A few weeks ago, I was pleasantly surprised when I received an email asking me to review a running documentary called Desert Runners. I watched the trailer and was immediately intrigued. The film follows a group of athletes as they complete RacingthePlanet’s Four Deserts Grand Slam, the most difficult desert ultra-marathon series on Earth. The ..read more..
Archive for the ‘Stronger Runner’ Category
I ran competitively for 9 years. I raced distances from the 800m on the track to 10km on the road. Known for it’s high incidence of overuse injuries, the running daemons got me twice – once I rolled my ankle (3rd degree sprain; obviously not an overuse injury) and another time I had IT Band ..read more..
Traditionally, explosive weightlifting has been reserved for sprinters, but distance runners can also benefit from including these power-producing exercises in their strength and conditioning program. In addition to traditional strength training and plyometric exercises, the Olympic lifts and their variations can help runners improve their potential for performance. The Science Power is the ..read more..
Everyone knows how to do a basic lunge; these three variations take it to the next level. For the most part, running takes place in what’s called the sagittal plane — think forward and back. However, there is a lot more going on than catches the eye. A tremendous amount of stability and control has ..read more..
If you’ve been in the running world long enough, you’ve surely heard how important core training is for running efficiently and how it can help keep your injuries at bay. There isn’t a shortage of plank videos on YouTube geared towards helping runners, but the problem arises when runners think that by doing planks, they’re ..read more..
I did a short interview with The Bodycast podcast the other day about achieving your perfect running form. Check it out – it’s episode 8. Link HERE.
Depending on where you workout, some of the more modern, up to date gyms (no, not with fancy machines and cardio equipment with TVs) might have more options for you with regards to resistance training. In addition to traditional barbells, dumbbells and medicine balls, other pieces of equipment are available to help you in your ..read more..
Make sure to check out my feature injury prevention article in the February issue of Runner’s World magazine. This is my debut in Runner’s World and I’m super proud to share this with you. For videos of the exercises/drills, check out this LINK. Run Strong. -Jon
Believe it or not, not every athlete wants to build massive muscles. Think about wrestlers, MMA fighters, gymnists or athletes who use their own body weight as their primary resistance, they need the strength, but the additional bulk can be a hindering than helpful. What’s important to consider is that strength is not solely a ..read more..
What runner doesn’t hate getting injured? Knee pain, heel pain or even low back pain can put a damper on any runner’s training. Usually though, the site of pain is not the source of the injury. Think about it like this. You have a door rubbing in a door frame on the handle side (opposite the ..read more..
It’s difficult to get runners in the gym. However, numerous studies show improved running performance and reduced injury risk when runners include strength and/or plyometric exercises to their endurance program. Most fear that if they lift a weight, they will instantly turn into the Hulk, which couldn’t be further from the truth. Let me see ..read more..
Being a strong runner takes more than just logging in the miles every week. It takes hours of dedication doing the supplemental work, which usually involves massage and chiropractic appointments; self massage (self myofascial release) and trigger pointing; various exercises to strengthen the feet, hips, core, and legs; stretching sessions and maybe some yoga; and ..read more..
If I know you well enough, I know you hate doing planks (don’t worry, I do too!). I think they’re boring – BUT they are very important for building a foundational level of strength and body awareness regarding what is and isn’t neutral spine alignment. My latest article on Men’sFitness.com outlines 8 ways you can ..read more..
If boot camp is your only strength training…..you don’t have any strength training. — Functional FitnessVA (@funcfitVA) April 2, 2012 I came across this Tweet back in April (hence the date!). I sat there and thunk about it for a bit. I don’t think it’s correct to generalize boot camps as not effective strength training. ..read more..
A brand new study in the European Journal of Applied Physiology looked at the neuromuscular adaptations during combined strength and endurance training in endurance runners (Taipale, Mikkola, Vesterinen, Nummela & Hakkinen, 2012). This study is out of the University of Jyvaskyla in Finland. This study compared the effects of 1) mixed maximal strength training & ..read more..
I’m tired of biting my tongue. I’ve seen pictures like this pop up everywhere on the internet and honestly, I find it quite offensive. Here you have a wickedly lean and built sprinter/football running back compared to a frail distance runner, in this case, marathon-great Ryan Hall (and of course they choose the least flattering ..read more..
Traditionally, we’ve been told that static stretching is an effective method at preparing our bodies for exercise, reducing our risk for injury and improving joint flexibility. Sounds great right? We’ve been doing this for years – go to any gym or track today and you’ll see runners and trainees stretching their hamstrings on a bench ..read more..
The strength and conditioning program of a distance runner is an essential part of any training plan when it comes to staying injury free and maximizing running performance. But it isn’t as easy as just going to the gym and banging out reps on the leg curl machine. The program should focus on correcting muscle ..read more..
This exercise is great at challenging single leg hip stability while strengthening your posterior chain (hamstrings, gluteals and para-spinals) and abdominals (indirectly). Don’t be confused with the version where the weight is lifted off the floor between reps – that’s referred to as a Stiffleg Deadlift – two different exercises even though they look the ..read more..
When it comes to improving your running form, crunches and sit-ups will do very little. They’re detrimental to a runner’s spine and not at all effective at improving the true function of a runner’s core. But many people still ask how many sit-ups they need to do to run a faster 10K. The sit-up movement ..read more..
“No more boring crunches!” It might sound like an infomercial on late-night TV, but it’s true: crunches and sit-ups don’t do much for the runner. Sit-ups and leg raises can potentially overwork one of the deep hip flexor muscles and they also place high compressive loads on the lumbar spine. These exercises don’t just train ..read more..
*How distance runners think they’ll look after spending some time in the gym* “I’m going to build extra massand run slower.” It’s not a very encouraging thought for most runners – but that’s what they fear will happen if they start lifting weights. With visions of huge muscle-bound men and women grunting while throwing chalk-covered ..read more..
The importance of abdominal training for runners and triathletes has been demonstrated often in the pages of IMPACT Magazine. Now it’s time introduce anti-rotation core training. Runners and triathletes need to have strong stable cores to ensure maximum running economy/efficiency. This ability to resist unwanted or unnecessary motion in the trunk and hip regions will ..read more..
It is commonly thought that static stretching can reduce injury risk and improve athletic performance. Static stretching involves holding a pose to stretch a muscle. For example, the common quadriceps stretch: while standing, the athlete holds his foot on his buttocks with his knee bent to full flexion to stretch the quadriceps muscle. Other common ..read more..
Unstable surface training has become a common sight in the strength and conditioning realm. With the popular concept of core stability, you see more and more runners training on exercise balls, Bosu balance trainers and balance discs. Runners often mistakenly believe that this type of training will incorporate greater core activation while simultaneously developing strength. ..read more..
The idea of barefoot running is not new – back in a Running Times magazine issue in July/August 2002, Pete Pfitzinger wrote “You can strengthen your feet and ankles by using them as they were designed to be used. Take off your shoes and let your feet move on natural surfaces. When you walk or ..read more..