When running, there are so many things that you can do to help your form, speed, endurance, and recovery. Since getting back into running, through Team In Training, I’m really taking all the non-running elements seriously. I literally just got back from our ‘long run’ day of 8 miles. Ah, it’s nice to be back. So, here are a few things that will help you meet your goal in exercise, whatever it may be. Let me expand on the alphabet letter S of exercises…
S is for sprints
Since sprints aren’t my favorite cardiovascular activity, it’s exactly what I did for Thursday and Friday’s workouts. Thursday, TNT’s track practice, we worked on speed work with a mile warm-up, two mile run, and then off to the hills to do some short hill sprints. During the sprinting, proper form is extremely important. Sprinting requires:
- Standing tall but lean forward. Keep your body straight but make sure you’re leading with your chest.
- Stay on the ball of your foot, near your toes.
- Heel striking slows down your stride, and is not recommended in any type of running.
- Drive the knee up and back toward your butt.
- The foot should take on a circular motion, instead of an elliptical movement.
- Move your arms in a 90 degree angle and move them fast. Your leg speed is directly related to your arm speed.
On Friday, the following was my CrossFit workout, which is a great speed workout to quicken your running pace:
20 meter sprint x5
30 meter sprint x4
50 meter sprint x2
100 meter sprint x1
And since I love posting my workouts, here is what we did for the WOD (Workout Of the Day), always for time:
200 meter row
21 Sumo deadlift, High Pull (SDHP)*
200 meter row
My time: 7:19 min.
Not a fantastic time but this also wasn’t the easiest workout. 😉
*If you have no idea what a Sumo Deadlift, High Pull is (which I totally didn’t), this video, if you watch through it a minute or two, shows you the exact workout I did, minus the 200 meter rows. And no, I wasn’t doing regular pull-ups, although I WISH I could.
S is for Squats
Squat exercises do more than just make you sore. Squats strengthen your legs to increase speed, sprints, stability, and lower your risk for injury in other exercises. We have all done squats at one time or another, whether it’s in the gym, picking up a box, or digging in your garden. You’ve done them, but are you doing them right? Maybe, but there are ways to get greater gains and results from tweaking just a few key things. How low can you go?
Weight above the head optional
“A full squat, which is much more challenging, is lowering below 90 degree, knees and hips fully bent, and you only stop your downward motion right before your butt hits your heels. This called “breaking parallel” in gym-speak, and adds explosive strength and power to your legs. Full squats are more difficult because they not only work your muscles through a bigger range of motion, they also take more flexibility and balance, which adds additional muscle groups that standard squats don’t.” Says, Kelly of Physique Speak. Kelly even shows the proper technique and form here.
I can vouch for this type of squat. In CrossFit, we are to do the full squat, breaking the 90, making the squat work everything just a little bit more. This challenges the hamstrings, quads, glutes, and mind. Adding weight is a whole different challenge in itself.
S is for Soccer
Completely void of anything I’m talking about (kind of, it’s still exercise), but is anyone else watching the World Cup???
This is my game face… I’m fierce. Grrrrr.
Disgusting but apparently required for a game. I had one, a glass of wine, and fell asleep [at 8 pm!].
This was last night, watching the DVR’ed Germany Vs. Serbia game. Germany lost. 🙁
What is your ‘S’ tip or trick that is required in exercise?