Juneathon begins with a non-running day for me this year so it was time to embrace the start of my new strength and conditioning habit.
As a coach I know how important running-specific strength and conditioning is to help your running form and prevent injuries so why do I find it so difficult to cement it into my own training? One of the problems is deciding where to start. There are so many options for exercises out there, its easy to procrastinate while pretending to decide which to do.
I’ve decided to start simple and concentrate on my hips and glutes – the area I had problems with for the last 6 miles of the marathon.
Reading through the tomes of online articles I stumbled across an article from a website I hadn’t found before, Runner’s Blueprint:
I won’t re-iterate the article here, you can check out the details and videos on the article itself. Instead I’ll let you know how I got on.
For my first session I decided to go for just one small set to stop myself from running scared! I can then build up reps and sets as I get stronger.
Single Leg Bridge – 8 reps on each leg
I’ve done this exercise before so I know it’s all about concentrating on the core and glutes which transforms an easy movement into a surprisingly tough one.
Donkey Kicks – 8 reps on each leg
Again, what appears to be so simple becomes more complicated when you have to concentrate on keeping your spine neutral.
Side-Lying Hip Abductions – 8 reps on each leg
To aid in keeping my hips from rotating during this one I lined up against a wall – it really helped to keep everything aligned!
Bird Dog – 8 reps on each leg
You might know this as a “Superman”. Slow, controlled movements is what it’s all about.
Single Leg Deadlift – 8 reps on each leg
Let the struggle commence! I’d already opted not to add dumbbells to the equation but I found my hamstrings were taking all the strain in this exercise and my glutes weren’t getting any workout at all. As a result, I’m pretty sure I’m not doing them right so I’ve decided to drop this from the routine. I may find another exercise to replace it, but for the time being I’ll concentrate on the other 4.
All in all, a decent start and it only took 20 minutes so time can’t be an excuse for not getting them done. The target is to get these done on any non-running days which will normally be 3 times a week: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
I think I’m going to need your help!
So why is this the one with the quiz? That’s simple. It’s the African Children’s Fund monthly pub quiz tonight. Wish me luck!