to a runner’s efficiency. With every foot strike, you’re pumping your arms. The stronger the arms, the more power you generate.

It Makes You Stronger In general.

Adding strength to your upper body makes you more athletic in general.  Once you start spending more time strengthening your upper body, you’ll be surprised at how easy others exercises will get. I’m talking about real technique, not overcompensation which we all know it’s cheating.

Almost every workout you do, from Yoga to HIIT classes, contains upper-body exercises, such as push-ups, planks, and press-ups—all of which call for a decent level of upper-body strength.

Prevent Injury

Injuries are an inevitable part of being a runner. The cumulative stress of regularly logging the miles will, sooner or later, take a toll on your body.

Soreness, aches, cramps, strains, and inflammation can all plague the neck, arms, shoulders, and back. Again, strengthening your upper body is one step toward helping you keep and improve technique.

Increased Resting Metabolism

When you build muscle mass, you increase your resting metabolism, and that helps your body shed more calories.

Muscle is active tissue. Every pound of muscle burns about six calories per day at rest. In fact, a pound of muscle burns roughly three times as many calories as a pound of fat—that’s quite a lot. That’s why strength training is often recommended for people trying to lose weight.

Additional resource – Keeping muscle during marathon training

 It Takes Little Time

As a runner, you do not need to become a full-time Olympic weightlifter to start reaping the benefits of resistance training.

Logging in two to three sessions a week (even if it’s just a simple body-weight workout)  is enough for making the most out of your strength training since your main aim is improving running performance, speed, and endurance—not necessarily in that exact order.

Beginner Strength Running Plan For Beginners

If you are just starting out, take your training slowly and make sure to alternate between weight-lifting and running days.

According to a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, alternating between strength training and cardio on different days can result in better performance improvements than doing both on the same day.

Otherwise, you’re risking overtraining, which can lead to injury and slow down your progress.

As a beginner, start with two strength workouts a week for three to four weeks, then add a third workout in month two.

Research shows that beginners can achieve strength gains with just two workouts per week.

Shoot for at least 20 to 30 minutes per session, then gradually add time and intensity until you’re lifting hard for 50 to 60 minutes a session.

A study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that a longer duration of resistance exercise led to greater muscle hypertrophy, or growth, in untrained individuals.

Don’t Rush

Focus on bodyweight training to improve all-around strength and stability, and should wait for at least a couple of months before incorporating heavy weights.

According to a study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology, bodyweight training can improve muscular endurance, strength, and power in untrained individuals.

The beginner routines shared below consist of low to medium-intensity exercises, with the primary purpose of building a base of core strength and endurance on which to base more challenging exercises.

The beginner training schedule is suitable for runners with less than 8 to 12 weeks of strength or core training experience while following a routine that involves strength training on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and running on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays (as shown in the training sample below).

Additional resource – Clamshells for runners

The Concept of Training Split

To schedule your workouts the right way, you need first to determine what weight training split and weekly schedule to opt for.

If you are already familiar with strength training, then you know about splits and how they are used.

If not, then below is a simple explanation and description.

The most common and widely tested is the 3-day full body split.

This simple method is recommended for a beginner with any goal.

The Exact Weekly Breakdown

The Exact Weekly Breakdown

In case you have no idea what that means, here is an example of a training week:

  • Monday: Strength Workout A
  • Tuesday: Run
  • Wednesday: Strength Workout B
  • Thursday: Run
  • Friday: Strength Workout C
  • Saturday: Run
  • Sunday: Rest

Sure, this might sound simplistic, but if you’re serious about achieving consistency during the first few weeks and months, you need to keep your training simple.

Otherwise, if it’s too complicated or intense, chances are you’re not going to stick with it for the long haul.

The Bodyweight Routine – The Beginner

Research has shown that bodyweight training can be just as effective as weightlifting in improving strength and power as long as you progressively increase the difficulty of the exercises.

According to a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, bodyweight exercises such as push-ups, pull-ups, squats, and lunges can improve muscle strength and endurance in both novice and advanced athletes.

When it comes to bodyweight training, the possibilities are almost endless. You can start with basic exercises such as glute bridges, planks, and bodyweight squats and progress to more challenging movements such as pistol squats and one-arm push-ups. You can also use tools like TRX bands, medicine balls, and resistance bands to add variety and challenge to your workouts.

But remember, consistency is key. Stick to a few basic exercises that feel comfortable and natural to you, and gradually increase the reps, sets, and intensity. To get you started, here are three exemplary workouts that target different areas of the body.

Workout A is the upper body routine, which includes exercises such as push-ups, pull-ups, and dips to strengthen your chest, back, and arms.

Workout B is the lower body routine, which includes exercises such as lunges, squats, and calf raises to build strong and stable legs.

Finally, Workout C is the full-body routine, which combines upper and lower body exercises into a high-intensity circuit.

Remember, the key to success is consistency and progression. As you get stronger and more comfortable with the exercises, increase the reps, sets, or difficulty level to keep challenging your body.

Workout A: The Upper Body Routine

Perform as many reps as possible with good form of the following exercises

  • Push-ups
  • Pull-ups
  • Planks
  • Dips
  • Set-ups

Repeat three to five times

Workout B: The Lower Body Routine

Perform as many reps as possible with good form of the following exercises

Repeat three to five times

Workout C: The Full Body Routine

Perform as many reps as possible with good form of the following exercises

  • Military push-ups
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Hindu Pushups
  • Burpees
  • Plyo Lunges

Repeat three to five times.

Additional resource – ITBS guide

The Intermediate Running and Strength Training Weekly Schedule

Are you ready to take your running and strength training to the next level? Then let’s dive into the intermediate weekly schedule. Designed for runners with 3 to 12 months of strength training experience, this routine will take your fitness game to new heights.

But don’t worry, and you won’t need to spend hours at the gym to see significant gains. Just aim for three 30 to 45-minute sessions each week, focusing on full-body exercises that hit every major muscle group.

Think of full-body exercises as the bread and butter of strength training. They’re functional, efficient, and perfect for busy runners. Deadlifts, squats, bench presses, and more will help you get more done in less time. And research has shown that these multi-joint exercises lead to greater muscle activation and overall strength gains compared to isolation exercises.

Workout A—The Upper Body Workout

So, what will you be doing in each workout? In the upper body workout, you’ll perform 8 to 12 reps of the following exercises:

  • Shoulder presses
  • Standing dumbbell curls
  • Push-ups
  • Bench presses
  • Pull-ups

Complete three sets.

Workout B—The Lower Body Workout

Perform 8 to 12 reps of the following exercises:

  • Weighted Squats
  • Dumbbell swings
  • Leg presses
  • Weighted Calf Raises
  • Weighted Lunges

Complete three sets.

Workout C: The Full Body Workout

Perform 8 to 12 reps of the following exercises:

  • Deadlifts
  • Triceps Dips
  • Turkish get-ups
  • Plyo box jumps
  • Floor presses

Complete three sets.

The Gym/Equipment Option – Advanced Program

What if you’ve been strength training for a year or more and want to diversify your routine? Then it’s time to hit the gym and take on the advanced program. With free weights, kettlebells, and machines at your disposal, you’ll be able to create a diverse range of strength training exercises to challenge your body.

Whether you choose the 3-day or 4-day workout routine, aim for two to three sets of 8 to 10 reps of each exercise with 60 to 90 seconds of rest in between. You’ll train different muscle groups each day, focusing on the triceps, shoulders, chest, core, legs, back, and biceps.

The 3-Day Workout Routine

Workout I

Train your triceps, shoulders, and chest

Workout II

Train your core and legs

Workout III

Train your biceps and back.

The 4-Day Workout Routine

After at least 6 to 9 months of strength training, and if you want to really push your strength training, here is a four-day strength workout routine to follow.

Workout I

Back and biceps

Workout II

Chest and Triceps

Workout III

Legs and core

Workout IV

Shoulders

Weight Lifting For Runners – The Conclusion

Ultimately, building strength and muscle is a journey, not a destination. It takes time, dedication, and a willingness to adapt and evolve your routine as you go. But with consistency and patience, you’ll soon be calling yourself a true strength training aficionado.

And the best part? You’ll have the results to show for it. So lace up those sneakers, grab those dumbbells, and get ready to transform your body and mind through the power of resistance training.

Thank you for dropping by.

David D.

Running Workouts to Build Strength and Endurance

picutre of runners legs

Imagine reading your favorite book or watching your favorite TV show over and over again and for days on end.

After a few weeks, the entertainment value would vanish, and  you’d start to dread what was once a gratifying activity, yet that’s what many of us do with our running.

Most runners log nearly all of their runs at the same general distance and intensity, usually around 60 to 70 percent of their max effort.

Doing the same workout day in day out is a recipe for boredom and plateaus.

It’s the kind of a mistake that keeps you from reaching your full running potential.

Therefore, if you’re serious about reaching your running goals, you need to change your ways.

You Need Variety, Period

The following running workouts cover the gamut of running sessions you need to do as a runner.

Each workout has a unique set of traits that contribute to the entirety of your running performance.

The Reasons You Should Care

As a runner, you should vary your training routine for two fundamental reasons:

(1) To prevent the boredom that comes with repeating the same session over and over again, and

(2) To prevent or postpone reaching a plateau in running performance and, therefore, running results.

In today’s article, you’ll learn about the six essential running sessions.

The workouts shared within this article cover the whole range of sessions you need to do as a runner.

Each workout has a unique set of qualities that contribute to the whole of your running growth.

The information is also applicable to beginners and veterans, the young and the elderly, men and women—as long as you’re willing to listen to your body and remain within your fitness skill the entire time.

The 7 Running Workouts You Need To Do

Here are the building blocks of a well-rounded running program

  1. Easy runs
  2. Tempo runs
  3. Interval runs
  4. Pyramid runs
  5. Hill runs
  6. Fartlek runs
  7. Long runs

Let’s break down each session.

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Running Workout 1 –  The Recovery Run

Recovery runs are short sessions done at a relatively easy pace.

As you probably guessed from the name, recovery runs speed your recovery from the previous hard training workout.

That’s the theory, anyway.

I’m not aware of any scientific evidence that supports this claim, but going easy does build proper form, increases endurance, and builds mileage.

How far and/or easy you go depends on a slew of factors including fitness level, training goals, and schedule.

As a general rule, your recovery sessions should be easier and shorter than your other workouts.

When To Do Them

Whenever you run again  24 hours following a high-intensity session or a long run, your next run should be a recovery workout.

Keep in mind that these sessions are only a must if you run more than three times a week.

If it’s not the case, then make each session “quality workout.”

Sample Workout

Do a recovery workout after a hard training session, such as when you do interval workouts, hill reps, or long runs

Between 3 and 5 miles is a pretty standard distance and you should shoot for between 20 and 40 minutes per session.

Start the workout at an easy pace, then keep it up at 60 to 70 percent of maximum effort.

Additional resource – Running Vs. Strength training

The Pace

Perform your recovery runs at a relatively leisurely pace, which is  90 to 120 seconds per mile slower than your current 5K pace.

Got no idea what’s a 5K pace?

Then do the talk test.

If you can keep a conversation going, speaking in full sentences, without gasping for air with every step you take.

If it’s not the case, then slow down.

runner preparing for a running workout

Running Workouts 2 – The Tempo Run

Tempo runs are sustained sessions at a challenging but controlled pace. These can last 45 minutes or longer.

Tempo running increases lactate threshold, which is the point at which the human body produces greater amounts of lactate than it can clear from the muscles and bloodstream.

What does this mean?

When you increase your lactate threshold, you’ll be able to sustain a faster pace for longer.

The Pace

The ideal pace is often described as comfortably hard.

The ideal tempo pace is a comfortably hard pace that can be maintained for a prolonged period.

The pace is hard enough to require pushing, but not too challenging to where one can no longer sustain the pace.

For most runners, the ideal temp space translates to 80 to 90 percent of max.

That’s slightly slower than your 10K race pace, or at least 30 seconds per mile slower than your current 5k pace

Sample Workout

Start your run with a 10-minute warm-up jog, then gradually increase your speed until you’re running at tempo pace.

Sustain that pace for 15 to 30 minutes, depending on your fitness level and training goals.

Finish your workout with a decent cool-down.

Stretch afterward.

Running Workout 3 – The Interval Run

When it comes to speedwork training, interval training is the way to go.

Interval running consists of short bouts of fast running separated by low-intensity recovery.

It involves running—or sprinting—for a set distance, repeated for a set number of times, at the same pace.

A typical distance can be as short as 100 meters but can stretch to as far as a mile depending on the runner’s fitness level and training (or racing) goals.

This all-out effort should be followed by a period of recovery, which can consist of low-intensity jogging or walking.

Research has shown that interval training increases endurance, burns mad calories, boosts agility,  and improves stride rate.

Be Careful

Interval runs are hard on your joints and muscles, as you’re pounding them with a force of up to 6 to 8 times of your body weight on each foot strike.

If you’re a beginner, work on building a solid form before you give this type of training a shot.

Otherwise, you’re asking for trouble in the form of premature fatigue, injury, or even a painful burnout.

Pace

Mainly depends on the length of the intervals you’re doing.

The shorter the sprinting segments, the harder you push.

As a general rule,  perform the high-intensity segment at 90 to  98 percent maximum effort.

You’re going too slow if you can keep a conversation going.

Sample Workout

After a thorough dynamic warm-up, perform eight 400m repeats, following each rep with a 2-minute walk/jog recovery period.

Finish the session with a 5-minute slow jog as cool down.

Running Workout 4 – The Ladder Run

If you’re bored with doing classic intervals, the ladder variation is an excellent way to challenge yourself and mix things up.

Ladder workouts involve climbing up, down, or both, all in a single workout. The runner slows down and recovers fully between each interval.

Sample Workout

This is a 6-4-2-1-2-4-6 pyramid run workout.

Begin by performing a 10-minute dynamic warm-up.

Then, do the following:

  • Run for 6 minutes at your current 5K pace. Recover for three minutes.
  • Run for 4 minutes at 85 to 90 percent of maximum effort. Recover for two minutes.
  • Run for 2 minutes at 90 percent of max effort. Recover for one minute.
  • Run for 1 minute at maximum effort. Recover for one minute.
  • Run for 2 minutes at 90 percent of max effort. Recover for one minute.
  • Run for 4 minutes at 85 to 90 percent of maximum effort. Recover for 2 minutes.
  • Run for 6 minutes at your current 5K pace.

Finish your workout with a 5-minute slow jog as a cool down.

Please keep in mind that this is a demanding workout that tests both your speed and endurance.

Be careful, and remember to stay within your fitness level the entire time.

Running Workout 5 –The Fartlek Run

Fartlek training is my favorite workout on this list.

It combines fast running intervals with low-to-moderate efforts.

Each interval varies in distance, duration, and speed.

Fartlek is an excellent introduction to the world of speedwork training.

It’s ideal for beginners looking to get a taste of speedwork before taking the full plunge.

Sample Workout

After a warm-up, pick an object in the distance, whether it’s a street corner, a stationary car, a tree, or a signpost.

Run to it as hard as you can, then slow down and recover by jogging /walking to another landmark.

Sight your next target and do it again, repeating the process for at least 20 to 30 minutes.

Finish the workout with a decent cooldown.

The Pace

There are no rules. You choose how fast or slow you go.

Running Workout 6 – The Hill Session

Once you’ve developed enough cardio power and stamina, hills runs are the next frontier.

They consist of repeated short or long bursts of intense effort up a hill, and have plenty to offer.

Uphill running builds explosive strength and power, which helps you improve your speed and running economy.

It also boosts aerobic power, improves pain tolerance, and builds proper form.

One of the best things about hill training is that what goes up must come down.

The downhill part of your run will increase strength and endurance in your joints and tendons, plus it works the quads like nothing else.

The Pace

The ideal pace should be difficult to sustain, especially near the top.

To make sure you’re doing it right, focus on taking short strides and go as fast as you can while keeping good form.

Sample Workout

Find a good hill that features a stable, moderate gradient of 4 to 7 percent.

It should take you 30 to 45 seconds to run up your chosen hill at a challenging level of effort.

Start with a 10-minute jog on a flat surface, then perform 8 to 10 30-second hill climbs with 90-second jogging recovery breaks between each rep.

When you’re done, cool down for 5 minutes.

Running Workout

Running Workout 7 –  The Long Run Workout

The long run is just what it sounds like – a sustained running effort at an easy and steady pace.

Long runs are one of the most important sessions of the week.

They develop endurance, improve form, increase lung power, and get your body ready for any distance.

Sample Workout

Run for one hour or longer at a pace that allows you to hold a conversation effortlessly.

If you’re panting for breath, slow down to a walk until you’re breathing easily.

Then start running again.

You should feel moderately fatigued at the end of your session.

If you’re completely exhausted, you’re doing it wrong.

Leave something in the tank.

As a rule of thumb, do not increase your long run length—duration, distance, or both—by no more than 10 to 15 percent per week.

Your Training Pace

Perform your long runs at about one minute slower than marathon pace, or around 90 to 120 seconds per mile slower than current 10K speed.

Also, keep your heart rate within 65 to 75 percent of maximum power.

To err on the side of caution, do not go over the fast end of that range because that will put you at a higher risk of injury, excessive fatigue, and burnouts.

Putting it All Together

By now you should understand what makes up a well-rounded running routine.

Your next step is to put your newfound knowledge into action.

Let’s assume you’re a recreational runner looking to improve your running fitness.

Maybe you’re thinking of participating in a 5K, or want to take your running to the next level.

Here’s a Weekly Training Schedule Sample to get you started on the right foot.

  • Monday – Speed Workout – 8 X 200m with a 30-second recovery period
  • Tuesday – Recovery run – 30 minutes at a conversational pace
  • Wednesday – Hill reps – 10 X 30-seconds uphills with one-minute recovery periods
  • Thursday – Fartlek Workout – 30 minutes of unstructured speed work
  • Friday – Rest
  • Saturday – Long run– 10-miles at a relaxed pace
  • Sunday—Rest or Cross-train

Rome Was Not Built In A Day, and Your Running Program Shouldn’t Be Either

I want to be perfectly clear.

I’m not saying that you should start a challenging program next week, filled with lots of sprints, hill work and long distance running.

That’s a recipe for disaster.

What I’m trying to do here is sell you on the importance of variety.

Add these new workouts to your training program gradually.

You like where you’re heading?

Do a little more.

You always have a choice.

Keep Track

Before you jump in and give these workouts a shot, keep tabs on your training and progress in a workout log.

What should you be keeping track of?

Any or all of the following:

  • Running duration
  • Running distance
  • Running intensity
  • Recovery length between intervals
  • How you felt both during and after training
  • Your training load (which is intensity and volume)
  • Pains, aches, and nagging injuries
  • Motivation level
  • Whatever else you think is important

New to Running? Start Here…

If you’re serious about running, getting fit, and staying injury free, then make sure to download my Runners Blueprint Guide!

Inside this guide, you’ll learn how to start running and lose weight weight the easy and painless way. This is, in fact, your ultimate manifesto to becoming a faster and a stronger runner. And you want that, don’t you?

 Click HERE to check out my Runners Blueprint System today!

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Conclusion

There you have it! The above running sessions are all you need to build a well-rounded running program that will not only help improve your running performance, but get you into the best shape of your life, too.

So what are you waiting for? Take action now!

Feel free to leave your comments and questions below, and as always, thanks for stopping by. Keep running strong!

David D.

How to Boost Your Running Performance with Resistance Band Training

Resistance Bands Training exercises

Are you looking to give resistance band training a try? You’ve come to the right place.

Strength training is a crucial part of any running program, regardless of your current fitness level and training goals. In other words, if you run, you should incorporate strength training. There’s no way around it.

Why is it so important? Here are two key reasons:

  • Boost power and strength in essential running muscles like the glutes, quads, and calves. This leads to improved running economy and performance.
  • Correct muscle imbalances, which results in fewer injuries and less discomfort while running.

While I could talk endlessly about the benefits of strength training for runners, that’s not my main goal today. Instead, I want to share a set of resistance band exercises you can do at home to enhance your overall body strength.

So, why resistance bands? Well, keep reading for the answers.

Enter Resistance Bands

Resistance bands are fantastic fitness tools. They’re typically made from strong, thin, and durable rubber and feature handles at each end.

The best part? They come in various resistance levels, so you can choose the perfect fit for your current fitness level and training objectives.

These bands are incredibly versatile and customizable to suit your unique needs. Whether you’re a fitness newbie or a seasoned pro, there’s a resistance band for you.

From my experience, I can confidently say that resistance band exercises are among the best ways to maintain strength training routine, especially if you can’t make it to the gym or have your own personal reasons for avoiding it.

Let’s face it: having a stack of dumbbells in your living room might not be the most appealing option for everyone.

Resistance Bands Offer a lot of exercises

The beauty of resistance bands lies in their versatility. With these simple yet effective tools, you can unlock a world of diverse bodyweight exercises. In fact, there’s virtually no limit to the types of resistance exercises you can perform.

From squats to push-ups, chest presses to rows, triceps extensions to overhead presses, and bicep curls, the list goes on.

The best part? You can do all of these exercises without the need for dumbbells or a weight bar.

Many Muscle Groups

Resistance bands are incredibly versatile when it comes to targeting specific muscle groups. They can effectively engage the major muscle groups crucial for running, such as your core, glutes, and legs.

Moreover, you have the freedom to select exercises that align with your fitness goals and preferences. Whether you’re looking to work on your overall strength or isolate particular muscle groups, resistance bands have got you covered.

Connective Tissues

Resistance bands offer unique benefits for connective tissues like tendons and fascia. They can help improve the function of these crucial connective tissues, which is essential for overall mobility and injury prevention.

Additionally, resistance bands are incredibly cost-effective, making them one of the most budget-friendly options for strength training, second only to bodyweight exercises. You can find resistance bands for as little as $5, and even the more advanced options rarely exceed $25. This affordability makes them accessible to virtually anyone.

Moreover, their compact and portable nature adds to their convenience. You can easily roll up resistance bands and take them with you when you travel, ensuring that you can maintain your strength training regimen no matter where you go. This portability is a significant advantage for those who are constantly on the move or prefer to work out in different locations.

How to start Resistance Bands Exercises For Runners 

If you’re new to resistance bands training, here are some essential tips to get you started on the right foot:

  • Choose the Right Band: As a beginner, opt for a thinner band, typically in green or yellow. This level of resistance is ideal for newcomers and allows you to focus on proper form and technique. Remember, you can always increase the resistance as you become more experienced and stronger.
  • Master the Basics: Begin with fundamental exercises to build a solid foundation. Exercises like squats, rows, and chest presses are excellent starting points. These movements target major muscle groups and prepare your body for more advanced exercises.
  • Proper Form is Key: Pay close attention to your form. Ensure that you’re using the correct posture and technique for each exercise. This not only maximizes the effectiveness of the workout but also prevents injuries.
  • Gradually Increase Resistance: As you progress and feel more confident, challenge yourself by using a band with higher resistance. Bands in blue or green offer increased resistance and intensify your workouts.
  • Adjust Band Length: You can make exercises more challenging by shortening the bands or even doubling them up. Experiment with different band lengths to find the right level of resistance for your current fitness level.
  • Consistency is Key: Like any form of training, consistency is crucial. Incorporate resistance band exercises into your routine regularly, aiming for at least two to three sessions per week. This consistency will lead to steady progress over time.

1. Side Steps

This exercise is a fantastic way to stabilize and strengthen your hip abductors, which are crucial for runners. Research has shown that many overuse running injuries, such as Runner’s Knee and IT Band Syndrome, can be linked to weakness in the hip muscles.

Here’s how to do it correctly:

Proper Form:

Set Up: Begin by looping the resistance band either above your knees, below them, or for added resistance, around your ankles.

Athletic Position: Assume an athletic position with your feet hip-width apart and your knees slightly bent.

Step Out: Step out to the right side, planting your right heel and pulling your left foot over so you return to a hip-width stance. Maintain tension on the resistance band throughout the exercise.

Keep Feet Apart: Be sure not to let your feet come into contact during the movement.

Repetition: Repeat the sidestepping movement for at least 12 to 16 steps in one direction, and then reverse back to the starting point.

Progression: As you become stronger, challenge yourself by increasing the distance and resistance of the exercise.

2. Monster Steps

This exercise is another fantastic way to target the hip muscles and strengthen your entire lower body, with a special focus on the glutes. Here’s how to perform it correctly:

Proper Form:

Set Up: Loop a resistance band around both ankles and another one around your knees. Ensure that there is enough resistance so that the band is taut when your feet are hip-width apart. If it feels too easy, adjust the band to provide more resistance.

Starting Position: Begin with your knees slightly bent and engage your glutes. This is your starting position.

Movement: Sink into a semi-squat position, and then step forward and out to the side at a 45-degree angle.

Take Monster Steps: Step forward with your left foot, taking “monster” steps by keeping your feet as wide apart as possible. Continue walking in this manner for a distance of 16 to 20 feet.

Walk Backward: After reaching your desired distance, walk backward to return to your starting point.

3. Standing Hip Abduction

This exercise is a personal favorite of mine, and it’s incredibly effective for targeting the hip muscles and glutes. It also incorporates balance, making it an excellent choice for runners.

Proper Form:

Set-Up: To perform this exercise, you’ll need a resistance band and a sturdy object to anchor it. Create a loop by passing one handle of the band around the sturdy object and the other handle around your right ankle. Stand tall with your left foot on the tubing while holding the opposite handle.

Balance Assistance: If you have concerns about balance, you can hold onto a secure object for support.

Movement: Begin with your right knee straight and engage your core muscles. Kick your right leg outward, away from your body, while keeping your hips level and preventing any rotation. Hold this position for a moment.

Return: Slowly return your right leg to the starting position.

Focus on Hip Muscles: Throughout the exercise, concentrate on using your hip muscles rather than allowing your hips to rotate.

Repetitions: Aim to complete 12 to 16 repetitions on each side to finish one set.

4. Ankle Dorsiflexion

This exercise is particularly valuable if you’ve experienced lower leg pain or shin splints in the past. Dorsiflexion involves flexing your ankle by bringing your foot toward your shin, and it’s an effective way to strengthen your lower legs and reduce the risk of common overuse injuries.

Proper Form:

  • Set Up: Begin by sitting on a mat with your legs extended. Take the middle of the resistance band and wrap it around your right foot, then hold onto the band’s handle.
  • Movement: Pull your right foot up toward your shin as far as you can, maximizing dorsiflexion. This is the primary movement.
  • Return: Slowly lower your foot back to the starting position as soon as you’ve reached the maximum dorsiflexion. This completes one repetition.
  • Repetitions: Aim to perform at least 12 to 16 repetitions on each side to complete one set.

Clams:

Clam exercises target several muscle groups, including the outer thighs, glutes, groin, and hip flexors.

Proper Form:

Starting Position: Begin by lying on your right side, supporting your head with your hand or arm, or propping yourself up on your forearm. Your knees should be slightly bent, and your feet should be stacked, one on top of the other.

Band Placement: Loop the resistance band around your knees, ensuring it’s secure.

Movement: Lift your top knee upward about 8 to 10 inches while keeping your feet together throughout the movement.

Hold and Return: Hold the elevated position for a count of three, emphasizing the contraction in your hip and thigh muscles. Then, slowly lower your knee back to the starting position.

Repetitions: Perform the clam exercise for 12 to 16 repetitions on each side to complete one set.

5. Squat with Resistance Band

Squats are undoubtedly one of the best strength exercises, and when paired with resistance bands, they become even more effective for runners. Squats target various muscle groups, including the core, glutes, quadriceps, and calves. Additionally, they promote mobility and a full range of motion in the lower body, which is essential for runners.

Proper Form:

Starting Position: Stand on the resistance band with both feet, positioning them shoulder-width apart. Ensure the band is taut and centered under your feet.

Grip Handles: Squat down by pushing your hips back and reach down to grip a handle in each hand. Keep your chest up and your back flat.

Squat Movement: With the handles raised to shoulder height, maintain an upright posture while squatting down. Imagine you’re sitting in a chair positioned behind you.

Full Squat: Continue to lower your body until both of your knees are bent at approximately a 90-degree angle.

Return to Standing: Push through your heels to stand back up, returning to the starting position. This completes one repetition.

Knee Tracking: Pay attention to your knee alignment, ensuring they track over your toes throughout the exercise.

6. Standing Kickbacks

This exercise primarily targets the hamstrings (the muscles at the back of the thighs) and the gluteus maximus (the butt muscles). It’s an excellent addition to your resistance band routine to strengthen these crucial muscle groups.

Proper Form:

Ankle Loop: Begin by looping the resistance band just above your left ankle. Ensure it’s secure and won’t slide down during the exercise.

Sturdy Object: Stand facing a sturdy object that you can hold onto for balance. This could be a chair, a wall, or any stable support.

Knee Bend: Slightly bend your right knee while keeping your upper body upright.

Kickback Motion: Lift your left foot off the ground, driving your heel backward in a kickback motion. Focus on contracting your hamstrings and glutes.

Top Position: Hold the position for a moment when your left leg is fully extended backward, engaging your core for stability.

Lower and Repeat: Lower your left leg back down with control, and then repeat the kickback motion on the same side.

Core Engagement: Maintain engagement in your core muscles throughout the exercise to support your posture and balance.

Avoid Rocking: Ensure that your upper body doesn’t rock forward as you perform the kickbacks.

Running Exercises at Home – Strength Training for Runners (No equipment Needed)

No-Equipment Home Workout for Runners

Are you on the hunt for the ultimate home workout routine that will take your running game to new heights? Well, look no further because you’ve landed in the right spot!

Let’s address the elephant in the room: runners need to strength train. It’s not just a suggestion; it’s an absolute necessity. I’ve said it time and time again, and I’ll keep shouting it from the rooftops. But hey, I get it. Incorporating a regular running and strength training program into your already busy schedule is easier said than done. Life has a way of throwing curveballs our way, making it challenging to find the time and energy for it all.

But here’s a dose of reality: traditional gyms are often designed for people who have all the time in the world. But what about the rest of us? The busy bees who juggle work, family, and a million other responsibilities? Fear not, my friend, because I have a secret weapon: bodyweight training.

To help you kick-start this bodyweight training revolution, I’ve curated a list of the absolute best running exercises you can do right at home. This challenging no-equipment routine is specifically tailored for runners like you, designed to complement your outdoor efforts and take your fitness journey to new heights.

Ready? Let’s dive into this list of incredible exercises and unleash your inner running beast!

Running Exercise at Home – 1. Bodyweight Squat

Assume an athletic position with feet about shoulder width apart, while extending the arms out straight so they are parallel with the ground.

Next, while sticking your butt out, and leaning forward at the waist, squat down until both knees are bent at a 90-degree angle, and/or both thighs are parallel to the ground.

Make sure the back is straight, shoulders and chest upright throughout the movement.

Last up, return to starting position by driving through heels.

Perform 25 reps to complete one set.

Repeat for three times.

Running Exercise at Home – 2. Planks

Begin by laying on your stomach, then prop up on your elbows with feet slightly apart.

The toes should be about hip distance apart with shoulders directly above the elbows.

Next, hold the plank position while keeping the entire body straight and core engaged the entire time.

Hold the pose for at least 90 seconds to complete one set.

Repeat for three or more sets.

Running Exercises at Home – 3. Walking Lunges

Assume an athletic position with your hands behind your head.

Next, while engaging the core and keeping your torso straight, step forward with your right leg until your front thigh is parallel to the floor, then push your right heel into the ground, and step forward to a standing position.

Repeat on the other side

Perform at least 12 reps on each side to complete one set.

Aim for three sets.

Additional Resource – 13 Exercises to improve running

Running Exercise at Home – 4. Lying Superman

Lay down with the body flat on the floor, arms extended in front of your face.

Next, while engaging the core, raise both of your legs, chest, and arms off the ground, then hold it for a count of three while squeezing the lower back in the process.

Last up, lower back to the starting position.

That’s one rep.

Perform 16 reps to complete one set.

Repeat for three times.

Additional resourceShould you be running after leg day?

Running Exercise at Home – 5. Dive Bomber Push-ups

Assume a downward dog position with the hands about shoulder width apart, and hips high in the air.

Be sure that body looks like an inverted “V.”

Next, lower your chest to the ground by bending your elbows as you push forward to an upward dog position.

Hold for the count of three, then reverse the movement, until you are back to the starting position.

Do at least 10 reps to complete one set.

Aim for three sets.

Additional resource – Maintaining muscle during marathon training

Running Exercise at Home  6. Russian Twists

Begin by laying on your back with the upper legs perpendicular to the floor and knees bent 90-degrees.

Next, while keeping the back straight and core engaged, twist your torso as far as you can to the right side, then twist back to the starting position, and repeat on the left side.

For more challenge, raise both of your legs off the floor and/or use weights for more resistance.

Do at least 16 reps on both sides to complete one set.

Aim for three sets with good form.

Running Exercise at Home 7. Single Leg Lateral Jumps

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kz–psqBm9k

Begin by standing on the side of a hurdle or a cone, then balance on one leg with the knee slightly bent.

Next, while keeping your back flat, jump to hop sideways over the cone.

As soon as your foot touches the floor, rebound by jumping back to the starting position.

Be sure to continue hopping back and forth while engaging your core muscles and pushing explosively from your legs.

Aim for at least 12 to 16 reps on both legs.

Do three sets.

Running Exercise at Home 8. Fire Hydrants

Assume an all fours position.

Next, while engaging your core and keeping the lower back as flat as possible, raise your knee directly to the outside as high as you can, then lower down into the starting position.

Perform 16 reps on each side to complete one set.

Aim for three sets.

Running Exercise at Home 9. Burpees

Begin in a standing position with feet shoulder width apart

Next, lower down into a squatting position, placing both hands on the floor just outside of the feet.

Then, kick both of your feet, so you end up in a push-up position.

Lower your chest to the floor, then press back, kick your feet back to the squatting position, then explosively jump up into the air while clapping the arms overhead.

That’s one rep.

Aim for at least 25 burpees with good form to complete one set. Do three sets.

Obstacle Course Races – An OCR Training Plan For Beginners

picture of Obstacle Course Race

If you’ve ever found yourself daydreaming about conquering muddy obstacles, crawling under barbed wire, and leaping through flames, then hold on tight because I’ve got some exhilarating news for you.

Obstacle course races are here to satisfy your craving for extreme challenges like never before!

In the past few years, these wild and insane events have taken the world by storm and have become the ultimate playground for adrenaline junkies like yourself. And guess what? They’re not going anywhere anytime soon. In fact, they’ve grown from being a niche hobby to a global phenomenon that captivates the hearts and minds of millions of athletes all over the world.

From the muddy trenches to the towering walls, every obstacle becomes a metaphor for life’s challenges. And as you conquer each hurdle, you’ll discover a newfound confidence, resilience, and an unwavering belief in your own abilities.

Let’s dive into the incredible world of obstacle course races, where dreams are realized and limits are shattered. Are you ready to rise to the challenge?

Obstacle Course Races Demystified

Obstacle course races, also known as OCRs, are not your typical leisurely jog through the park. Oh no, they are an all-out test of your physical and mental fortitude that will push you to the very edge of your limits.

Imagine this: you’re facing a muddy, treacherous battlefield filled with military-style obstacles that seem straight out of an action movie. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to conquer each and every one of these gut-busting challenges. From scaling towering walls and navigating greasy monkey bars to climbing cargo nets and conquering rope climbs, every obstacle demands strength, stamina, coordination, and a whole lot of mental toughness.

But here’s the kicker: obstacle course races come in all shapes and sizes. The distance alone can vary from a thrilling three miles to a jaw-dropping 25 miles or more. And it’s not just about the distance; it’s about the heart-pounding obstacles that await you at every turn. Picture yourself swimming through frigid pits of water, carrying heavy objects that test your strength to its very core, and even jumping through roaring flames.

Obstacle Course Training Explained

Preparing for an obstacle course race is a whole different ball game compared to training for your average road race. You see, it’s not just about pounding the pavement or increasing your mileage. Oh no, my friends, it’s about training your body to conquer every challenge that comes your way.

Here’s a little secret: you might think that road runners have the upper hand in OCRs because of their running background. But guess what? That’s not always the case. These races require more than just strong legs and endurance. Upper body strength plays a crucial role in conquering those jaw-dropping obstacles. So, while road runners might be speedy on the track, they might struggle when it comes to the monkey bars or rope climbs.

On the flip side, strength athletes like powerlifters, wrestlers, and football players may have all the brawn in the world, but they often face a different challenge. Endurance becomes their Achilles’ heel, as they need to build up the stamina to power through the entire race without hitting a wall.

In other words, obstacle course training is a balancing act that demands a little bit of everything. It’s a beautiful blend of strength, speed, endurance, and mental toughness.

The 3 Key Traits

Now, let’s not forget about mobility, speed, and agility. You need to be nimble like a ninja.

Flexibility and quickness will be your secret weapons as you twist, turn, and leap your way through the course.

And here’s the kicker: it’s not just about physical prowess. Mental toughness is equally important. You need that unwavering mindset that tells you to keep going when your body screams for a break. It’s the grit that propels you forward when others give up.

In a nutshell, you need to become the ultimate athlete, a force to be reckoned with on that course. But before you dive headfirst into training, we need to assess where you’re at. It’s time to get real and evaluate your current fitness level and goals.

Grab a pen and paper or open a document on your computer because we’ve got some questions to answer.

Let’s start with the basics:

What type of OCR are you aiming for?

  • How long is the race you’re eyeing? And be honest, can you currently run that distance? Rate it on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the toughest challenge you can imagine.
  • Are you mentally tough? Can you withstand the mental hurdles that come with pushing your body to its limits?
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, rate your overall fitness level.
  • Any injuries? Are you currently recovering from any? We need to know to tailor your training accordingly.
  • Are you incorporating regular strength training into your routine?
  • Are you willing to invest your hard-earned cash just to get dirty and muddy, to put your ass on the line for the thrill of the race?
  • And last but certainly not least, do you have that sense of adventure burning deep within you?

If your answers are mostly positive, then you’re ready to move on to the next section.

How much Time you need to train?

Listen up, OCR enthusiasts! Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of OCR training, I’ve got a little disclaimer for you. This program is not for the faint of heart or the couch potatoes among us. Oh no. You need to have a solid cardio and strength foundation before you embark on this epic journey.

So here’s the deal: you have to be fit. I mean really fit. To conquer that finish line, I highly recommend that you’re able to run at least 6 to 8 miles without breaking a sweat. If running isn’t your thing yet, don’t worry. I’ve got your back. Check out my beginner running programs to get you started on the right track.

Now, let’s get one thing straight: there’s no shortcut when it comes to mud runs and the sort. You can’t just skip fitness levels and expect to conquer those obstacles like a pro. It’s a step-by-step process, my friends. You’ve got to put in the work, embrace the sweat, and push your limits. Trust me, it’ll all be worth it when you’re climbing walls and leaping over fire.

The Ultimate Obstacle Course Training Guide

If you’re a complete beginner, get ready to embark on a journey of at least three to four months (and maybe even longer, depending on the race you’ve got your sights on). We’re in it for the long haul, folks!

Here’s the game plan: aim for three to four workouts a week, gradually increasing the intensity as you go. We’re all about progress here, so each week should be a step up from the last. It’s all about that gradual climb to greatness.

Now, if you’re already a seasoned runner with muscles of steel, you can shave some time off that training period. Give yourself a solid 4 to 8 weeks of targeted OCR training. We’re talking obstacle-specific workouts, my friends. It’s time to hone those skills and get your body primed for the challenges ahead.

But hey, if you consider yourself an intermediate or advanced athlete, we’re kicking things up a notch. Your goal is to train like a beast, hitting the gym or the trails 5 to 6 times a week. You’re a force to be reckoned with, and it’s time to unleash that inner OCR champion within you.

Endurance

Let’s talk about the bread and butter of these races: endurance. We’re not just talking about your run-of-the-mill 10K road race here. We’re diving into a world of trail running, muddy madness, and obstacles that’ll test every ounce of your stamina.

Hill and Speedwork

Picture this: you’re out there on the course, running through trails that wind through the wilderness. Your legs are pumping as you power up those hills, conquer the muddy terrain, and navigate through the obstacles that stand in your way. It’s an adventure unlike anything you’ve experienced before.

But here’s the secret sauce to conquering it all: speed work and hill reps. That’s right, my friends, we’re going to train those explosive powers and build the strength needed to dominate the entire course.

So let’s dive into the workouts that will take you to OCR greatness

1. Interval Run Workout

Let’s talk about a workout that will take your explosive power and stamina to the next level: interval running. Picture this: you’re on the course, pushing yourself to the limit as you sprint through the running segments and conquer those challenging obstacles. It’s like fartlek training on steroids!

So here’s the game plan for your first interval running workout:

Step 1: Warm-up

Before diving into the intense work ahead, you need to warm up those muscles and get your body ready. Spend a good 10 minutes doing a light jog or dynamic stretches. This will help prevent injuries and set the stage for a killer workout.

Step 2: Full Throttle Sprints

Now it’s time to unleash your inner speed demon. Give it your all and sprint at around 80 percent of your maximum speed for a full 30 seconds. Feel the power in your legs and the rush of adrenaline as you push yourself to the limit.

Step 3: Recovery Jog

After that burst of speed, it’s time to catch your breath and recover. Slow down to a comfortable jogging pace for a full minute. Let your body relax and prepare for the next round of intensity.

Step 4: Repeat and Conquer

Now here’s where the magic happens. Repeat the sprint and recovery process six to eight times. Each sprint should be a burst of pure energy, followed by a brief recovery period. Push yourself, but listen to your body and make adjustments if needed.

Step 5: Cool Down and Stretch

Congratulations, you’ve conquered your interval running workout! But we’re not done just yet. Transition into a relaxed and effortless jog to cool down your body. Take a few moments to stretch those muscles and give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back.

Remember, the intensity and duration of each interval should be tailored to your fitness level and goals. Listen to your body, push yourself within reason, and be mindful of avoiding any injuries.

2. The Hill Workout

Hill training increases both lungpower and lower body strength.

This combo is going to help you overcome many of the obstacles like the steep incline, the stairs and so on.

Get ready to conquer those challenging hills and unleash your inner strength with an exhilarating interval hill workout. Picture yourself ascending those steep inclines, feeling your lungs expand with each breath and your lower body growing stronger with every step. It’s like a symphony of lungpower and leg strength working together to tackle the obstacles that lie ahead.

Now let’s dive into the details of your interval hill workout:

Step 1: Find the Perfect Hill

Scout out the nearest hill with a steep gradient, ideally ranging from 5 to 10 percent. This hill should be challenging enough to give your legs and lungs a good workout. It should take you approximately one to two minutes to reach the top at your maximum running speed.

Step 2: Warm-Up Ritual

Before charging up that hill, it’s crucial to prepare your body for the intense effort ahead. Begin with a slow 5-to 10-minute jog on flat terrain. This gets your blood flowing, raises your body temperature, and primes your muscles for the work to come.

Step 3: Power Up the Hill

Now it’s time to unleash your cardio power and tackle that hill like a true champion. Set your pace at around 80-90 percent of your maximum effort and sprint up the hill with all your might. Feel the burn, embrace the challenge, and keep pushing until you reach the top.

Step 4: Recover and Repeat

Once you’ve conquered the hill, take a slow and leisurely walk back down to the starting point. Catch your breath, allow your heart rate to come down, and prepare for the next round. Repeat this cycle of hill sprints and recovery four to six times, depending on your fitness level and energy reserves.

Step 5: Cool Down and Stretch

Now it’s time to bring your body back to a calm state. Jog slowly for about 5 minutes, allowing your heart rate to gradually return to normal. And don’t forget to reward your hard-working muscles with some gentle stretching to promote flexibility and recovery.

Remember, it’s essential to listen to your body throughout the workout.

If you start to lose speed, form, or both, it’s a sign that you’ve pushed yourself enough for the day. Safety should always come first.

3. Long Run Workout

Get ready to take your lung power and endurance to the next level with the secret weapon of every OCR champion: the long run. It’s time to lace up your shoes, hit the trails, and unleash your inner OCR beast.

So, how far should you go? Let’s break it down.

To truly prepare yourself for the demands of the race, aim to conquer a non-stop run of at least 8 miles. Feel the rhythm of your feet hitting the ground, your breath steady and controlled. This is where you build your endurance foundation, setting the stage for success.

But wait, if you’re not quite there yet, don’t worry. Start by mastering a comfortable 10K distance without gasping for air. Once you’ve conquered that milestone, you’ll be ready to tackle the OCR challenge head-on.

Now, let’s dive into the secrets of maximizing your long runs:

Trail Time Bliss

To truly optimize your long runs, take them off the beaten path. Embrace nature’s playground as you spend a minimum of 90 minutes exploring the twists and turns of the trails. Feel the connection with the earth beneath your feet and let the serene surroundings fuel your spirit. It’s a recipe for an invigorating and fulfilling workout.

Simulate the Course, Unleash Your Power

If you’re aiming to dominate the OCR race, it’s time to kick things up a notch. Elite athletes know the power of simulating race conditions during training. Step out of your comfort zone and embrace the elements. Challenge yourself with rainy runs, muddy hill sprints, and invigorating cold morning workouts. By training in conditions similar to the actual race, you’ll be prepared for whatever obstacles come your way.

Wet & Wild for the Win

If you want to take it to the next level, go the extra mile (or puddle) and run in wet clothes and shoes. Yes, you heard it right. By simulating the real racing conditions, you’ll be mentally and physically prepared for anything that OCR day throws at you. Embrace the discomfort, push through the resistance, and emerge stronger than ever.

Simulation Options – Advanced Workouts

4. The Interval Sprint Body Weight Workout

Ready to take your interval runs to a whole new level? Get ready to supercharge your training by incorporating bodyweight exercises into your sessions. It’s time to push your limits and unleash the true potential of your body.

Why add bodyweight exercises, you ask? Well, it’s simple. By integrating these exercises into your intervals, you’re teaching your body the art of relentless movement, even when fatigue tries to conquer you.

Now, let’s dive into a sample workout that will test your physical and mental fortitude:

Warm-Up Wonderland

Start your journey with a dynamic warm-up that gets your blood pumping and your muscles primed for action. Spend a solid 10 minutes warming up your body, preparing it for the challenges ahead. Trust me, this step is crucial for preventing injuries and getting the most out of your workout.

The Intense Circuit

Now it’s time to unleash the beast within. Complete the following circuit two to three times, with minimal rest between exercises. Keep pushing yourself, knowing that every rep and every stride brings you closer to your OCR goals:

Begin with a 400m sprint at a pace that mirrors your 5K speed. Feel the exhilaration as you pick up the pace, pushing your limits with each stride.

Catch your breath momentarily and transition into 40 walking lunges, igniting your leg muscles and building strength from within. Then, unleash your inner strength with 30 standard push-ups, testing the limits of your upper body power.

Feel the adrenaline surge as you embark on another 400m sprint, this time slightly faster than your 5K pace. Embrace the challenge, knowing that every step brings you closer to victory.

Shift gears and perform 40 bodyweight squats, fueling your lower body with explosive power. Then, hold a plank position for a mighty 90 to 120 seconds, building core stability and mental resilience.

Catch your breath? Not yet. It’s time for another 400m sprint, picking up the pace once again. You’re unstoppable, a force to be reckoned with.

Push through the fatigue and conquer 30 burpees, tapping into your full-body strength and endurance. Don’t stop there! Follow it up with 40 mountain climbers, driving your knees towards your chest as you conquer every obstacle that stands in your way.

And finally, summon every ounce of energy for your last 400m sprint, giving it everything you’ve got. Feel the rush of adrenaline as you sprint towards the finish line, victorious in your pursuit of greatness.

Additional resource – How To Run a faster a mile plan

5. The Tempo Obstacles Simulation Workout

It’s time to dive into the Tempo Obstacles Simulation Workout, designed to test your endurance, strength, and mental grit.

Now, let’s tackle the workout like a true warrior:

Tempo Pace Mile

Following a good warm-up, kick things off with a one-mile run at a tempo pace. Find your rhythm, feel the ground beneath your feet, and set the pace that challenges you. This mile sets the stage for what’s to come, preparing your body and mind for the obstacles ahead.

Scaling the Walls

Take on the challenge of conquering the walls. Face seven ten-foot wall climbs, each one demanding your strength and determination. Picture yourself as a skilled climber, scaling new heights with each climb. Feel the burn in your muscles as you overcome the obstacles standing in your way.

Another Mile, Another Tempo

After mastering the wall climbs, it’s time to hit the ground running again. Push yourself through another one-mile run at a tempo pace. This is your chance to prove your endurance, pushing your limits as you cover the distance with determination and grace.

The Wall Challenge Continues

Gear up for another round of wall climbs. Face the challenge head-on as you conquer five ten-foot wall climbs. Feel the satisfaction of overcoming each obstacle, fueling your inner fire and reminding yourself of the unstoppable force you’ve become.

Keep Tempo, Keep Going

Don’t let up on the intensity. Keep your pace strong as you embark on another one-mile run at a tempo pace. Feel the rhythm of your breath and the power in your strides as you push through the miles. This is where champions are made.

Scaling New Heights

The wall climbs aren’t over just yet. Take on three more ten-foot wall climbs, summoning your strength and resilience. Each climb represents another victory, propelling you closer to the finish line.

Finish Strong

Now it’s time to unleash your inner beast. Push your limits as you embark on a one-mile run at the fastest pace you can sustain. Imagine yourself in the heat of the race, pushing past your competitors, and sprinting towards victory. This is your moment to shine.

Victory in Every Climb

Finish the workout by conquering seven more ten-foot wall climbs. Feel the surge of accomplishment as you scale each wall, knowing that you’ve tackled every obstacle in your path.

Cool Down and Reflect

As you wrap up this challenging workout, allow yourself to cool down with a gentle jog and reflective cool-down routine. Take a moment to appreciate the strength and resilience you’ve displayed throughout the workout. You’re one step closer to OCR greatness.

Remember, this simulation workout is your opportunity to push yourself and prepare for the real challenges of an OCR. Embrace the obstacles, conquer the walls, and let your inner warrior shine.

6. Long Runs 2.0

You’re out on the open road, feeling the wind in your hair and the rhythm of your footsteps. But this time, you’re not just focusing on the miles. Every 10 to 15 minutes, it’s game time for your muscles and endurance..

As you clock in those miles, incorporate these energizing bodyweight exercises into your run:

Lunge Steps

Every 10 to 15 minutes, switch gears and perform 25 lunge steps. Feel the burn in your quads and glutes as you power through each step. Engage your core and maintain proper form, envisioning yourself as a fearless warrior striding confidently towards victory.

Pushups

Drop down and give me 25! Transition seamlessly from your lunge steps to 25 pushups. Engage your chest, shoulders, and triceps as you lower your body towards the ground and push yourself back up. Embrace the challenge, knowing that each pushup brings you one step closer to greatness.

Air Squats

Keep that momentum going with 25 (or more) air squats. Feel the power in your legs as you sink into a deep squat, then rise up explosively. Let the metaphorical weights of doubt and fatigue be lifted with each squat, leaving you stronger and more determined than ever.

Burpees

Prepare for the ultimate test of strength and endurance. Drop down to the ground and knock out 25 burpees. Push yourself to your limits as you jump back, perform a pushup, spring back up, and finish with a mighty jump. Each burpee represents a moment of triumph, propelling you forward on your journey.

Total body Fitness

Imagine yourself as a warrior, ready to conquer the challenging obstacles that lie ahead on your OCR journey. While running is important, it’s time to unlock the power of total body fitness and unleash your inner strength.

You see, running alone can only take you so far. To truly excel in the world of obstacle course racing, you need to focus on building a strong and resilient body that can overcome any challenge thrown your way. Strength training is the key, and it has five primary goals that will transform you into an OCR force to be reckoned with.

  • Goal number one: Total Body Conditioning. It’s not just about pumping iron or isolating specific muscles. We’re talking about a holistic approach that targets every inch of your body, from head to toe. A well-rounded strength training routine will enhance your overall fitness, making you a well-oiled machine ready to take on any obstacle that comes your way.
  • Goal number two: Grip Strength. Imagine yourself clinging to a rope or scaling a towering wall. Your grip strength is crucial in these moments of triumph. Incorporating exercises that challenge and strengthen your grip will ensure you never slip through the cracks of defeat.
  • Goal number three: Picture yourself swiftly maneuvering through a maze of obstacles, like a graceful dancer gliding across a stage. Agility is your secret weapon. Through targeted exercises that improve your speed, quickness, and coordination, you’ll conquer obstacles with relative ease.
  • Goal number four: Explosive Power. Sometimes, you need to explode into action, propelling yourself over walls or leaping across gaps. Developing explosive power through plyometric exercises and explosive movements will give you that burst of energy to conquer any obstacle in your path.
  • Goal number five: Just as a tightrope walker maintains perfect balance, you too must find equilibrium on your OCR journey. By incorporating balance exercises into your training routine, you’ll enhance your stability, core strength, and coordination, allowing you to conquer those wobbly beams and unstable platforms.

Compound is King

If you want to unlock the true power within you, then it’s time to embrace the kings of strength training: compound movements. These multi-joint exercises are like the superheroes of the fitness world, targeting multiple muscles and unleashing a surge of full-body strength.

Research studies have shown that compound movements lead to significant improvements in strength and performance. They mimic the functional movements required in OCR, making them essential in your training arsenal.

So, what are these mighty movements that will take your OCR game to the next level? Get ready to unleash the beast within with these essential exercises:

  • Deadlifts: Like lifting heavy boulders from the ground, deadlifts strengthen your posterior chain, including your glutes, hamstrings, and lower back. It’s the ultimate test of raw power and resilience.
  • Pull-ups: Imagine yourself conquering obstacles with ease, effortlessly pulling yourself up and over walls. Pull-ups build a strong upper body, targeting your back, arms, and core, transforming you into a climbing machine.
  • Standing Overhead Presses: As you press a heavy weight overhead, you channel the strength of a warrior raising a mighty weapon. This exercise targets your shoulders, triceps, and core, enhancing your upper body strength and stability.
  •  Squats: Picture yourself descending into a warrior’s stance, ready to overcome any challenge that lies ahead. Squats work your quads, glutes, and hamstrings, giving you the leg power to conquer steep inclines and deep mud pits.
  • Back Squats: Similar to regular squats, back squats take it up a notch by adding a barbell across your shoulders. This full-body exercise builds strength, stability, and power, preparing you for the demanding rigors of OCR.
  • Power Cleans: Embrace the explosive force of power cleans, as you hoist a weight from the ground to your shoulders in one swift movement. This exercise targets your hips, legs, back, and shoulders, developing the power and coordination needed to dominate obstacles.
  • Thrusters: Imagine yourself combining a squat and an overhead press into one fluid motion. Thrusters are the epitome of full-body strength, working your legs, core, and shoulders simultaneously, replicating the challenges you’ll face on the course.
  • Push-ups: Channel the strength of a warrior pushing through adversity. Push-ups strengthen your chest, triceps, and shoulders, boosting your upper body endurance and control.
  • Dips: Imagine yourself suspended between two bars, defying gravity as you dip down and push back up. Dips target your chest, triceps, and shoulders, enhancing your pushing power and stability.
  • Bench Presses: Like a heavyweight contender, bench presses develop your chest, shoulders, and triceps, giving you the pushing strength to overcome obstacles and dominate the course.

Be Stable

Also, most OCR events are going to force your body to use muscles you didn’t know you had.

And in ways, you are not used to.

That’s why you’ll also need to work on increasing strength in your stabilizing muscles.

These are vital for keeping balance on slippery surfaces as well as sliding around in the mud.

Agility

To increase your agility, do plenty of plyometric exercises such as jump squats, kettlebell swings, box jumps, and burpees. Here’s the speed and agility ladder workout you need.

Grip Strength

For the grip strength, one of the best exercises you can do is the kettlebell swings.

This grip strength will help you get you over the wall and be able to grip and climb a rope with relative ease.

Without further ado, here are the workouts you need:

7. The Dynamic Strength Workout:

Purpose: Increase total body conditioning

After a thorough 10-minute dynamic warm-up, perform Five sets of the following exercise:

  • 50 bodyweight squats,
  • 50 mountain climbers,
  • 30 push-ups,
  • 30 lunges,
  • 20 burpees, and
  • 8 pull-ups.

Please keep going strong throughout the workout and take as little rest possible between each exercise.

Your goal here is to keep your heart rate soaring high throughout the workout with the aim of building endurance and strength at the same time.

8. The agility and Speed Workout:

Purpose: Boost speed

After a thorough 10-minute dynamic warm-up, do at least three to four sets of the following exercises

  • 30 kettlebell swings,
  • 30 med ball slams,
  • 25 box jumps,
  • 15 jumping burpees and
  • 30 jump squats.

Please keep in mind that plyo exercises are the epitome of intensity.

So, take at least 30- to 45-second of rest between each exercising, then one to two minute between each set.

And whatever you do, please perform the exercises with good form.

Bad form will only lead to injury and limited growth.

And you don’t want that.

For more challenge, feel free to strap on or add some weights to the workouts.

9. The total body strength workout:

Purpose: Increase total body explosiveness and power

Here is the mother of all strength training workouts.

To complete this beauty workout, do four to six sets of the following exercises:

  • 8 to 10 back squats,
  • 8 to 10 deadlifts,
  • 8 to 10 bench presses,
  • and 8 to 10 chin-ups.

Make sure to pick the right weights.

For instance, I highly recommend that you Perform the deadlift and bench press at, at least, your current bodyweight.

If you are not there, then work on getting there.

Take at least one minute of rest between each exercise and as much recovery as needed between each round.

10. Bodyweight Workout

Purpose: boost total body strength using nothing but your bodyweight

Here is a workout to try:

  • 10-15 military Push-ups
  • Bear Crawl 15-25 yards
  • 10-15 Squats
  • 8-10 Pull-ups
  • 10-12 Burpees with a jump
  • 20 Spider Lunges.

OCR Training Program – The weekly plan

The following weekly training plan should give you an idea of how to proceed.

Monday – Long run

Run five to eight miles at a slightly comfortable pace.

Tuesday – Upper Body Strength

Complete five sets of the following:

  • Pull-ups
  • Plank dumbbell row
  • 90-second planks
  • Chin-ups
  • Chest presses

Wednesday

Following a warm-up, spring up a hill for 30 to 45 seconds, then jog back down.

Repeat the circuit for 20 to 30 minutes.

Thursday – Lower Body Workout

Complete five sets of the following:

  • Single-leg deadlifts
  • Squats
  • Weighted jump lunges
  • Bulgarian squats

Friday – Endurance Intervals

Following a 10-minute warm-up, perform eight to ten 200-meter sprints with a 30-second rest after each. Follow with an easy 10-minute jog as a cool down.

Saturday – Total Body Endurance Workout

Complete five sets of the following:

  • Squats to upright rows
  • Woodchop lunge
  • Push-ups
  • Bear Crawls
  • 20 Burpees

Sunday – Easy Run

Run 20 to 30 minutes at a comfortable pace.

Top 15 HIIT Running Workout Routines

HIIT Workouts for runners

Looking for the ultimate HIIT running workout routines? Well, strap on your running shoes and get ready for a wild ride because you’ve stumbled upon the holy grail of high-intensity training.

And let me tell you, my friend, I am obsessed with running. Like, seriously obsessed. It’s been my passion for the past decade, and let me tell you, it hasn’t always been smooth sailing.

I’ll be real with you. I’ve made my fair share of mistakes along the way. I mean, who hasn’t? I’m not perfect, and neither are you. But here’s the thing: we learn from those mistakes and we grow stronger because of them. One mistake that stands out vividly in my memory is when I neglected the power of high-intensity interval training (HIIT).

For the first three years of my running journey, I was pounding the pavement tirelessly, thinking that sheer mileage would magically improve my performance. Boy, was I wrong. Not only did my progress come to a screeching halt, but I also found myself nursing a slew of frustrating injuries. And let’s not forget the unwanted weight gain from my repetitive running routine. It was a vicious cycle, my friend.

But then, everything changed when I incorporated HIIT into my training regimen. Let me tell you, it was a game-changer. Within just a few weeks, I started noticing incredible improvements, not only in my running abilities but also in my overall strength and athleticism. It was like unlocking a secret door to a whole new level of fitness.

And guess what? I don’t want you to go through the same struggles I did. That’s why today, I’m here to introduce you to the magic of HIIT training. Now, don’t worry, I won’t drown you in a sea of boring theories and scientific jargon. Nope, we’re going to keep it fun, practical, and actionable.

In this post, I’ll not only share some of the most effective running-specific HIIT routines but also throw in a few non-running workouts that will leave you breathless and begging for more. Trust me, it’s going to be epic.

Ready? Let’s do this!-

HIIT For Runners Defined

So, what the heck is HIIT, you ask? Well, let me break it down for you.

High-intensity interval training is like a thrilling roller coaster ride for your body. It’s all about pushing yourself to the limit through a strategic blend of intense anaerobic intervals and low-intensity aerobic activity.

Picture this: you go all out for 20 to 60 seconds, giving it everything you’ve got, and then you catch your breath during a brief period of rest or lighter activity. And guess what? You repeat this cycle for a total of 15 to 30 minutes of pure fitness bliss.

But what sets HIIT apart from the monotonous, never-ending treadmill sessions or steady-state cardio that most people dread?

Well, it’s all about the intensity. HIIT takes your workout to a whole new level by challenging your body to reach its maximum output capacity, boosting your VO2 max in the process. It’s like revving the engine of a high-performance sports car. You go full throttle, reach your peak heart rate, and then strategically recover before diving back into the action.

Now, let me share the secret sauce to maximizing your HIIT experience. Enter intensity. When those high-burst intervals come knocking, give it your all. Push yourself to the absolute limit and feel your heart racing, your muscles burning, and the sweat pouring down. Embrace the discomfort because that’s where the magic happens.

But remember that it’s crucial to allow yourself proper rest and recovery during the designated periods. It’s like catching your breath at the top of the roller coaster before plunging into the next exhilarating loop.

A Formula for Success

Still confused?

Here’s how to proceed:

  1. Start with a warm-up. Check this routine.
  2. First interval: exercise at maximum power for 30 to 60 seconds.
  3. Recover for 20 to 60 seconds (or longer, depending on the workout).
  4. Repeat step (2) and (3) seven to ten times.
  5. Cooldown. Check my routine here.

The Benefits of HIIT For Runners

High intensity interval training has a lot to offer, including:

Reduces Body Fat

Let me blow your mind with some fascinating research. There’s an Australian study that’ll make you think twice about your fat-burning strategy.

In this study, they pitted the high-intensity interval training (HIIT) group against the steady-state cardio group. And guess what? The results were mind-boggling. The HIIT group, following a mere 20-minute routine, managed to shed a whopping six times more body fat than their steady-state counterparts. Yes, you heard that right—six times more fat melted away in those who embraced the intensity of HIIT.

Now, what’s the takeaway from this remarkable study? It’s simple, my friend. When it comes to burning fat, it’s all about going hard and going short. Forget those long, tedious hours spent on the treadmill or elliptical machine. HIIT is here to save the day and kick fat to the curb.

And you know what I love most about it? It demolishes the age-old excuse of “I don’t have time for exercise.” Say goodbye to those time-consuming workouts because HIIT gets the job done in a fraction of the time.

I remember when I first ventured into the world of HIIT. I must admit, I was skeptical. How could a shorter workout make such a significant impact on the scale? But let me tell you, my friend, it was a game-changer.

Boost Metabolism

Thanks to a phenomenon called excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), your body continues to torch calories even while you kick back and relax. It’s like getting a bonus boost to your metabolism!

And guess what? A study conducted by the brilliant minds at East Tennessee State University discovered that HIIT workouts can keep your metabolism revved up for hours, burning as much as an extra 100 calories post-training.

Now, you might be thinking, “100 calories? That doesn’t sound like much.” But my friend, those calories can add up over time, giving you an extra edge in your weight loss journey.

Build Muscle

But wait, there’s more! HIIT doesn’t just help you shed fat; it also helps you build muscle. You might be wondering, “But isn’t muscle building reserved for those heavy lifting sessions?” Well, think again.

A groundbreaking study published in the Journal of The International Society of Sports Nutrition revealed something fascinating. Even in the absence of traditional strength training, HIIT has the power to sculpt those muscles you’ve always dreamed of. It’s like a magical two-in-one combo—shedding fat while gaining lean muscle mass. How does it work?

HIIT creates an anabolic effect in your body, promoting muscle growth. And here’s the cherry on top: it skyrockets the production of human growth post-training, making your muscles say, “Hello gains, nice!”

Cutting the Junk Is the Big Promise

Researchers at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario cracked the code and discovered that HIIT is like a superhero for your fitness, capable of achieving in 2.5 hours what would take a whopping 10.5 hours of traditional endurance training.

You lace up your running shoes and hit the pavement for an interval run. You push your limits for short bursts of intense effort, followed by brief periods of active recovery. The result?

A fitness miracle that’s four times more effective than your standard cardio routine. It’s like discovering a hidden shortcut to your fitness goals, leaving those monotonous long runs in the dust.

I’ve personally experienced this transformation, and let me tell you, it’s nothing short of amazing.

By incorporating plenty of interval workouts while reducing my weekly mileage, I’ve not only become a faster runner but also managed to keep those pesky injuries at bay.

You Can Do It Anywhere

Now here’s the best part: high-intensity interval workouts can be done anywhere, anytime. They’re the chameleons of fitness, adapting to any environment and equipment you have available.q

Whether you prefer interval runs that make your heart pound like a tribal drum or fartlek runs that keep you on your toes, there’s a world of options at your disposal. And let’s not forget about the power of bodyweight exercises, dumbbells, kettlebells, jump ropes, weights, or even a trusty sandbag.

The possibilities are endless, and you can turn any space into your personal fitness playground.

The Dangers of HIIT For Runners

Listen up, my fellow fitness enthusiasts, because we’re about to dive into the nitty-gritty of HIIT and uncover the potential pitfalls that lie beneath its shiny surface.

Yes, it’s time to shed some light on the not-so-sunny side of this revolutionary training method. While HIIT has the power to transform your fitness journey, you must tread carefully and consider a few important factors before jumping headfirst into the high-intensity abyss.

Now, let’s get real for a moment. HIIT is a force to be reckoned with, pushing your body to its limits and demanding the utmost from your cardiovascular system. But that also means it’s not suitable for everyone, especially those who find themselves in a delicate state of injury recovery, dealing with cardiovascular or circulatory issues, or simply starting from square one on their fitness journey. In these cases, it’s crucial to prioritize your health and well-being above all else.

Here’s the deal: I’m not a doctor, but I strongly urge you to consult with a healthcare professional who can assess your current condition and guide you towards the best workout options for your specific needs. They have the knowledge and expertise to give you personalized advice that takes into account your unique circumstances.

Remember, your health is priceless. Taking a step back and ensuring you’re in the right physical condition to tackle the challenges of HIIT is a wise move. Think of it as protecting your investment. Just like a car needs regular maintenance to perform at its peak, your body deserves the same care and attention. So, don’t be shy about seeking professional advice. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

How to Start HIIT Workouts For runners 

Alright, my eager friend, now that you’ve received the green light from your doctor and you’re ready to take on the exhilarating world of HIIT, it’s time to lay down the foundation for success. I want you to dive into this training method with confidence, avoiding any unnecessary risks or setbacks.

Think of these benchmarks as stepping stones that will guide you towards a smooth and injury-free HIIT experience. They serve as a testament to your commitment and readiness to take on the challenges that lie ahead.

Without further ado, let’s dive into the three key benchmarks that will set you up for HIIT success.

First up, we have the habit of running regularly for the past three to four months. Consistency is key here. It’s all about building a strong foundation of cardiovascular endurance and getting those legs accustomed to the rhythm of the run. Lace up those shoes, hit the pavement, and make running a part of your lifestyle.

But we don’t stop there. It’s time to level up your running game. The second benchmark calls for consistently challenging yourself during your runs, pushing your effort level to a solid 70 to 80 percent. I’m talking about stepping outside your comfort zone, embracing that burn in your muscles, and breaking through any self-imposed limitations. This is where the magic happens.

Now, onto the third benchmark—the weekly long run. Picture this: you’re out there, pounding the pavement, one foot in front of the other, for a solid hour or more. It’s a test of mental and physical endurance, a chance to tap into your inner grit and discover what you’re truly capable of. This long run builds resilience and prepares your body for the challenges that await during HIIT workouts.

If you’ve checked off these three benchmarks and you’re feeling like a running rockstar, then congratulations! You’ve laid a solid foundation for the introduction of HIIT into your training routine. You’ve shown dedication, discipline, and a burning desire to take your fitness to the next level. But hold on, if you’re just starting out on your running journey or haven’t quite met these benchmarks yet, don’t worry.

If you find yourself in this position, my advice to you is simple: invest a few months into building up your stamina. Follow a well-rounded running program that gradually increases your mileage and endurance.

Top 15 HIIT Running Workout Routines

Here are 15 HIIT variations to help you get into the best shape of your life.

Pick one or two workouts to add to your weekly program.

Make sure you incorporate at least one day of rest between each workout.

HIIT Running Workout # 1 – Sprints

Before you dive into the heart-pounding action, let’s not forget the importance of a proper warm-up. Think of it as preparing your body for the exhilarating race ahead. Engage in dynamic stretches, loosen those muscles, and get that blood pumping. A warm-up primes your body for the intensity that awaits, helping you perform at your best and reducing the risk of injury.

Now, let’s talk about sprint distances. Choose a distance that suits your fitness level and pushes you just beyond your comfort zone. It’s like selecting the perfect gear for a thrilling race. Whether it’s a 100-meter dash or a longer sprint, find the sweet spot that challenges you without overwhelming you.

As you gear up for your first sprint interval, give it everything you’ve got.  Go all out at 80 percent of your maximum effort. Feel your muscles engage, your heart pounding, and the wind rushing past you.

After each sprint, take a well-deserved breather. Recovery is crucial to catch your breath and prepare for the next explosive burst of energy. Take between 30 seconds and one minute to recover, allowing your heart rate to settle and your body to replenish its energy stores.

Repeat this exhilarating process of sprinting and recovery six to eight times. Feel the rush of adrenaline with each interval, pushing yourself beyond your limits and unlocking new levels of strength and endurance. Embrace the challenge, and remember, it’s in these intense moments that growth happens.

As you approach the finish line of your workout, it’s time to cool down. Just like a victorious athlete savors their triumph, take five minutes to gradually decrease your pace and let your body ease into a state of relaxation.

HIIT Running Workout # 2 – Hill Sprints

Get ready to take your sprinting game to new heights with an electrifying twist – hill sprints! If you’ve mastered sprinting on flat ground, it’s time to conquer the majestic slopes and unleash your lower body speed and strength.

Now, it’s time to seek out the perfect hill for your sprinting adventure. Find a steep slope that stretches between 100 to 300 feet in length. It’s like scouting for the ultimate conquerable peak, where your efforts will be rewarded with incredible speed and strength gains.

As you embark on your hill sprint session, visualize yourself as an unstoppable force, conquering the incline with every powerful stride. Feel the burn in your quads, the surge of energy in your calves, and the wind whipping through your hair. Embrace the challenge, knowing that with each step, you’re building a stronger and faster version of yourself.

Once you reach the top of the hill, take a moment to catch your breath and enjoy the victorious view. It’s a triumphant pause in your ascent, a well-deserved reward for conquering the uphill battle. But don’t rest for too long, my friend, as you’ll need to make your way back down the hill for your recovery phase. Let gravity be your guide as you jog back down, allowing your body to recover and prepare for the next thrilling ascent.

Repeat this invigorating cycle of sprinting uphill and jogging back down five to eight times. Each repetition is like conquering a mini mountain, pushing your limits and elevating your performance to new heights. Embrace the burn in your muscles and the rapid beat of your heart, for it is in these challenging moments that true strength is forged.

HIIT Running Workout # 3 – The Bodyweight Routine

Picture yourself harnessing the might of your muscles, sculpting your body, and pushing yourself to new limits. Get ready for a bodyweight routine that will ignite your progress and lay the foundation for future challenges.

As a fan of bodyweight exercises, I can’t stress enough their benefits. They’re like the Swiss Army knives of the fitness world—convenient, versatile, and accessible to all. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned fitness enthusiast, bodyweight exercises offer a pathway to success, as long as you prioritize proper form and stay within your fitness level. It’s all about building a solid foundation to support your fitness journey.

Now, let’s dive into a beginner-friendly routine that will set you on the path to total body strength and endurance. By incorporating these exercises regularly, you’ll lay the groundwork for even more demanding workouts in the future. So, grab your enthusiasm, put on your workout gear, and let’s conquer this bodyweight routine together!

For each exercise, aim to complete five sets of ten-to-fifteen reps. Remember, it’s not just about the quantity, but also the quality of each repetition. Focus on maintaining proper form, engaging the target muscles, and challenging yourself without compromising safety.

First up, pull-ups, the ultimate test of upper body strength. Picture yourself hanging from a sturdy bar, channeling your inner warrior as you lift your bodyweight with sheer determination. This exercise targets your back, shoulders, and arms, building strength and definition in those upper body muscles.

Next, let’s embrace the power of air squats. Stand tall, feet shoulder-width apart, and sink into a squat position as if you’re preparing to sit on an imaginary chair. Feel the burn in your quadriceps and glutes as you rise back up, like a phoenix rising from the ashes. Air squats are fantastic for strengthening your lower body and enhancing your overall stability.

Prepare to take a dip into the world of dips! Find parallel bars or sturdy surfaces to support your body as you lower yourself down and push back up. This exercise targets your triceps, chest, and shoulders, sculpting those upper body muscles and improving your pushing strength. Embrace the challenge, and watch your body transform.

Now, let’s shift our focus to the classic pushup. Get into a high plank position, hands shoulder-width apart, and lower your chest towards the ground before pushing back up with controlled power. Feel your chest, shoulders, and triceps engage as you conquer each repetition. Pushups are like the bread and butter of bodyweight exercises, delivering a well-rounded upper body workout.

Last but not least, forward lunges, a move that activates your lower body and challenges your balance. Step forward with one leg, lower your body until both knees are bent at a 90-degree angle, and push through your heel to return to the starting position.

Alternate legs with each repetition, and feel the burn in your quadriceps and glutes as you stride towards greater strength.

HIIT Running Workout # 4 – Tabata Protocol

Get ready to experience a heart-pumping, calorie-blasting, and exhilarating workout that will push your limits and leave you feeling invigorated. Introducing one of my all-time favorite HIIT workouts—the Tabata protocol.

This workout is like a burst of lightning, delivering intense intervals of effort followed by moments of recovery. It’s a high-intensity dance between pushing your limits and allowing your body to recharge.

Studies have shown that Tabata workouts, like the one we just conquered, have numerous benefits. Research papers have revealed that this form of high-intensity interval training can enhance cardiovascular fitness, improve anaerobic capacity, and even boost metabolism long after the workout is over.

For the Tabata intervals, you’ll be running at your fastest pace for 20 seconds—a sprint that will make your heart race, your lungs gasp for air, and your legs feel like they’re on fire. Channel your inner Usain Bolt as you explode forward, pushing your limits with every stride.

But don’t worry, after each 20-second burst of speed, you’ll have a moment to catch your breath and recover. It’s like a brief respite amidst the storm—a chance to regroup, refocus, and prepare for the next exhilarating round. Use those 10 seconds of recovery to jog slowly, allowing your heart rate to settle and your muscles to relax before the next sprint.

Now, let’s repeat this electrifying pattern eight times. Eight cycles of pushing your limits, followed by moments of respite. It’s a beautiful balance between exertion and recovery. With each repetition, you’ll feel your body growing stronger, your endurance soaring, and your spirit igniting with a sense of accomplishment.

HIIT Running Workout # 5 – Tabata Protocol – The Strength Version

Are you ready to take your fitness journey to the next level? Brace yourself for the ultimate challenge—Tabata bodyweight training. It’s time to put your strength, endurance, and mental fortitude to the test. But before we dive into this exhilarating workout, let’s talk about what makes it so unique and why you need to approach it with caution.

Tabata bodyweight training combines the best of both worlds: aerobic and anaerobic exercises.

It’s like a fusion of fire and air, blending the intensity of high-intensity intervals with the power of bodyweight movements. This workout will make you sweat, burn calories, and leave you feeling like a warrior who has conquered the battlefield of fitness.

However, a word of caution—Tabata bodyweight training is not for the faint of heart. It demands discipline, proper form, and a keen understanding of your fitness level. It’s important to listen to your body and know when to push yourself and when to take a step back. Remember, your safety and well-being should always be a top priority.

Here’s the workout routine:

  • Do as many high knee sprints as you can in 20 seconds
  • Rest for 10 seconds
  • Do as many squats as you can in 20 seconds
  • Rest for 10 seconds
  • Do as many pushups as you can in 20 seconds
  • Rest for 10 seconds
  • Do as many burpees as you can in 20 seconds
  • Rest for 10 seconds
  • Do as many sit-ups as you can in 20 seconds
  • Rest for 10 seconds
  • Do as many squat jumps as you can in 20 seconds

Rest for one to two minutes.

Repeat the circuit two to three times.

Finish the session with a 10-minute cool-down.

You can also try this agility ladder workout.

HIIT For Runners Workout # 6 – HIIT Time Challenge

Looking for an extra edge with your training? Try the HIIT time challenge.

Start your session with a 10-minute warm-up of light jogging.

After that, spend 20 minutes doing as many rounds as possible (AMRAP) of:

  • Ten military style pushups
  • Ten hanging leg raises
  • Ten jumping squats
  • Ten burpees
  • Ten pull-ups.

Record your result, then during your next session aim to beat your record.

HIIT For Runners Workout # 7 – Jump Rope Routine

I’m a big fan of jump rope workouts.

These burn mad calories, improve your foot speed, increase coordination, and boost agility.

What’s not to like?

Here’s how to proceed:

Start with a 5 minute forward jumping rope exercise at a comfortable pace as a warm-up.

Afterward, put the rope down and do a set of full-body dynamic stretches.

Next, perform the following exercises:

  • One minute of forward jumps
  • One minute of alternate foot jumps
  • One minute of side-to-side jumps
  • One minute of double unders
  • One minute of high knee jumps
  • One minute of one-foot hops

Rest for two to three minutes, then repeat the circuit two to three times.

HIIT For Runners Workout # 8 – Plyometric HIIT Workout

Also known as explosive training, plyometric training requires your muscles to make use of maximum force in minimum time.

When doing this workout, go explosive for 30 seconds, then recover for another 30 seconds, move to the next exercise, and repeat.

Rest for one to two minutes after completing the whole circuit, then repeat it two to three times.

For a greater challenge, consider holding dumbbells at your sides while doing the workout, or wear a weighted vest.

  • Box Jumps
  • Plyo push-up
  • Jumping lunges
  • 180-degree squat jump
  • Burpees

HIIT For Runners Workout # 9  – The Ab Worker

I don’t believe in “spot reduction” exercises, but I’m pretty sure that HIIT training can tone your midsection.

It’s also a fun way to exercise your abs: HIIT style is much more enjoyable than doing crunches.

Here’s the workout.

Complete three sets of:

  • 25 Russian twists (on each side)
  • 20 Woodchoppers
  • 25 Mountain climbers
  • 20 Bicycle crunches
  • 20 Hanging leg

HIIT For Runners Workout # 10 – Medicine-Ball HIIT Workout

Medicine balls are usually lightweight.

They’re designed for simple grip and maneuverability, and they’re also a powerful tool for HIIT styled workouts.

Med ball exercises target multiple muscle groups, boost coordination, increase endurance, and improve grip strength.

Complete three sets of eight to 15 reps of:

  • Rock and roll up
  • Medicine ball push-up
  • V-up
  • Woodchopper
  • Wall toss.

HIIT For Runners Workout # 11 – Sleds Routine

Sled training is one of the most grueling workouts I’ve ever done.

The first time I ever tried it I truly thought I was going to die, but thanks to a training buddy that kept motivated, I was able to pull it through.

The premise is simple: push the sled from point A to point B as hard and fast as possible without sacrificing form.

That’s it!

If it’s your first time trying this workout, go light and slow.

Start out with a 35-pound slate or lighter.

Only after you’ve nailed proper form should you gradually add more weights and reps.

This I learned the hard way after my first go at sled workouts when I thought I was Superman, I couldn’t sit comfortably nor move my arms for two days!

Here’s how to proceed:

Load a sled on each side and push it for the desired distance.

Then rest for 30 seconds and repeat five to seven more times.

What’s good form? Keep a straight line from your head to your ankle and drive your feet diagonally into the ground with each step you take.

The power needed for the forward momentum must come from your hips and legs, not your arms.

HIIT For Runners Workout # 12 – “Fight Gone Bad” WOD

You cannot do HIIT workouts without throwing some CrossFit WODs (Workout of The Day) into the mix.

After all, CrossFit philosophy revolves around the principles of HIIT training.

I like the “Fight Gone Bad” WOD because it’s intense and will have you doing all sorts of plyo, resistance, and cardio exercises.

To do the “Fight Gone Bad” WOD, complete five rounds of:

  • Wall-ball, 20-pound ball, 10 ft targets (Reps)
  • Sumo deadlift high-pull, 75 pounds (Reps)
  • Box Jump, 20″ box (Reps)
  • Push-press, 75 pounds (Reps)
  • Row (Calories)

HIIT For Runners Workout # 14 – Filthy Fifty CrossFit Workout

The filthy 50 is another brutal CrossFit workout loaded with rigorous exercises guaranteed to push you to your breaking point.

The circuit involves performing 50 reps of 10 different exercises, all done as quickly as possible.

The exercises are:

  • 50 box jumps with a 24-inch box
  • 50 jumping pull-ups
  • 50 Kettlebell swings
  • 50 walking lunge steps
  • 50 knees to elbows
  • 50 reps of push presses with 45 pounds
  • 50 back extensions
  • 50 wall balls using a 20-pound ball
  • 50 burpees
  • 50 double-unders.

Amazing, right? If you can pull this off in under 30 minutes, then you’re in remarkable condition!

HIIT For Runners Workout # 15 – Heavy Rope HIIT Workout

Rope training is the most recent addition to my training regimen, and goodness, it’s freaking tough!

Heavy rope exercises target every major muscle in the body and will push you to the breaking point if you’re not careful.

Here’s a workout routine to try:

Start with a 10 to 15 minutes dynamic warm-up, then perform the following battling rope exercises:

  • One minute of rope waves
  • One minute of shoulder press
  • One minute of rope spirals
  • One minute of side slams
  • One minute of alternating wave lunge jump
  • One minute of start jumps.

HIIT Running Workout Routines – The Conclusion

There you have it. The above HIIT running workout routines are some of the most efficient and powerful workouts you can ever do to improve your fitness and health.

Feel free to leave your comments and questions below, and as always, thanks for stopping by. Keep running strong!

David D.

The 16 Best Bodyweight Exercises For Runners (& How to Start Body Weight Training)

female runner doing Bodyweight Exercises

So, you’ve heard about bodyweight exercises, and you’re itching to give them a try, but where on earth do you begin?

Fear not, because you’re about to embark on an exciting fitness journey, and I’ve got your back every step of the way.

Let’s face it, whether you’re a seasoned athlete or a complete newbie to the world of exercise, bodyweight training, also known as calisthenics, is a game-changer.

It’s not some secret fitness society; it’s the path to improving your fitness, shedding those extra pounds, and sculpting the body you’ve always dreamed of.

The beauty of calisthenics lies in its simplicity. All you need is yourself and a bit of space, making it the ultimate workout choice for your home, the gym, or wherever your adventurous spirit takes you.

Now, before you start envisioning yourself attempting gravity-defying stunts, relax! I’m here to tell you that calisthenics is more attainable than you might think. It’s not rocket science; it’s about harnessing the power of your body.

In this comprehensive guide, I’m not only going to demystify the world of bodyweight training but also empower you with the knowledge and skills you need to get started. Get ready to dive into the benefits of calisthenics, the essentials for beginners, fundamental exercises, technique tips, and much more.

Excited? Let’s get going.

What are Bodyweight Training Exercises?

As the name suggests, bodyweight training is all about using your own body as your trusty workout tool.

It’s like turning yourself into a human resistance machine, minus the need for fancy equipment like bars, dumbbells, or exercise machines.

Your body becomes your ultimate gym buddy.

Now, you might wonder, what kind of exercises am I talking about here? The possibilities are endless, ranging from the classic push-ups and pull-ups to more advanced moves like muscle-ups and jackhammers.

Whether you’re just starting your fitness journey or you’re already a seasoned pro, there’s a bodyweight exercise for you.

Let’s dive a little deeper into the benefits that bodyweight training has to offer.

Bodyweight Exercises Benefits For Runners

Imagine getting in the best shape of your life without shelling out those hefty gym fees or feeling confined to the four walls of a fitness center.

Sounds like a dream, right? Well, it’s time to wake up because bodyweight exercises are here to make that dream a reality!

The beauty of bodyweight training lies in its sheer convenience. You can kiss those complicated gym machines and pricey equipment goodbye. All you need is yourself, a solid routine, and a dash of determination.

It’s fitness on your terms, anytime and anywhere.

Now, let’s talk simplicity. Bodyweight exercises are as straightforward as it gets, and they grow with you. Whether you’re a beginner just dipping your toes into the fitness waters or a seasoned pro looking for a challenge, there’s always a bodyweight move that suits your level.

But wait, there’s more! You’re about to dive into a workout routine that will push your limits. It’s all about high-intensity bodyweight exercises that’ll have you sweating bullets, with well-deserved recovery periods in between to catch your breath.

Here’s the deal: give it your all during every interval.

We’re talking 110% effort here, while keeping that good form as your trusty sidekick.

By the time you finish this routine, you should feel like you’ve given it everything you’ve got.

If you’re not completely wiped out, well, you’ve got more in the tank, my friend!

The 16 Best Bodyweight Exercises For Runners

Here’s the golden rule: form is your best friend, especially if you’re new to the game. The technique you adopt now will stick with you as you progress on your bodyweight training journey.

Don’t be discouraged if push-ups and pull-ups feel challenging at first. Remember, everyone starts somewhere, and Rome wasn’t built in a day! Once you’ve got these basics down pat, you’ll find that those fancy moves you’ve been eyeing are much more achievable.

Bodyweight Exercise For Runners – 1. Air squats

Benefits

Bodyweight squats are wonderful multi-joint exercises that target almost every muscle in your lower body.

They are also key for boosting endurance, especially if you are doing any type of running, biking, and swimming.

Here are some of the common mistakes:

  • Rounding the shoulders and curving the back as you squat.
  • Excessive forward knee bending until they extend past the toes.
  • Knees falling inward or outward.
  • Dumping weight into the toes places strain on the knee joints.
  • Misalignment of the knees and toes.

Proper Form

Begin by standing with your feet a little wider than hip-width apart, your toes should be slightly turned out, with the arms resting at your sides.

Next, while bracing your core and pulling your shoulder blades in towards each other, start squatting by bending your knees slowly while putting most of your body weight onto your heels.

Make sure to keep your knees aligned over your ankles and back straight the entire time.

As soon as you reach the bottom of the squat, press back up through the heel and return to the standing position.

Do this exercise slowly and gradually at first, but as you master proper form, be sure to speed it up to boost the cardiovascular activity and burn some mad calories during this exercise.

Bodyweight Exercise For Runners – 2. Push-ups

The push-up is a classic bodyweight exercise targeting the upper body and core. It works the biceps, triceps, and pecks like nothing else—as long as you perform it right.

Not only bad push-up form is a waste of time and energy, but it could also lead to lower back pain and severe shoulder and wrist issues.

Here are some of the common push-up pitfalls:

  • Lifting the butt high in the air.
  • Performing half a push-up—not going low or high enough.
  • Sinking the hips down.
  • Holding the breath.
  • Placing the palms in front of the shoulders.
  • Keeping the chin too close to the chest.
  • Poor head position.
  • Putting the hands too far forward.
  • Not fully straightening the arms on the push-up.

Proper Form

Begin by setting up your weight supported onto your toes and hands.  Place your hands underneath your shoulders, then extend your legs straight out behind you. Keep your head in a neutral position, arms, and hands slightly below your shoulders, fingers pointing forwards.

Tighten your core, squeeze your butt, then lower your body until your chest is an inch or two above the floor, elbows pulling back at about a 45-degree, then rise back up by fully extending your arms. That’s one rep.

Engage your core and buttocks, and keep your elbows tucked into your sides throughout the movement. This helps keep your body in a straight line from head to heels.

Can’t perform a single push-up? Use a bench or an elevated surface to put your hands on. I won’t recommend dropping to your knees as it instills lousy form.

As you get stronger, opt for lower surfaces for your hands until you can do clean pushups with no assistance.

Push-up variations: Military pushups, wide-stance pushups, incline/decline pushups, archer push-ups, one-hand push-ups, Hindu push-ups, etc.

Bodyweight Exercise For Runners – Plank

The plank is one of the most basic core exercises out there, but it’s not as simple as you might think. It’s actually one of the most common mistakes when it comes to technique.

Planks are versatile exercises that increase core strength and relieve the lower back. But if performed wrong, they can do more harm than good.

Here are some of the common form errors:

  • Not engaging the core muscles
  • Sinking the hips
  • Arching the back
  • Looking up straight ahead
  • Tilting the hips
  • Positioning the hands too far apart
  • Placing the arms behind or in front of the shoulders
  • Lifting up the hips too high
  • Bringing the shoulders beyond the elbows
  • Not engaging the legs and butt

Proper Form

Begin on your knees and hands in the classic tabletop position.

Position your elbows underneath your shoulder, then tuck your toes and, lift your knees off the floor, and look straight toward the floor.

Engage your shoulder muscles and keep your neck aligned in a neutral position, feet together, and toes touching the ground.

Readjust your hand position until your wrists are lined up under your shoulders.

Hold the plank position for as long as possible without losing form.

Plank variations: low plank arm reach, reverse plank side start plank, low side plank, extended plank, low side plank crunch, forearm plank, etc.

Bodyweight Exercise For Runners – 4. Bench Dips

Also known as a triceps dip, this is a classic bodyweight exercise. Dips target the chest and triceps and are best performed off the platform of a chair or a bench.

Here are some common mistakes to watch out for:

  • Not going low enough or going too low
  • Moving too fast
  • Flaring the elbows to the side
  • Not engaging the core
  • Gazing at the ceiling
  • Butt tilting

Proper Form

Start facing away from a chair or bench, then the front of the platform with both hands shoulder-width distance apart, extending your legs out in front of you.

Engage your core and flex at the elbows to slowly lower your body until your arm at the forearm forms a 90-degree angle. Pause at the bottom for a moment, then lift yourself powerfully using your triceps. That’s one rep.

Once you can breeze through 12 to 16 reps, move on to a more advanced move, like a close grip push-up.

Bench Dips Variations: band-assisted dips, dip to leg raise, assisted dip machine, weighted dips, jumping dips with negatives, etc.

Bodyweight Exercise For Runners – 5. Pull-ups

Pull-ups are maybe the best back exercise and are better done with a pull-up bar. It’s also one of the hardest, so take your time and start with easier variations.

Here are some common pull-up mistakes:

  • Not getting the chin above the bar
  • Gripping too wide
  • Staying straight as an arrow
  • Not using the full range of motion
  • Letting the elbow flare
  • Not keeping the back flat
  • Not keeping the shoulders back
  • Not going to “dead hang.”

Proper Form

Grab a horizontal bar with both hands, palm facing away from you and hands at shoulder-width apart.

Next, while flexing your traps and shifting your shoulders up and back, pull your body up toward the bar, then slowly lower down to complete one rep.

Pull-ups variations: chair-assisted pull-ups, close grip pull-ups, wide grip pulls, butterfly pull-ups, kipping pull-ups, etc.

Bodyweight Exercise For Runners – 6. The Bridge

Also known as the hip raise, the bridge is a fantastic pose for increasing strength in the hamstrings, back, and glutes.

When performed incorrectly, the bridge can lead to neck, lower, back, or knee issues.

Here are some of the common blunders:

  • Lengthening the muscles within the quads
  • Having the feet too close to the butt.
  • Lifting the heels off the ground
  • Not keeping the toes in line with the knees
  • Put too much force on the head and neck

Proper Form

Begin by lying down flat on your back. Pull your shoulders back and down.

Place your arms alongside your body, then bend your knees and place your feet on the ground, a hip-width distance apart.

Walk your feet back towards your butt, then, on the inhale, press into your arms and feet to lift your hips towards the ceiling. Squeeze your glutes as you rise to create a straight line from your knees to your shoulders.

While keeping your knees, hips, and chest aligned, hold the top of the movement for three to ten seconds. Do not let your hips sag or drop.

Slowly lower down and repeat.

Bridge variations: single leg bridge, bridge with a squeeze, weighed bridge, pulsating bridge, etc.

Bodyweight Exercise For Runners – 7. Lunges

Another fantastic lower body exercise for building up the glutes and the quads.

Lunges also help improve coordination and balance, and they’re great for improving proprioception.

But they are also extremely and commonly easy to get wrong. Bad technique doesn’t just look sloppy; it could also cause injury.

Avoid these common pitfalls:

  • Bending the torso forward
  • Leaning forward or back
  • Turning the foot inward
  • Externally rotating the back knee
  • Lowering the rear knee too fast
  • Not maintaining a straight-back
  • Losing balance
  • Taking very short strides forward or backward
  • Extending the knee past the toes on the lunge
  • Shifting the weight from the heel to the toes—or riding the toes.
  • Pushing the hips forward

Proper Form

Assume an athletic position, with the feet hip-width apart, back flat, and core engaged.

Take a slow, controlled step forward with your right leg as far as possible. Your front heel is roughly two feet in front of your rear knee as it bends toward the ground.

While keeping the weight in the heels and spine flat, lower your body until both of your knees are bent at a 90-degree angle. Avoid leaning back or forward throughout the movement.

Hold for a moment, then take a big step forward with your left leg. Keep alternating the legs to move forward across the floor. Avoid bouncing or using too much momentum.

Lunge variations: jumping lunges, static lunges, isometric lunges, reverse lunges, step-ups, reverse lunges, rear foot elevated lunges, lung with reach, weighted lunges, etc.

Hardest Bodyweight Exercises For Runners

Once you master the basic bodyweight movements, make your workouts more challenging by adding the following exercises.

Bodyweight Exercise For Runners – 8. Spiderman Plank Crunch

Benefits

This awesome exercise will not only raise your heart rate through the roof, but it will also test your core strength and balance to the breaking point.

Proper Form

To do them right, start in a standard plank position with your body perfectly straight from head to toe, forearms firmly resting on a mat.

Make sure to keep your back straight and core engaged the entire time.

Next, lift your right foot off the floor, then bring your right knee forward towards your right elbow, pause, and slowly return to the starting position.

Repeat on the other side to complete one rep.

Alternate sides for a total of 12 reps to complete one set.

Aim for three sets.

Bodyweight Exercise For Runners – 9. Dive Bomber Pushups

Benefits

These are my favorite types of a push-up. Also known as the Hindu push-ups, this exercise can help you tone up almost every muscle in your body while providing you with a killer cardiovascular workout

Proper Form

This will push your heart rate to the max.

So, make sure to pace yourself here.

Begin in a downward dog position with your butt elevated in the air and feet spread roughly shoulder width.

Make sure your body is forming an inverted “V’ shape with your head down.

Next, lower your chest to the floor by bending your elbows toward the floor until your chest almost touches it, then push forward into a dip motion to an upward dog position.

Pause for a moment, then return back to the standing position to complete one rep.

Do ten reps to complete one set, aiming to perform three total sets.

Bodyweight Exercise For Runners – 10. Side plank crunch

Benefits

Planks are some of the best bodyweight exercises, so make sure to do a lot of them.

However, the variations I’m sharing with you today will not only test your core mettle, but they will also drive your heart rate through the roof.

Side plank crunches strengthen the obliques and the deep ab muscles, and they are an awesome cardiovascular exercise.

Proper Form

Begin in a standard plank position with legs together, back straight, and core engaged.

Then, lean to your left side while lifting your right arm up toward the ceiling, bend your right elbow, and place your right hand behind your head.

Next, while keeping your right shoulder tracking over your right hand and hip raised the entire time, bend your right knee and bring it in to touch your top elbow, and start performing crunches.

Do eight reps on each side to complete one set.

Aim for three sets.

Bodyweight Exercise For Runners – 11. Pike Jumps

Benefits

This is another awesome core exercise that will help you develop core strength and stability while hitting your hips and quads hard and pushing your cardiovascular endurance to the limit.

Proper Form

Begin in a standard plank position with palms on the ground, core engaged, back perfectly straight, and hands directly beneath your shoulders.

Make sure to form a straight line from your head to your heels.

Next, while engaging your core, jump your feet together and forward and assume a pike position with your butt raised in the air, pause for a moment, then jump back to the plank position while making sure to keep the hands firmly placed on the ground.

That’s one rep.

Do 16 reps to complete one set.

Aim for three sets.

Bodyweight Exercise For Runners – 12. Jump Squats

Benefits

Jump squats are some of the best plyometric exercises you can do to develop explosive power, which is key to building your muscles’ ability to generate force more quickly.

This exercise mainly works the calves, quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes—vital running muscles.

Proper Form

Stand as straight as possible with the feet spread shoulder-width apart, arms hanging at the sides, and core engaged.

Next, while keeping your chest up and back straight, squat down by bending your knees until your thighs are parallel to the ground.

Be sure to keep your back straight, and knee is tracking over your toes.

Then, while pressing mainly with the ball of your feet, jump up explosively in the air as high as you can, using the thighs like springs.

As soon as you land on the floor, go straight away to the next squat and jump again.

Do 20 reps to complete one set.

Aim for three sets.

Bodyweight Exercise For Runners – 13. Windshield Wipers

Benefits

This awesome core exercise is ideal for targeting the rectus abdominis and obliques muscles to activate and strengthen your core stabilizing muscles, which are crucial for keeping your trunk steady and good posture while you are running.

Proper Form

Start out by lying down on your back, then raise your legs to a 90-degree angle.

For more support, feel free to spread your arms straight out to your sides.

Next, to perform this exercise, rotate your legs to your right side, stopping short of touching the floor, pause for a moment, press back up, then turn to the left side, and press back to the starting position to complete one rep.

Make sure your legs are moving from side to side in a “windshield wiper” motion.

As you get stronger, make it more challenging by bringing your arms closer to your sides so they offer less support.

Do ten slow reps to complete one set.

Aim for three sets.

Bodyweight Exercise For Runners – 14. Single Leg Elevated Glute Bridge

Benefits

As you may already know, glutes are the source of power when it comes to running.

The good news is the single-leg elevated glute bridge exercise is one of the best exercises that target these large and powerful muscles.

Strong glutes can help you run faster and longer while preventing common injury.

Plus, it also builds balance and coordination.

Proper Form

Lie down on your back with your feet flat, and knees bent, and ankles hip-distance apart, then raise your right leg off the floor, pulling the knee to your chest.

This is the starting position.

Make sure to extend your right leg as straight as possible toward the ceiling.

Next, to perform this exercise, raise your glutes off the floor by driving through the heels and extending your hip upward.

Be sure to extend your right leg as far as you can, hold it for 30 seconds to one full minute, then slowly lower your leg down and switch sides to complete one set.

Aim for three sets.

Bodyweight Exercise For Runners – 15. Side Lunges

This is a unique variation of the standard lunge that builds strength in the hamstring, abductors, quadriceps, and glutes. This lateral exercise is also great for coordination.

When side lunges are performed incorrectly, they can result in pain or injury to the lower back, hips, and knees.

Here are some of the common form errors:

  • Not keeping the torso upright and engaged core
  • Extending the knees out too far
  • Stepping too wide while performing the side lunge movement
  • Not keeping the weight distributed evenly
  • Not keeping the toes in line with the lunging knee.

Proper Form

Assume an athletic position with your feet together, knees and hips slightly bent, and head and chest up.

On the inhale, take a slow, lateral step to the right side, then bend into the right knee and sit your hips back as you’re going to sit in a chair.

Stay low while keeping the weight on your heel and bending your knee to a 90-degree angle, with the with the knee staying in line with the toes.

Exhale and press through the right heel to straighten the leg and step back to the starting position.

Switch sides and repeat.

Side Lunge variations: Plyo side lunge, dumbbell lateral lunge, reverse side lunge, curtsey lunge with a kick, single-leg deadlift to reverse lunge.

Bodyweight Exercise For Runners – 16. Burpees

Benefits

This compound movement will blast your heart and increase your stamina like nothing else.

Burpees target virtually every major muscle group in the body while helping you become functionally fit in the shortest time possible.

It’s no wonder that the burpees are the bread and butter of most CrossFit workouts and military training programs.

Here are a few of the sad burpees errors that bring tears to my eyes:

  • Going too fast while ignoring proper
  • Not properly stabilizing the core.
  • Allowing for the back to sag when doing the push-up.
  • Holding the breath.
  • Sacrificing reps for form.

Proper form

Start by standing with feet shoulder-width apart.

Squat down by bending your knees, then lower your body toward the floor by putting your hands on the floor in front of you.

Thrust your feet back, and lower yourself into the bottom portion pushup position so your legs are fully extended, abdominals tights, and arms straight.

Then, in one swift and smooth motion, jump your feet back into the squat position and leap up as high as possible from the squat position.

That’s one rep.

Repeat as fast as possible.

Burpee variations: push-up burpee, superman burpee, side burpee, start jump burpee, mountain climber tuck jump burpee, dive bomber burpee, etc.

The Bodyweight Strength Routine For Running 

We’ve all heard the saying, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.”

You need a concrete plan if you want to reach your fitness goals. Not only does it improve your training consistency, but it also allows you to monitor your progress and see where you need more work.

The following plan has been designed to increase endurance and build strength while burning some mad calories in the process.

Perform the exercises in order, two to three times a week, with at least one day of full recovery between each go. Take 30 to 60 seconds to rest after each round. Repeat five times.

Whatever you do, make sure to start in line with your current fitness skill, training goals, schedule, and personal preferences. Give it a few months, and you’ll be a leaner, stronger athlete for it.

To get you started, try the following 3-day program.

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday: Full-body circuit

  • Ten push-ups
  • 30 squats
  • 20 sit-ups
  • Ten chair dips
  • Five pull-ups

Repeat the entire circuit 5 times.

More Bodyweight Exercises

As you get fitter, feel free to add in more bodyweight exercises of various intensities and reps. Some of these include:

Bodyweight Y Squats
X Pushup
Bodyweight Single-Leg Deadlift
Bodyweight Lateral Squat
Mountain Climbers
Bodyweight Shoulder Taps
Calf raises
Dead Bug
Bird Dog with Rotation
Bodyweight Bird Dog
Double Lunge with Reach
Back Extensions
Hand Curls
Chin-ups
Leg raises
Sit-ups
Scissors
Cross-Body Mountain Climbers
Squat Thrusts
Reverse Lunge and Hop
Cross-Body Extension
Elbow to Knee
Wall Slides
Side Plank with Rotation
Dive Bomber Push-Ups
Side Plank with Extension
Jump Squats
Plank to Push Up
Single-Leg Up and Down Dogs
Figure 4 Mountain Climbers
T Push-Ups
Jumping Lunges
Single-Leg Burpee
Scissors
High Knees
Cross Overs
And so much, so much, more.

How to Increase Running Speed: 10 Effective Strategies

runner trying to Increase Running Speed

Ready to unlock the secrets of becoming a faster runner? You’re in for a treat because this is the ultimate guide to boosting your running speed.

Whether you’re a newbie getting ready for your first 5K or a seasoned marathoner looking to shave precious seconds off your time, improving your speed should be right at the top of your priority list. Believe me, I’ve been there.

I used to think that running more and more miles was the key to becoming faster. So, I hit the pavement, pounding out mile after mile, expecting my speed to magically skyrocket. But let me tell you, frustration quickly set in when I realized I wasn’t getting any faster.

But here’s the exciting part. Once I discovered some game-changing strategies that I’m about to share with you, my running speed took off like a rocket. And it happened in a matter of months! It’s incredible how a simple shift in your training approach can make all the difference in the world.

So, get ready to lace up those running shoes and prepare for a training revolution.

Today, I’m going to spill the beans on some creative and effective training techniques that will help you unleash your inner speed demon without having to log endless miles.

Are you ready to leave your old pace in the dust and cross the finish line with lightning speed? Let’s do this!

Increase Running Speed Strategy 1- Strength Training

Let’s talk about the secret weapon that will take your running to the next level: strength training. When done right, pumping some iron can be a game-changer for faster, injury-free running.

Imagine your muscles as the mighty engines propelling you forward. The stronger they are, the more force they can generate and absorb, turning you into a running powerhouse.

But it’s not just about the legs. Oh no! Runners also need a strong upper body to maintain proper form and mechanics. Think of it as having a sturdy frame that keeps you balanced and in control as you conquer the miles.

Now, let’s get to the juicy part. I’m going to share some of the best exercises that you should add to your training arsenal. Get ready to feel the burn!

  • Squats: These bad boys are the kings of leg workouts. They engage your quads, hamstrings, and glutes, turning your lower body into a powerhouse. Check out this video tutorial to nail your squat form.
  • Planks: Ah, the humble plank. It may look easy, but don’t be fooled. This exercise is a core-strengthening beast that will give you stability and help maintain that perfect running posture. Watch this video to master the art of planking.
  • Pistols: No, I’m not talking about shooting range skills here. I’m talking about a challenging single-leg squat that will light up your quads and improve your balance and stability. Check out this video to see how it’s done.
  • Russian twists: Say hello to killer obliques and a rock-solid core. This exercise targets those abdominal muscles that are crucial for maintaining proper running form. Get ready to twist and torch those calories! Watch this video to learn the Russian twist technique.

Increase Running Speed Strategy 2 – Interval Training

So, what’s the deal with interval training? Well, picture this: You’re on a rollercoaster ride, zooming up and down, experiencing exhilarating highs and brief moments of respite. That’s exactly what interval training is like for your running journey.

It’s all about alternating between bursts of high-intensity effort and recovery periods to build both speed and endurance.

But here’s the best part: Interval training is like a turbocharger for calorie burning. It’s a time-efficient powerhouse that torches those extra calories in less time. Talk about a win-win!

Now, let’s break it down. The magic happens with a 2:1 ratio. You sprint for 30 meters, feeling the wind in your hair and the fire in your muscles. Then, you ease into a 60-meter jog to catch your breath and prepare for the next exhilarating burst. Sprint 30, jog 60, repeat. You get the idea.

During those intense work intervals, give it your all. Feel your heart pounding, your lungs gasping for air. That’s the sweet spot. It’s called the anaerobic zone, where the real magic happens.

But hold on, we’re not done yet. After each heart-pounding sprint, it’s time for a little recovery. Slow your pace, let your heart rate come down, and allow your muscles to cool down. It’s like catching your breath before diving back into the action.

Now, here’s a pro tip for you: Before diving headfirst into interval training, make sure to warm up with a dynamic warm-up routine. Trust me, it’s essential to prevent injuries and get your body primed for the intense bursts of speed.

Okay, time to level up your interval game. Start with a classic 100-meter sprint at your maximum speed. Feel the rush as you unleash your inner cheetah. Then, gracefully transition into a 200-meter jog, catching your breath and preparing for the next round.

Start with six or eight repeats, allowing yourself a recovery period in between each one. As you gain strength and stamina, challenge yourself to push further. Add more reps to your training regimen, and watch your speed soar to new heights.

One important thing to remember: You’ll need a trusty stopwatch to keep track of time during your interval sessions. It’s your best buddy for monitoring those precious seconds and ensuring you stay on top of your game.

Increase Running Speed Strategy 3- Drill Training

If you’re looking to leave your old running time in the dust, these drills are your secret weapon. I’m talking about form, coordination, and a speed boost that will have you tapping into that top speed.

Let’s describe some of these speed drills and explore some of my personal favorites. These drills are like little turbocharges for your running performance, so buckle up!

First up, we have the Acceleration Strides. Imagine this: You start off with a slow jog, feeling the ground beneath your feet. Then, like a rocket launching into space, you gradually pick up speed until you’re sprinting like lightning. These strides are all about unleashing your inner speed demon and teaching your body to transition smoothly from slow to fast. Check out the link for a visual guide on how to master the art of acceleration.

Next on our list are the High Knees. Picture this drill as a chorus line of rocket-powered dancers. Lift those knees up high, as if you’re trying to touch the sky. Not only does this drill improve your running form, but it also strengthens your hip flexors and boosts your coordination. Get those knees pumping and watch your speed skyrocket!

But wait, there’s more. Ever thought about running backward? Yep, you heard me right. It’s time to put a new twist on your running routine with Backward Running. This drill might seem a bit unconventional, but trust me, it’s a game-changer. Not only does it challenge your coordination and balance, but it also strengthens muscles that are often neglected.

Now, remember, these drills are just the tip of the iceberg. There’s a whole world of speed-enhancing exercises out there waiting for you to explore. Mix and match, get creative, and find the ones that work best for you. The key is to target form, coordination, and running cadence—those vital elements that will take your speed to new heights

Increase Running Speed Strategy 4 – Hill Training

Ready to kick your interval training up a notch and conquer new heights? Enter hill training.

When you tackle those inclines, you’re not just building leg strength, you’re forging a path to greatness. Picture this: with each stride up the hill, your quads, hamstrings, and calves are sculpting themselves into powerhouses of endurance. The result? You’ll be able to conquer those smooth, flat surfaces with newfound speed and ease.

So, what makes hill training so effective? It’s all about the perfect balance of intensity and impact. Unlike pounding on flat terrain, hill training delivers a punch of intensity while being gentler on your precious joints. It’s like finding that sweet spot where challenge meets safety, allowing you to push your limits without sacrificing your body’s well-being.

Now, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of your next hill workout. First, scout for a hill that’s just right—not too steep, not too flat—around 50 to 100 meters in length. It should be challenging enough to make you break a sweat, but not so steep that you start questioning your life choices.

Before you conquer the hill, warm up thoroughly on a flat surface. Get those muscles firing and your heart pumping. Once you’re all warmed up and ready to go, it’s time to charge up that hill. Give it everything you’ve got, sprinting up as fast as your legs can carry you. Feel the burn, embrace the challenge, and then jog back down, catching your breath as you prepare for the next round.

Repeat this ascent and descent several times, adjusting the number of repetitions based on your current fitness level and goals. If you’re just starting out, aim for around six rounds to get those hill-conquering muscles activated. Seasoned runners looking for an extra challenge can push it to a dozen or more.

But here’s the secret: pace yourself wisely. As you tackle each hill, find a rhythm that allows you to conquer the summit without gasping for air or collapsing from fatigue. It’s all about finding your sweet spot, that pace where you feel the burn but maintain control. Running up a hill is not just about raw power—it’s a delicate dance of strength and finesse.

Increase Running Speed Strategy 5 – Plyometric Training

Imagine running as the art of jumping from one foot to the other, propelling yourself forward with each powerful leap. It’s a beautiful dance between your body and the ground beneath you.

But did you know there’s a secret training program that takes this concept and turns it into a supercharged powerhouse? Welcome to the world of plyometric training, my fellow runners. Get ready to take your performance to new heights!

Plyometrics, also known as explosive training, is the secret ingredient that can take your running game to the next level. It’s time to unleash the power within you and incorporate this exhilarating form of exercise into your routine. Trust me, the results will leave you in awe.

Research has shown that plyometric exercises are a game-changer when it comes to increasing endurance, agility, and speed. They have the potential to transform you into a lean, mean running machine. Imagine being able to go the distance with ease, effortlessly maneuvering through any obstacles in your path. The studies speak for themselves—explosive power movements can be a game-changer for runners like us.

The beauty of plyo training lies in its efficiency. You don’t need to dedicate hours upon hours to reap the benefits. A few targeted plyometric moves after an easy run or a quick 10 to 15-minute session of jump exercises during your regular strength workouts can work wonders. It’s all about finding what fits your schedule and preferences. The power is in your hands.

Now, let’s dive into the heart of plyometric training—the exercises that will unlock your hidden potential. These are the five plyometric exercises that I highly recommend for maximum impact:

  • Box Jumps: Feel the thrill as you explode off the ground and land gracefully on a sturdy jump box. It’s like conquering mountains with each leap, building explosive power and boosting your lower body strength. Check out this video tutorial for some serious box jump inspiration.
  • Hopping: Embrace your inner bunny and hop your way to greatness. This exercise targets your calves, quads, and overall explosive power. With each bound, you’ll be unleashing the force within you and refining your coordination. Discover the joy of hopping with this helpful video guide.
  • Squat Jumps: Prepare to defy gravity as you launch yourself skyward with a mighty squat jump. This move not only strengthens your legs but also engages your core, helping you maintain stability and control. Get ready to take flight with this tutorial on perfecting your squat jumps.
  • Plyo Push-ups: It’s time to level up your push-up game. Plyo push-ups add an explosive twist to the classic exercise, challenging your upper body and core while enhancing your power and speed. Prepare to push yourself to new heights with this tutorial on mastering plyo push-ups.

One important note: As you embark on your plyometric journey, ensure you have the right gear and equipment. Investing in a reliable and steady jump box is crucial for your safety and optimal performance. Take the time to find the perfect fit for your needs, and let the jumps begin!

Increase Running Speed Strategy 6 – Running Cadence

Imagine yourself in the company of the fastest runners in the world, my fellow speed enthusiasts. They are like finely tuned machines, training relentlessly and possessing a physique that exudes power and strength. But there’s something else they all have in common—a secret weapon that sets them apart from the average, slow runner.

Stride turnover, also known as running cadence, is the holy grail for increasing speed and improving running technique. It refers to the number of steps you take in a minute. Picture it as the rhythm of your feet hitting the ground, propelling you forward with each swift and efficient stride. And guess what? Research has shown that the fastest and most efficient runners in the world maintain a cadence of approximately 180 steps per minute. That’s the magic number that can elevate your running game to new heights.

But how can you achieve this optimal cadence? The key lies in emulating the habits of the running elites. They keep their feet close to the ground, gracefully floating above the surface with short, light, and lightning-fast steps. It’s like a beautiful dance, a symphony of motion that allows them to maintain speed and efficiency effortlessly.

To determine your current cadence, embark on a little experiment. Run for one minute while focusing on your right foot. Count the number of times it strikes the ground and multiply it by two. Voilà, you have your current cadence measurement. Now, let’s work on cranking up that tempo.

To increase your stride turnover, it’s all about embracing the notion of fast, short, and light steps. Imagine yourself tiptoeing across hot coals, the ground beneath you sizzling with energy. Each step should be swift and purposeful, as if you’re playing a game of hot potato with your feet. Embrace the rhythm, feel the flow, and let your inner speed demon guide you.

As you embark on this journey of improving your stride turnover, keep in mind that it’s not just about numbers and metrics. It’s about finding your own rhythm, your own sweet spot where your body feels in sync and your strides become effortless. Play with different tempos, experiment with your cadence, and find what works best for you.

Increase Running Speed Strategy 7 – Jump Rope

I’ve got some exciting news for you. When it comes to improving your running speed, not all steps involve running. Yes, you heard it right. Your cross-training program, those non-running workouts you’ve been neglecting, can make a significant impact too. And one of the best options you got as a runner is the mighty jump rope.

Jumping rope isn’t just child’s play—it’s a challenging and effective way to boost your running speed while giving your main running muscles a serious workout. Picture yourself gracefully leaping over the twirling rope, feeling the burn as it targets your quads, glutes, and calves—those powerhouses that propel you forward with each stride. But that’s not all.

As you jump, your chest, back, triceps, and shoulders also come into play, assisting in the continuous rotation of the rope. It’s like a synchronized dance between your upper and lower body, working in harmony to unleash your running potential.

But here’s the best part: Jumping rope offers all these benefits without wreaking havoc on your precious joints. That means you can strengthen those running muscles and increase your speed without the pounding impact that comes with running alone. It’s like giving your body a much-needed break while still reaping the rewards of an intense workout.

And the benefits don’t stop there. Jumping rope is a true multitasker. Not only does it improve your overall endurance and breathing technique, but it also hones your focus and coordination. It’s a symphony of mind and body working together, sharpening your skills both on and off the track.

To truly unlock the potential of this classic workout, it’s time to up the ante. Increase the duration and intensity of your jump rope sessions, gradually building up to a heart-pumping 20 to 30 minutes. Challenge yourself to explore new footwork patterns—alternate those feet, try jumping on one foot, or even take it up a notch by bouncing on your heels. Let your creativity flow and make it a fun and exhilarating experience.

Increase Running Speed Strategy 7 – Get The Right Form

Want to unlock the secret to running faster? Well, here’s a valuable key that applies to runners of any pace or speed: running more efficiently. When you run with efficiency, you’ll be amazed at how effortlessly you cover more ground and maintain your energy levels, all while leaving fatigue in the dust. So, how can you achieve this running nirvana? The answer lies in mastering proper running form.

Let’s dive into some fascinating research that supports the significance of running with the right technique. Numerous studies have highlighted the impact of proper form on running performance.

One study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that runners who focused on running tall and maintaining a relaxed upper body experienced reduced energy expenditure and improved running economy. This means they were able to maintain their pace while using less energy—an invaluable advantage in any race or training session.

To incorporate this knowledge into your running, here are a few powerful cues to keep in mind:

  • Stand tall: Imagine a string pulling you up, making you six inches taller as you pick up the pace. By maintaining an upright and relaxed upper body, you’ll optimize your stride and reduce unnecessary tension.
  • Find your sweet spot: Aim to land your feet directly beneath your center of gravity. When your foot strikes the ground, ensure the middle of your foot aligns with your hip. This alignment minimizes the risk of overstriding and promotes a more efficient transfer of force.
  • Relax those shoulders: Let your shoulders loosen up and allow your arms to swing naturally back and forth, forming low 90-degree angles. This relaxed arm movement not only aids in balance but also conserves energy that would otherwise be wasted on unnecessary tension.
  • Gentle grip: Imagine holding a delicate butterfly in your palms. Keep your hands lightly clenched, avoiding excess tension. This subtle adjustment helps you maintain a relaxed upper body and prevents energy from seeping away.
  • Look ahead: Maintain an upright posture with a straight back and head held high. Picture your chin parallel to the ground, allowing you to breathe freely and ensuring optimal oxygen intake for your muscles.
  • Focus on forward motion: Minimize side-to-side movement and focus all your energy on propelling yourself forward. This laser-like focus on forward momentum eliminates any wasteful effort and maximizes your speed.

For those eager to take their running form to the next level, consider exploring the Pose Method. It’s an approach that emphasizes proper body alignment and efficient movement.

A recommended resource for delving into the Pose Method is “The Running Revolution” by Nicholas Romanov—a comprehensive book that serves as an invaluable guide on this subject.

Increase Running Speed Strategy 9 – Lose Weight

Here’s some exciting news for all you runners out there: shedding those extra pounds of fat (not muscle) can actually have a significant impact on your running performance. According to research published by the esteemed American College of Sports Medicine, for every pound lost, you can expect to shave off approximately two seconds from your mile time. So, imagine the possibilities if you were to drop a substantial amount of weight.

Let’s put this into perspective with an example. Say you manage to lose 15 pounds. That’s no easy feat, but it’s worth it! This weight loss could potentially translate into a remarkable improvement of 80 to 90 seconds off your 5K race time. Just think about that for a moment—nearly a minute and a half of precious time savings.

Now, you might be wondering why losing weight has such a profound impact on your running performance. Well, let me break it down for you. The more weight you carry, the more effort and energy you need to exert to cover the same distance from point A to point B. It’s like trying to sprint with a 25-pound backpack strapped to your back. Go ahead, give it a try. You’ll quickly realize just how challenging it becomes to maintain any semblance of speed or endurance.

When you shed those extra pounds, it’s as if you’re unburdening yourself from that heavy backpack. Suddenly, running becomes easier, more fluid, and dare I say, more enjoyable. You’ll have more power at your disposal, ready to be harnessed for greater speed and improved performance.

But remember, we’re talking about losing fat, not muscle. It’s essential to maintain a balanced approach that includes a healthy diet, proper nutrition, and strength training exercises to preserve your valuable muscle mass while shedding unwanted fat.

Increase Running Speed Strategy 10 – Be Consistent

Let me tell you a little secret: achieving a boost in running speed is all about practice and consistency. There’s no magic potion or instant shortcut to becoming faster. It’s a journey that requires dedication, perseverance, and a whole lot of pounding the pavement.

Picture this: you lace up your running shoes and head out for a run, and then you do it again the next day, and the day after that, and the day after that. You keep going, week after week, month after month. It’s through this relentless commitment that you accumulate the endurance, stamina, and strength needed to propel yourself to new levels of speed and performance.

In the real world, there are no silver bullets—no quick fixes that magically transform you into a speed demon overnight. It’s a gradual process that requires patience and a willingness to put in the work. But here’s the thing: if you keep pushing forward, if you stay consistent and persevere, you’ll eventually reach your goals—provided they’re realistic and aligned with your capabilities, of course.

As a general rule of thumb, aim for three to four running sessions per week. This frequency allows for ample training stimulus without overloading your body. But remember, it’s not just about running more—it’s about running smarter. As you start incorporating additional runs into your weekly plan, do so gradually. Focus on building your endurance first, as speed naturally follows when your body becomes accustomed to the demands of consistent running.

Now, let’s talk about the cornerstone of your weekly running plan—the long run. This is the session where you push yourself to cover more miles than any other run that week. It’s a chance to challenge your limits, both physically and mentally. By gradually increasing the distance of your long run, you’re not only building endurance but also training your body to sustain a faster pace for longer periods.

To give you a glimpse of a typical weekly running plan designed to increase speed, here’s a breakdown:

Monday

Interval Run –  8 X 4oom at 80 to 90 percent of maximum speed.

Tuesday 

 Upper Body Strength Workout

Wednesday 

30-Minute Uphill Workout

Thursday

Lower Body Strength Routine

Friday

4 X 800m at 90 percent of maximum speed

Saturday

Long Run

Sunday

Rest Day or Cross-train

Increase Running Speed – The Conclusion

By doing interval workouts, increasing cadence, working on technique, losing weight, running hills, and incorporating consistency, you’ll be able to take your running speed to an entirely new level.

Now the ball is in your court. Do you have any other tips to share? If so, then feel free to do so in the comments section below.

I hope my guidelines for increasing running speed will help you become faster than you ever thought possible.

In the meantime, thank you for dropping by.

Keep running strong.

David D.

Boost Your Running with Strong Quads: Top Exercises for Quadriceps Strength

Are you ready to boost your running performance and protect yourself from overuse injuries? Well, look no further because you’ve stumbled upon the ultimate guide to supercharging those quadriceps!

Here’s the truth.

If you want to take your running game to new heights, there’s one secret weapon you need to harness: strength training.

Now, let’s talk about those marvelous quadriceps. These muscles play a crucial role in your running adventure. They’re the unsung heroes responsible for providing support as you gracefully land on each leg and generate that powerful forward propulsion.

But hold onto your running shoes because I’m about to share with you the crème de la crème of quad exercises. These fantastic seven exercises have been handpicked to skyrocket your running prowess and give you that extra edge on the track or trail.

Are you pumped? I know I am! Let’s jump right in!

What Are The Quadriceps Muscles?

Picture this: deep within your frontal thighs, just above the knees, lies a powerhouse of muscles ready to ignite your performance on the track, trail, or wherever your running adventures take you. We’re talking about the quadriceps, my friend!

The quads are no ordinary group of muscles—they hold immense power and strength. In fact, studies have shown that the quadriceps are among the strongest muscle groups in our entire human temple. Impressive, right?

But here’s the kicker: the quads aren’t just a single muscle; they’re a team of four extraordinary muscles working in perfect harmony. It’s like having your very own quad squad!

Let’s meet the members, shall we?

First up, we have the Vastus Medialis, affectionately known as the “teardrop” muscle. It’s nestled within the inner sanctum of your leg, near the knee. This little warrior adds stability and strength to your knee joint, ensuring a smooth and controlled movement.

Next, we have the Vastus Lateralis, the guardian of the upper leg’s outer realm. This bad boy provides explosive power and stability, ready to tackle any running challenge that comes your way.

Say hello to the Rectus Femoris, the grand maestro of hip flexion. Positioned right in the middle of your thigh, it’s responsible for bringing your thigh closer to your body. Think of it as the conductor orchestrating the perfect stride.

Last but not least, we have the Vastus Intermedius, the unsung hero sandwiched between the Vastus Lateralis and Vastus Medialis. Together, they form an unstoppable front-line defense, ensuring your quadriceps perform at their peak.

Now, here’s the juicy part: these quad muscles are not just about bending and straightening your knee. Oh no, my friend, they’re the key to unlocking your physical potential in a myriad of activities.

Benefits of Quad Strengthening Exercises For Runners

Here are some of the advantages of strengtheniing your quadriceps.

First and foremost, brace yourself for a surge in speed. Picture yourself dashing through the finish line with lightning speed, effortlessly conquering steep hills like a superhero, and unleashing an explosive push-off power that propels you forward in all your running endeavors.

That’s the power of strong quads in action!

But that’s not all. Brace yourself for a body that’s practically bulletproof against injuries. You see, research has uncovered a fascinating connection between weak and tight quads and a whole host of running-related injuries.

Take runner’s knee, for instance. A study conducted by brilliant minds revealed that weak quads are often to blame for this nagging condition. They simply can’t support and stabilize the knee during the running motion, leaving it vulnerable and prone to trouble. But fear not! Strengthening those quadriceps is like putting on a suit of armor for your knees. By fortifying this muscle group, you’ll not only reduce your risk of injuries but also enhance the raw power of your legs.

Speaking of injuries, let’s talk about shock absorption. Did you know that your mighty quadriceps act as natural shock absorbers? It’s true! Researchers at the esteemed University of Delaware have found that strong quads have a remarkable ability to cushion your knees against common overuse injuries. Imagine them as the bouncy springs beneath your steps, softening the impact and ensuring your knees stay happy and healthy on your running journey.

But wait, there’s more! Say goodbye to the dreaded “dead-leg” syndrome. You know that feeling when your legs feel heavy, sluggish, and utterly uncooperative? Weak quads might be the sneaky culprit behind this demoralizing condition. Your quadriceps play a pivotal role in maintaining endurance, keeping your legs firing on all cylinders. Strengthening these powerhouses will banish those dead-leg blues and usher in a new era of unstoppable stamina.

Quadriceps Training For Runners Guidelines

Start Slowly

First things first, take it easy and don’t rush into things. Just like any exercise regimen, quad training requires a patient approach.

Begin by easing yourself into the routine, gently testing the waters of your quad strength. As you gradually get stronger, it’s time to crank up the challenge. You can achieve this by adding more weight to your exercises, increasing the number of sets you perform, or even better—doing both! Embrace the thrill of progress and push your limits.

Warm Up Right

Before delving into your quad workout, it’s crucial to prepare your body for action. A dynamic warm-up routine is your secret weapon.

Start with a leisurely 5-minute jog or even some energizing running in place to get those muscles primed. Then, dive into 5 minutes of dynamic moves that awaken your entire lower body—think inchworms, squats, walking lunges, and high knees. Consider it a prelude to the quad-training symphony that awaits you.

Find The Right Combo

Finding the right combination of exercises is key to unlocking the full potential of your quads.

Below, you’ll discover a treasure trove of quad exercises that can be incorporated into your lower body strength routine. Aim to perform this routine one to two times per week to reap the maximum benefits. When it comes to repetitions, shoot for about 8 to 12 per exercise. This sweet spot will help you build strength and endurance without overexerting yourself. Oh, and don’t forget to aim for two to three sets in total—consistency is key, my friend.

Proper Form

Now, let’s talk about the crown jewel of effective quad training—proper form. It reigns supreme over everything else. While it may be tempting to chase higher rep numbers, never compromise on your form.

Each rep should be executed with precision and control, paying close attention to your body’s alignment and movement patterns. Remember, quality over quantity. As you gradually increase the intensity of your training, you might find yourself performing fewer reps. But fear not for in this journey, you shall gain strength that transcends mere numbers.

Don’t Forget Your Hamstrings

Ah, my friend, let’s not forget about the unsung heroes of your lower body—those mighty hamstrings! You see, a balanced approach is the secret sauce to unleashing your full potential. Focusing solely on your quads while neglecting your hamstrings is like trying to sail a ship with one oar—it’s just not going to get you very far.

Allow me to paint a picture for you. Imagine your quads as the powerful engine that propels you forward in your running journey. They’re already firing on all cylinders thanks to the repetitive motion of running. But here’s the catch: if your hamstrings don’t receive the attention they deserve, it’s like having an engine without the supporting structure. Imbalances can creep in, causing trouble down the road.

Research has shown that runners often have stronger quads than hamstrings, leaving the latter playing catch-up. That’s why it’s essential to give your hamstrings some love and strengthen them alongside your quads. Trust me, it’s a game-changer.

Now, let’s talk about some fantastic exercises that target those hamstrings of yours.

The Best 5 Quad Exercises For Runners

You can perform this quad routine as a workout in itself, or you can choose to add a few of these exercises into your already established routine—it’s your choice.

These exercises are the best because they hit the quads from so many different angles, targeting the front, sides and upper of these crucial running muscles.

Quad Exercise For Runners –1. Squats

Depending on your current fitness level and training goals, you can perform the squat using nothing but your body weight or you can also use dumbbells or a barbell for more challenge.

Squats and its other variations put a lot of emphasis on the quads as well as improving lower body strength, endurance, and mobility.

Squats are some of the best runners oriented exercises that there is.

Proper Form

Stand feet width apart, back flat, and core engaged.

Next, while keeping your head up and knees tracking over your toes, slowly squat down by bending the knees and sitting your butt back as if you were sitting in an imaginary chair.

Keep squatting down until your knees are bent at a 90 degrees angle and/or when your thighs are parallel to the ground.

Once you reach the bottom half of the squat, pause for a moment, then press up through the heels and engage your quads on the way up.

That’s one rep.

2. Single Leg Squats

This is a more advanced version of a squat, and it requires an enormous amount of strength, mobility, and flexibility so you’d better be careful with this one.

Pistols are super challenging exercise, so please feel free to opt for the assisted pistol variation by grabbing a TRX strap or holding on to a chair, a pole, or a wall, for balance.

Additional resource – The Myrtl routine

Proper Form

Begin by standing with your feet hip-width apart, then shift your weight to your right leg.

Then, balance on your right leg and fully extend the left leg out in front of you.

Make sure to squat down as deep as you can on the planted leg.

Next, while keeping your back flat and core engaged, bend your right hip and knee at the same time to perform the exercise.

Aim for at least a 50 degrees bend in the right knee, while keeping your hips even and knee tracking over the toes.

Last up, return to standing position by extending your right leg to complete one rep.

Aim for 10 to 12 reps on each leg to complete one set.

Perform five sets.

3. Leg Extensions Quad Exercise

Perform the easier version without the need for a machine by sitting down on a higher table or chair and clasping a weight between your feet for more resistance.

It’s your choice.

Proper Form

Begin by sitting on the padded seat of the machine (just like shown in the video tutorial) with the pads over the top of the ankles.

Next, hook your feet under the padded bar and while bracing your core and keeping your back head straight.

While holding the handles for stability, straighten your legs by extending them up, squeeze at the top and hold for a second, then slowly bring the weight back down, but do not allow your knees go past a 90-degree angle.

4. Weighted Walking Lunge

In addition to the squat, walking lunges are some of the best runners oriented quad strength exercises.

Plus they’re dynamic and target most of the lower body muscles, especially your rectus femoris muscle.

Proper Form

Begin by standing up straight with dumbbells grasped to each side or with a loaded barbell rested on the upper back.

Next, while keeping the torso upright and core activated, take a large step forward with your right leg, landing on the heel than the forefoot.

Then, drop into a lunge and lower your body down until both knees are bent at a 90-degree angle with the left knee almost touching the floor.

Move forward by driving through the heel of your right foot while bringing your left leg forward until you are back to starting position, then step with your left leg into a lunge, repeating the pattern to complete one rep.

Do 8 to 10 reps to complete one set.

Perform five sets.

5. Leg Press

This is another classical quad exercise, and you’ll also need access to the appropriate machine.

This exercise mainly targets the quadricep provided that you’re keeping good form the entire time.

Proper Form

Begin by sitting on the leg press machine with your head and back against the padded support.

To assume the right position, make sure to place your feet on the footplate roughly hip-width distance apart while keeping the heels flat the entire time.

Next, grab the seat handles, carefully unlatch the sled from the safeties, then extend your knees to press the weight up until your legs are nearly straight, stopping just short of locking out.

Pause for a moment, then lower the platform by bending your knees.

Make sure to push through your heels, keeping your knees in line with the toes the entire time, allowing for no bowing inward nor outward.

Just be careful here with the leg press as it is notoriously known for causing trouble.

quadriceps exercises

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Quad Exercises For Runners – The Conclusion

There you have it!

The above quad exercises are the best when it comes to increasing strength in your lower body, especially in the rectus femoris muscle.

Do this awesome quad workout on a regular basis if you’re serious about making real progress. Also, keep in mind to stay within your fitness level the entire time.

Here are more  strength exercises for runners.

Please feel free to leave your comments and questions in the section below.

In the meantime thank you for reading my post

Keep Running Strong

David D.