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Strength Training for 5K Runners

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Endurance athletes will benefit by incorporating strength training into their training routine. Increased upper body strength helps delay arm and posture fatigue. Increased leg strength through strength training enhances running efficiency, force application and speed. Strength training also prevents injury and decreases recovery time. Distance runners such as those who participate in 5K, 10K and half marathons should focus on strengthening and balancing the quadriceps, hamstrings and hips, but just as important is strengthening the core muscles such as abdominals, obliques, and low back muscles.

Strength training is composed of body weight exercises and resistance strength training. It involves balance and core training. Unlike powerlifting or bodybuilding, this program will emphasize higher repetition and less rest between sets. The athlete should focus on form, balance and fluidity of movement.
Strength training can be alternated between run days, or as an evening workout if running is in the mornings.
A certain level of discomfort (burn and tension) is normal and expected but if at any time sharp pains are felt in any of the joints, stops, rest and ice. If you feel light headed, sit down immediately and lower your head below the level of the heart. If you feel disoriented with sudden acute pain the right arm, call 911 immediately or tell someone of your concern.

Double Leg Lifts- Laying supine with hands (palm side down) under your bum, straighten both legs on the floor and press ankles together. With a slight bend at the knees, slowly lift heels of the floor to about 30 degrees. Hold for 2-4 seconds and lower legs until heels are 2 inches from the floor. Hold again for 2-4 seconds and lift again. Keep the slight bend in the knee constant throughout the movement. Do not cheat by excessively bending the knees

Double Punch Crunch - Laying supine, arms crossed in front of chest, knees bent and soles on the floor, roll the upper back off the floor. With your right arm, punch to the outside of the left knee TWICE. Rotate and with the left arm punch to the outside of the right knee. Re-cross arms and return upper back to the floor.

Medicine Ball Plank- Position yourself prone, both hands on the top of the medicine ball and legs straight behind. You will need to stabilize yourself on the balls of the feet and your hands. To increase the difficulty move ball further away from chest; to under the chin, then under the nose, then to beyond your forehead.

Wide Stance Squats – Hold one dumbbell with both hands. Look straight ahead and slightly upwards. With feet slightly beyond shoulder width, bend at the knees until thigh is parallel to the floor. Push with heels to return to the starting standing position.

Trunk Extension – Hug one dumbbell (close to chest) with both hands or hold two dumbbells. Keep spine straight. Bend forward at the hip. While bending, keep face forward and try not to look down. Using gluts and hamstrings, return to the upright position

Knee Lift with Medicine Ball - Hold a medicine ball straight up over your head in both hands. Lift the right knee up to waist level while bringing the arms down, touching the weight to the knee. Return to start and repeat on the left side. You can add intensity by speeding the movement up (while still maintaining control of the weight and your body) and lifting the knees as high as you can. Alternate each side for 30-60 seconds (or more).

Reverse Lunges –Hold dumbbells or phantom dumbbells with arms extended at the side of body. Step back with the right leg and slowly allow the right knee to gently tap the floor. Keep your back nice and straight. Watch that left knee stays behind the tips of the left shoe. Push straight upwards to return to the standing position. Repeat with left leg stepping back and left knee tapping the floor.

Lateral Leg Raises – With or without bands. Place floor arm under your head like a pillow. Stabilize body with top arm. Laying on right or left side with legs straight, separate the upper ankle from the lower ankle in an expandable V motion. Slowly bring ankles back together and repeat.

Bent-over rows – Place right foot about 24 inches in front of the left foot and bend the right knee. Bending forward, place right hand on right knee and lift dumbbell with left arm. Pull dumbbell up along a vertical line keeping elbow pointing to the rear until it is at chest level. Lower slowly BUT do not release. Repeat the action.

Military Press - Sit comfortably on exercise ball. Hold dumbbells out to the sides of the head at ear level with grasped palms facing forward. Your upper arm should be parallel with the floor. Together push both weights upward along a vertical line. Lower to the starting position and repeat. No need to completely lock out elbow at the top or “ding” the weights together.

Biceps Curls – Stand with dumbbells in both hands to the side of body. Grasping palm facing inward. Squeeze dumbbells and curl weight upwards. At the top, rotate wrist so palm faces towards you. On the way back down rotate wrist so palm faces inward. Lower weight so it touches the OUTSIDE of the thigh. Repeat

Triceps Extension – Sit comfortably on exercise ball. Hold one dumbbell in both hands and orient hands and dumbbell behind your head. Elbows should be point forward NOT out to the sides. Extend at the elbow to lift dumbbell above your head. Slowly return it to behind your head.

Pec. Press – Lay supine on exercise ball so only your upper back, neck, and head on the exercise ball. Knees, thighs, hips trunk and shoulders must form a flat table top surface. Hold dumbbells in each arm with grasping palms facing towards knees. Lower weight to upper chest. Push weight along a vertical line upwards. Do not lock out elbows but stop when there is only a slight bend at the elbow. Lower again to just above the upper chest.

Abs
Dbl Leg lifts, Double punch crunches, Medicine Ball Plank, Rest 1 minute, Repeat
(20) (20reps each side) (40 seconds)
Dbl Leg lifts, Double punch crunches, Medicine Ball Plank, Rest 1 minute, Repeat
(18) (18reps each side) (30 seconds)
Dbl Leg lifts, Double punch crunches, Medicine Ball Plank, Rest 1 minute
(15) (15reps each side) (20 seconds)

Legs
Wide st. squats, Trunk ext., Knee lifts w/ med. ball, Reverse Lunges, Lateral leg Raises Rest 1 minute, Repeat
(25lbs 20reps) (25lbs 20reps) (60 secs.) (0lbs 20reps) (20 reps each side)
Wide st. squats, Trunk ext., Knee lifts w/ med. ball, Reverse Lunges, Lateral leg Raises Rest 1minute, Repeat
(25lbs 18reps) (25lbs 18reps) (30 secs.) (10lbs 18reps) (20 reps each side)
Wide st. squats, Trunk ext., Knee lifts w/ med. ball, Reverse Lunges, Lateral leg Raises Rest 1minute
(25lbs 15reps) (25lbs 15reps) (30 secs.) (15lbs 15reps) (20 reps each side)

Shoulders, Back and Arms
Lat Pulls, Military Press, Bicep Curl Triceps Extension Pec Press Rest 1 minute Repeat
(15lbs 20 reps) (15lbs 20reps) (15lbs 20 reps) (20lbs 20reps) (20lbs 20reps)
Lat Pulls, Military Press, Bicep Curl Triceps Extension Pec Press Rest 1 minute Repeat
(20lbs 18reps) (20lbs 18reps) (15lbs 18 reps) (20lbs 18reps) (20lbs 18reps)
Lat Pulls, Military Press, Bicep Curl Triceps Extension Pec Press Rest 1 minute
(20lbs 15reps) (20lbs 15reps) (15lbs 15 reps) (20lbs 15reps) (25lbs 15reps)

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