CONDITIONING EXERCISES FOR RUNNERS

CONDITIONING EXERCISES FOR RUNNERS

Running is exercise in itself – so why do you need to exercise for running?

The reason is that adding in some additional targeted exercises really can help your running performance. Pounding the pavements also puts some unusual strains on your body, and so extra conditioning will reduce the chance of injury.

Running is a great endorphin release, so you won’t want to miss your regular ‘fix’.

Here are some hints to keep you in good shape for your run, and to help you improve your performance on track or round the course.

WHAT AREAS OF THE BODY NEED TO BE STRONG FOR RUNNERS?

It’s not just the legs! Runners need a strong and stable core. A strong core is essential for runners and whilst this applies to both lower and upper body, it’s the latter which tends to be neglected. So working your upper body means you get extra value from your run.

I’M WORRIED ABOUT RUNNING INJURIES – WILL TONING EXERCISES HELP?

In short, yes. Running can place quite a bit of stress on the joints; ankles, knees and hips being the most common areas. Although these areas cannot be strengthened in themselves, working the surrounding muscles that support the joints is essential to stabilise them. Strong and symmetrical muscles protect your joints and pay long-term dividends.

WHAT EXERCISES SHOULD I DO?

If you have favourites as part of your workout, they’ll do no harm to your running. But if you need some inspiration, try these:

  • Squats – they may seem simple, but a correct basic squat can do wonders for muscle strength and tone.
  • Abdominal exercises – working on your core strength will also help your running technique and stamina. Try these variations on the plank for some real improved abs.
  • Lunges – another simple-seeming one that really works. Here are some hints on correct form for the lunge.
  • Clams – a simple yet extremely effective floor exercise which targets your glutes and abductor muscles which are essential for natural knee support.

Don’t worry if your running has kept you out of the gym - make the most of winter and see what the machines can do for you. The staff will be happy to help if you need hints and tips. All you need is a short workout before your run or on your ‘rest’ days.

 Conditioning exercises help runners to improve their pace, performance and keep injuries at bay. A win all round!

Fancy giving some of these a try? Find your closest gym here and go work out!


The Author

Lauren Gregory

Lauren is a keen endurance athlete and qualified Personal Trainer. She has many long distance races and half marathons under her belt. Recently Lauren ran the Race to the Stones, the UK's largest ultra marathon - 100 kilometers no less - which in turn has ignited her love for trail running. Lauren works hard on core conditioning and believes this is key to being a strong endurance athlete. Lauren heads up a ladies-only running group http://www.runlikeagirl.org.uk/ and is a big advocate of the Couch to 5km programme.

Comments

Roger B.
20 December 2015

Roger B.

my knees also suffer and those exercises are essential. My physio said the three most important things are 'technique, technique, technique'!

Sasha B.
3 December 2015

Sasha B.

I tend to get knee problems and had never heard of clams before but after a quick google I think I shall add them to my baseline exercise routine.

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