In my quest to run faster on the track I have been trying various new ideas, like the protein in the last post, and revisiting some old ones.
Strength training is one of them, and since the weather has been so wet this summer I have been trying to do circuit training twice a week.
If you have read my book “How to Run Faster” you will know the five exercise routine I have used for years as a back-up or extra session.
Now I added five more exercises, four with weights, so they may not be for everyone, but I’ll tell you about them anyway.
As I have a cheap weight bench I now do leg extensions and leg curls. The maximum weight is only 35 kg, but if you do them fast or hold for a moment at the top, after 30 seconds you know that you have done something!
It is interesting that I have no problem doing leg extensions with 35kg, but there is no way I can do leg curls with that weight. Correcting this imbalance must be doing some good.
The next two new exercises are Bulgarian split squats. I use 25kg on the barbell, a small weight for some people I know, but if you are trying to improve your running, it’s strength endurance you are looking for, so light weights in quantity and at speed is what you need to do. I put my back foot on the weight bench and do one leg after the other.
The final new exercise I do right at the end and is a simple rising up on my toes, both feet at the same time. It seems simple enough, but done as fast as possible produces quite a burn in the calf muscles!
To add to the power of the exercise I only do a set of squat thrusts between the Bulgarian split squats and the jumps that are now the penultimate exercise.
I read somewhere, I can’t remember where now, that doing plyometric exercises (the jumps) after a normal dynamic exercise gave better results overall.
It certainly feels like it is working!