Monthly Archives: May 2013

Best and Easy Marathons For Beginners

If you are new to marathon running you will need to find the most friendly marathon for a beginner. Marathons are different, some are easy and others are hard. Marathons like Honolulu and New York city marathon may feel appealing and exciting to a newbie runner but the routes have several hilly sections that an inexperienced runner will find brutal and intense.

To make things easy for you, here is a selection of some of the best marathon races for beginners. Most of them have an excellent combination of flat course, perfect weather, good organization, crowd support and large number of average runners.

When looking for an easy marathon don’t just focus on the flatness of the course. Things such as an exciting crowd (runners & spectators) and good weather can make a route with a few hilly sections seem bliss. If you are just after a flat course, look at flat and fast marathon courses.

Best Marathons for Beginners

Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco

Not the flattest marathon. The course has some hilly sections but they will be no problem if you do proper training. This is a race targeted at female runners and naturally all 25,000 runners are women. Expect lots of female banter on the course. There is a bra exchange on mile 7, chocolate give aways at mile 22 and to crown your effort, firefighter dressed in tuxedo will hand you a cute Tiffany & Co necklace at the finish. The race is hosted every October. For details see http://www.facebook.com/NWM26.2

Disney Princess Half-Marathon

This race is designed for a “girlfriends only” type of weekend. It is a race every beginner runner can bring his girlfriends along. The 13.1-mile course winds through the Magic Kingdom and Epcot theme parks. For moral support, Mickey, Minnie, and the rest of your favorite Disney characters will be cheering you on as you make your way to the finish line to collect your tiara-shaped medal. The race is held every February. Race details at Disney Princess official site.

Marine Corps Marathon

The MCM is known as “The People’s Marathon” because it is open to all runners ages 14 and above and is the largest marathon that does not offer prize money. The course varies slightly from year to year but it is generally friendly to regular runners who make up the 30,000 participants. The race typically occurs on the final Sunday in October, a few weeks before the United States Marine Corps birthday on November 10. Race details at MCM official site.

Easy Marathon races for beginners or first time marathon runners

L.A Marathon

L.A. is the home of Hollywood and the organizers make an extra effort to make every runner feel somebody important at least for duration of your run. They provide personalized bibs (with your first name in big letters). Spectators will shouting your name while urging you on. Los Angeles marathon will leave felling a somebody!

Rock n Roll Marathon Series

Rock & roll marathons are a series of marathon that are held in major cities in America. They are held in Phoenix, Dallas, San Antonio, Las Vegas, Seattle, Chicago, Denver, San Diego, St. Louis, Nashville, Washington, Miami etc. They have added to 3 races in Europe, Madrid in Spain, Dublin in Ireland and Edinburgh in Scotland. The series are famous for their style of fusing live music with running. Live bands are stationed along the routes to perform for runners. Imagine reaching at the half way mark and finding your favorite local band performing? They alos half marathon races and 10K race for those who a full marathon is not their cup of tea. To find a Rock and roll race near you go to competitor group website.

Half Marathon Training Schedule For Beginners

Many people like the idea of taking on the challenge of running a half marathon. But for some the thought is daunting, particularly those who do not run or jog often. But the event can be completed by just about everyone, including beginners. This means people who cannot run far before training. It is one of the appeals of the sport and why it is so popular. It is important to get the basics right though, including selecting a suitable training schedule, one that is designed for beginners.

There are many plans and schedules for running half marathons on the internet and in running magazines, but most of those are aimed at people who are generally fit. Some are even designed specifically for runners. If you are neither of these things then you may find it difficult to complete the full training program. And that is important as every session that is completed (including the rest days) will be repaid to you on race day.

A good basic guideline is whether you are able to run or jog for 20 minutes non-stop and without walking. If you are able to do that, then a standard schedule is appropriate. If you are not able to run for this period of time then you need a schedule designed for beginners.

Most schedules last for between 12 and 16 weeks. A schedule that is designed for beginners will gradually build up the distances you are able to run. Some people will only be able to manage a combination of running and walking. That is okay, however, as all training will help get you ready for the race distance – 13.1 miles.

Sample 12 weeks Half Marathon Training Program for Beginners.

beginner half marathon plan

The first third of beginners’ schedules will involve a lot of rest days and short runs that will gradually get longer. During the second third of the training plan the distances will get longer. You may also be encouraged to run faster. Speed work is good for building leg strength, something which will help on race day, even while running slowly.

The final third will involve a tapering phase where the lengths of runs decrease. By this stage you will be at peak fitness so the key thing is to make sure your energy levels and strength on race day are maximized.

If your selected half marathon training schedule is completed you will be fitter and will be ready to complete a half marathon. You will not break any records, but that is not the point. Finishing and achieving your goals are the objectives.

Important factors for a good half marathon training plan

Rest days

Rest days are very important during training. Even though running is important, allow for at least two days or so for rest per week. Resting will rejuvenate muscles, and alleviate tension.

Stay Hydrated

Drinking lots of water, preferably eight glasses a day will flush your body of any unnecessary toxins and keep your body thriving throughout your half marathon training.

Proper Runners Diet.

Make sure you eat well throughout your training period. The best diet for an active half marathon runner is Carb heavy diet. Carbohydrates are the main energy source for our bodies. The ratio should be something like 60% carbs, and the rest coming from fats and proteins.

Take it easy

You do not want to run more than your body will allow, because running too fast or hard over a short period will lead to injury.

Check the following to download half marathon training programs.

How To Get More Oxygen Into Your Lungs

You might think that breathing is a natural process and our bodies will adapt our breathing to suit the intensity of exercise we are doing. If we have poor breathing technique when we are not running then the chances are we will be use the same poor breathing (only faster) when we are running.

The more oxygen you breathe in, the faster you run

Running – in fact any kind of exercise – requires oxygen. You see, energy is released to do work when the cells in our body consume simple sugars in the presence of oxygen. The more work you do, the more oxygen you need. Since there’s only about 20% oxygen in air, unless you want to carry supplemental oxygen like an Everest mountaineer, you have to move more air in and out of your lungs when you’re running. So what can you do to get more of that air in and out of your lungs without feeling like you’re climbing a mountain without supplemental oxygen?

Correct running posture for maximum breathing

First, you should get in the practice of keeping your head and chin up, with your shoulders back. This will help to keep your chest as open as possible. I’ve seen many runners heading down the trail with slouched shoulders, eyes directed down at the ground just a few feet ahead of them. This compresses the chest and can even inhibit airflow down the windpipe into the lungs. Maintaining good posture while running will not only feel better, but will increase your available lung volume. More lung volume equals more oxygen.

Breathe with abdomen not chest

Focus on breathing deep down into the abdomen. As babies, we were all ‘belly-breathers’ with our abdomens rising and falling deeply with each breath. Somehow, as we grow up, we started breathing primarily in the chest. This actually gives us less lung volume as air might not even reach the bottom of our lungs on every breath. Breathing deeply, focusing on moving your belly in and out on each breath will make even more lung volume accessible. In addition to increasing oxygen uptake, belly-breathing can help prevent cramps during running.

Breathing with Nose vs Mouth

Many new runners are misinformed and believe that you should breathe only through your nose while running. Effective breathing while running means getting in enough oxygen to power your body through an intensive workout. The only way to do this is by taking in large, deep breaths through your nose and mouth. Studies done on elite runners have shown they breathe in using both the  mouth and nose.

Don’t wait until you have run for a few miles before you start deeper breathing, the sooner you start the better your body will be oxygenated. If you can get into a good rhythm of breathing that matches your strides it will make it easier to breath enough and in the right quantity. When you breathe out try making a panting noise. This helps you to take lager breaths and align your breathing with your steps.

10 Ways To Improve Your 5K Running Speed

The 5K is the most popular run today and new people are joining this quest every year. although it is a shorter distance than the half marathon, it is not an easy race for many runners. New runners who are physically unfit take more than an hour to complete these short distance. The main reasons why so many runners record a slow time are, heavy legs, breathing problem, side stitch, stomach cramps and injury.

The best way to increase your 5K running speed is by improving your physical fitness, eating well, training smart and racing with your brain.

Improving your physical fitness

1. Build a Foundation: Don’t make the mistake of trying to run too fast too soon. Looking at pro athlete racing on TV may make you think running is easy and you can run as fast as them. Running fast is never easy, those pro athletes run fast because they have been training since they were teens.  Start by running slowly for a period of 4 months. During that period your body will get used to the rigors of road running and get strong in the process. it is after building this foundation when you start thinking of doing fartleks, speed works and interval training. In the early days of running you should be doing jogging not running.

2. Lose Some Weight: The number one reason why people are slow at 5K running is they are overweight. Carrying excess body weight can put additional stresses on your joints and cardiovascular system when running. Studies have shown that losing weight can boost running speed.

For each pound of excess weight you lose you could increase your speed by 2 seconds per mile.

3. Breathing: Running is an aerobic activity. The more you run, the better and easier the breathing. You lungs and heart adapt gradually to the higher running intensity.

Newbie runners are misinformed and believe that you should breathe only through your nose while running. Effective breathing while running means getting in enough oxygen to power your body through an intensive workout. The only way to do this is by taking in large, deep breaths through your nose and mouth. Don’t wait until you have run for a few miles before you start deeper breathing, the sooner you start the better your body will be oxygenated. If you can get into a good rhythm of breathing that matches your strides it will make it easier to breath enough and in the right quantity. When you breathe out try making a panting noise. This helps you to take lager breaths and align your breathing with your steps.

Smart training for a 5K race

4. Find a running partner: Some people prefer to run alone, allowing themselves time to be with their own thoughts. Running alone may be more spiritual but you could be missing out on the many benefits of group running. A friendly running club or running partner with make running a more social pastime, you can share stories, goals or even worries.

Most importantly, a running partner who is faster than you will push you to run faster. You will develop the habit of running fast as you try to keep up with his running pace.

5. Mix things up: Changing your running route regularly will keep the running experience fresh and more interesting. New running routes get your attention away from the effort of running and towards the enjoyment of the experience. The more you enjoy your running, the faster you will run.

6. Music: Using a portable music player while running can help improve your running experience. The distraction of listening to music you enjoy can make running seam easier. Time seems to pass quicker and you feel more upbeat and energetic.

7. Recovery: Running places huge stresses and strains on the body. Muscle cells are physically damaged during training. This trauma can cause soreness and even injury. If your body is given the chance it can repair the muscle damage making them stronger.

5K Running Hydration and Nutrition

8. Water: Dehydration is a threat for all runners. Losing water through sweat and breathing must be replaced in order to stay hydrated. Dehydration can happen both in hot and cold weather. Even experienced runners get this wrong and vastly underestimate the amount of water they need to replenish while running longer distances.

The best indicator of when to drink is watching your thirst.. If you start to feel thirsty then you are already dehydrated. You can lose 3-4 pounds of water per hour when running and this causes a decrease in performance of about 6%.

9. Best Diet for a 5K runner. The best diet for an active runner is one that is heavy on carbs and low on proteins and fats. Running is energy demanding and the main source of energy is carbohydrates. Eat lots of carbs so that you will have enough energy to fuel your runs. The diet is different for runners who are trying to lose weight. They should eat more proteins and lesser carbs.

Best 5K Race day strategy

10. Be economical. Don’t get carried away by the excitement of the race and go out guns blazing.

Your 5k race day strategy should go like this. Start relatively slowly, but not too slow or you won’t be able to make up lost time. Divide your race into three parts. First third run just out of your comfort zone. The second third of your race you can start pushing a bit harder. Then with about a kilometers to go you start piling on the pace and the last half you run all out.

Download Free Half Marathon Training Programs in PDF

A good half marathon training program/plan/schedule should contain all the aspects that are necessary to make you run with speed and endurance.

The plan should have days for easy runs, hard running, rest, strength training, long run and most importantly rest.

Your goal is to build up the strength and endurance in your thighs, heart and lungs. A half marathon training schedule helps you do this step by step.  Without a training plan you will do a lot of running and put too much stress on your joints and muscles. This may possibly trigger possible injury and a lot of soreness.

You can use your own custom made half marathon training plan or download a ready made half marathon training program from online experts.

Websites and Places To Download Free Half Marathon Training Plans in PDF Format

You can buy a half marathon training program online or you can get a free program from running websites. Just because they are free does not make them inferior. The free programs are as good as the commercial plans.

From endurancetraining.com.au

Developed by an Australian coach, Ben wesby. The 12 week program contains training tips and ideas for half marathon training. It covers the following areas :-

  1. Long runs for half marathon
  2. Interval training for half marathon
  3. Strength sessions for half marathon

Get a printable PDF file @Aussie site.

From Marathonrookie.com

This is a top running website. You can download a printable PDF plan @website.

From smhhalfmarathon.com.au

They are organizers of one of the biggest half marathon in Australia. You can download printable PDF @ Beginner plan and advanced schedule for anyone dreaming of finishing a half in under 1 hours 30 minutes.

Tips for Writing a Custom made half marathon training program

The alternative to buying or downloading a training plan is writing your own training schedule.

In drawing up a schedule that you use to train, you will want to start by focusing on pace. Pacing is very important and you will need to spend a lot of time to develop a competitive pace. If you run at a slow pace, you will take a long time to finish a race, but if you aim at a high and comfortable pace, you will be able to finish on your target time. Lets say you aim at 5 minutes a kilometre. On race day you won’t have to worry about running faster or whether you are running slowly because you know if you stick at 5 min/km, you will be able to finish in 1 hour 20 minutes.

The amount of weeks you spend training is also very important. The rule of thumb for training duration is 12 – 16 weeks. Anything short of this will leave you under trained and under prepared. Anything more than 16 weeks may lead to over training and fatigue.

Your training diary should consist of a set distance for each day. Your plan should start with low mileage in the first week and then gradually increase the distance as the week progress. By doing this you can avoid any physical shock to your body that could result from moving along too quickly in your training.

How many miles you run per week will depend on your experience and goals. A runner who is aiming to finish a 21K race in 45 minutes will need to run more miles per week than a runner who is aiming a modest time of 2 hours. The more miles you cover per week the faster you will run.

Lastly, make a provision for plenty of rest and relaxation in your half marathon running schedule. Have rest days clearly marked in your training diary. Don’t underestimate the importance of rest. Resting is a vital part of training for a race. When you spend so much time running the muscles in your body get worn out and stretched to their limit. To avoid any injuries, you should rest for two days every week.

How To Make Homemade Sports Drinks That Will Make You Run Faster

Sports drinks are used to enhance running performance. They can make a runner run faster and longer by keeping him/her hydrated, maintaining high energy levels and keeping electrolytes in balance.

Although popular sports / energy drinks like Gatorade and Powerade do a fine job, they are obscenely expensive. The alternative and cheaper option is making a homemade sports drink. Making a homemade sports drink is very simple. The ingredients required are things that you can find in a typical American kitchen.

Types of Sports drink that you can make at home

There are three types of sports drinks. Isotonic sports drinks, Hypotonic sports drink and hypertonic sports drink. The difference is the amount of sugar and salts in the drink.

Recipe for making a homemade Isotonic sports drink

Isotonic sports drinks are the common sports drinks like Gatorade and Powerade that you find on the shelves of your local supermarket store. Isotonic sport drinks contain similar concentrations of salt and sugar as in the human body. They are formulated to quickly replace the water and electrolytes which are lost by sweating. They also provide a boost of carbohydrate. They can be drunk at any point of a race.

  • 500ml unsweetened fruit juice (orange, apple, pineapple)
  • 500ml water
  • Mix them all together in a jug and cool down in fridge.

Recipe for making a homemade hypertonic sports drink.

Hypertonic sport drinks contain a higher concentration of salt and sugar than the human body. Hypertonic drinks are used to supplement your daily carbohydrate intake. They contain higher levels of carbs than isotonic and hypotonic drinks.

The best time to drink is in the final stages of a marathon when your glycogen stores are low or depleted. They are also drunk immediately after finishing running to aid in the recovery process.

  • 400ml of squash
  • One litre of water
  • Pinch of salt
  • Mix, cool and drink

Recipe for making a homemade Hypotonic sports drink

Hypotonic sport drinks contain a lower concentration of salt and sugar than the human body.Hypotonic are formulated to quickly replaces fluids lost through sweating. Unlike isotonic and hypertonic drinks they are low in salts carbohydrates.

They are the best type of sports drinks to drink at the early stages of a race. In the early stages you have lost very little salt through sweating and your energy levels are still high. An hypotonic drink will replace the water lost through sweating without adding on the sugars and salts.

  • 100ml of squash
  • One litre of water
  • Pinch of salt
  • Mix, cool and drink

Experiment with these drinks during your training runs before trying them in a race. During the experimentation process you will find out how your body responds to them. Although most runners respond well to sports drinks, there are runners who experience side effects. Some of the side effects are nausea and stomach pains.

A sports drinks is not the panacea to running faster. You will need to continue working hard in your training if you dream of running faster and with endurance.

David Rudisha Training Program & Diary

David Rudisha is the best middle distance runner in the world. His records says it all:-

  • The current Olympic and world record holder in the 800 metres,
  • The current World and Olympic Champion in 800 metres.
  • The first person to run under 1:41.00 in 800 metres,
  • He holds the three fastest, six of the eight fastest, and half of the twenty fastest times ever run by a male in 800 metres.

It is unbelievable this tall Maasai warrior (he is from Maasai community in Kenya) has achieved all these even be before his 25 birthday.

There has been a lot of interest in how this speedster trains. I haven’t found any detailed training plans but His Coach, Brother Colm O’Connell has given interviews that have shed some light on the type of training they do.

David Rudisha Training Plan

In a recent interview with IAAFwebsite he disclosed David Rudisha does a combination of track workouts, gym exercises and endurance runs.

Usually, we sit together in mid-November. We first talk about the previous season: what was good, what was bad and why? I let him do quite a lot of the post-mortem. Then we start talking about the coming year. What will be the priorities, the high points?

This time David had a three-month rest after his last race on 29 August, in Zurich. Three months without any kind of training. He needed this long break for charging his batteries – physically and mentally. When he resumed training, we had to be very careful. You could easily catch an injury. Basic conditioning, easy runs, about 60km a week, some gym work, exercises. Slowly but surely we increased the quality, the weekly mileage remained the same. In March, we started adding the track workouts.

The Diet of David Rudisha

Another common question about Rudisha is “What does he eat?” Rudisha diet is a well managed mix of proteins, carbohydrates and vegetables. There is minimal junk food available in Kenya and very few processed food so everything is fresh. His diet remains the same throughout the year, only the quantities change.

Weekly Training Diary

In another running website I found a weekly training diary complied by Joseph Ngure and Brother Colm O’Connell. The following diary is for the training program for all junior athletes at St. Patrick Iten High School. Rudisha was a student and a young running protege at the school and he must have followed the program.

Mon : am (men) 8-9 km and stretching
am (women) 6-7 km and stretchingpm (men) Long run 45-60 minutes (12-14 km)+excercises
pm (women) Long run 45-60 minutes (10-12 km)+exercises
Tue : am (men) 8 km 27-30 minutes
am (women) 6 km 25 minutes pm (men/women) 10 munutes w/up,Fartlek for 60-75 minutes – 2 minutes        hard/3 minutes easy or 3 minutes hard, 2 minutes easy+exercises
Wed : am (men) 9 km pace endurance 60 % and flexibility
am (women) 7 km pace endurance 60 % and flexibilitypm (men/women) Circuit training 4×2 min each, 3×2 min each. Then 100     meteres striding plus long strides for 45 minutes
Thu : am (men/women) Long slow 60 minutes over mixed terrainpm (men/women) 15 min. runs. Then diagonal drills for 30-35 minutes, 10 minutes dynamics
Fri : am (men) 8 km easy 30 %
am (women) 6 km easy 30 % plus dynamicspm (men/women) Hill reps. 120-200 meters x 14 at 60 % pace.
Sat : am (men/women) striding for 40 minutes over 100-120 metrespm (men/women) Competition or speed play over 1-1 mins. or 500 meters
Sun : am (men) easy 8 km
am (women) easy 6 kmpm (men/women) active rest

The training plan emphasizes speed work so much. Lots of drills and striding  – even as main workouts.

If you look at the program, they run 13 sessions and one “active rest” at very young age – and at high speed. The “fartlek” is a VO2 max training. So in one week, they have 2 Vo2 max sessions (Tuesday and Saturday) 2-3 speed sessions (Wednesday and Thursday, plus partly Saturday morning) and one speed endurance session (hill reps on Friday). This comes in addition to the 4 Altitude Training sessions/week (the “long runs”) and two easy runs (am Friday and am Thursday

The training diary was posted online by Marius Bakkens at mariusbakken.com. He is a Norwegian runner who specializes in the 5000 metres, having run distances from 800 to 10,000 metres. He has visited Kenya and he got it from a friend in Kenya.

How To Increase Your 10K Running Speed

The 10K is a short race that requires speed and some endurance. 99% of runners have no problem completing a 10K race and their only problem is they can’t do it fast enough.

To increase your 10K running speed, you need to follow a training plan that is designed to make you run faster. The training plan should consist of Increasing the distance of your weekly mileage, adding speed works to your training, doing strength training exercise and a longer long run.

Increase weekly mileage to run a faster 10K

If you have been running 20 miles a week, you need to think of increasing your distance to 30 miles or even 40 miles depending on how much improvement you are seeking. There is a direct correlation between the amount of weekly mileage and running speed. Kenyan runners are known as the fastest runners in the world. One explanation as to why they run faster than other people is they cover more kilometers per week than runners in USA and Europe. It is simple, get out of your comfort zone and run more. The more you run the faster you will get.

Strength Training for 10K race

When training for a 10k, it can also be helpful to workout at a gym. Adding cross training to your regimen can strengthen other muscles, and give your other muscle groups time to repair.This extra gym training will give your leg muscles power to run faster and longer.There is no doubt, the weaker your muscles the slower you will run. The gym is not the only place to build strength, you can achieve good result by doing good old fashioned home workouts like push ups, squats, calf raises and pull ups. See. Gym exercises to make you run faster.

Run Hills to Get Better at 10K

Another good option for building physical strength is running hills. Hills challenge your body to work harder. The harder the body works the more it adapts to the habit of running at high intensity. Find a good challenging hill and do 8 repeats. Run up at top speed and then jog down.

Train with a faster runner

Try and find someone in your club or perhaps a running partner that’s just that little bit quicker than what you are over 10 kilometers.

Try and stick to this person as closely as possible when running. However you still need to run your own pace, so if their pace is too fast drop back a little, but try keeping them in sight.

Speed work for 10k Training

Many people use interval training to get prepared for a 10K run. This type of training involves doing several repetitions of short and long distance runs. As an example you will run a lap at a very fast pace and then have a short rest in between the runs. This will increase your speed and it will help you prepare for the 10K run. You can do a walk between laps or you can do short jog, but the point is to keep things going for several reps.

The long run

They say the long run is the most important part of any training. The reason being, it is a good indicator of whether you have what it takes to finish a race. A good long run for a 10K race is anywhere between 8 – 10K. If you dream of improving you finishing time you will need to go above these distances. Aim to do long runs of 12 – 15K.

Don’t slacken

Don’t feel the temptation to going back to the days when running was slow and easy. Running at a fast pace will feel painful at first but keep at it. As you get more races under your belt, you will feel older and wiser to the whole process. Figure out what it takes, and nothing will stop you.

Two other aspects that can play significant roles in your running performance are maintaining great nutrition, rest and stretching your muscles after your workouts. But the most important thing is sticking to a running schedule that increases your endurance and stamina.

Follow this advice/tips and you will soon be graduating to running half marathon. Hope to hear from you when you happily register for your first half marathon.

7 Minute Workout For Building Physical Fitness

There are many types of exercise programs that a runner can do to build muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness. There are the common exercise workouts like the push ups, squats etc that don’t need instructions and there are the sophisticated programs like the P90X that come with an instruction manual. The latest exercise program is the 7 minute workout by Chris Jordan and Brett Klikka. They have published their research in the May-June issue of the American College of Sports Medicine’s Health & Fitness Journal.

12 Exercises That are Similar to doing a single long run

Chris Jordan and Brett Klikka claim that doing the following 12 exercises in quick succession can give you benefit similar to one long run. The incredible thing is, this whole workout is done in just seven minutes. It is a high intensity exercise that only requires your body weight, chair and a wall to do.

7 minute high intensity interval training workout

Similar to your regular interval training

“There’s very good evidence” that high-intensity interval training provides “many of the fitness benefits of prolonged endurance training but in much less time,” says Chris Jordan, the director of exercise physiology at the Human Performance Institute in Orlando, Fla.

How To Do The Seven Minute High Intensity Interval Training Workout

12 Exercises

  1. Jumping Jack
  2. Wall sit
  3. Push ups
  4. Abdominal crunch
  5. Step ups
  6. Squats
  7. Triceps
  8. Plank
  9. High knees running
  10. Lunge
  11. Push up & Rotation
  12. Side plank
  • The 12 exercises should be done in rapid successions.
  • You should perform each exercise for a maximum 30 seconds.
  • You should aim to do 15 – 20 repetitions.
  • You should take a 10-second rest between exercises.
  • You should alternate between upper body and lower body. While the participant is performing push-ups, the lower body is not being used significantly and can somewhat recover. This allows for the lower body to have sufficient energy to perform squats with proper form and technique and at adequate intensity.
  • The exercise should be done at high intensity level..You should kick A***.

Benefits of 7 minute workout

The authors of this workout claim that these workout is an efficient means to improve your muscular strength, cardiovascular fitness and weight loss.

Precaution

Because of the high intensity nature of this workout, I would think one would have to be in good physical condition before attempting to do many of these exercises. Those who are unfit should do some modification. Instead of 30 secs, aim at one minute. If you think you are too unfit, visit a trainer to determine what they think you can do, preceded by asking a physician about it.

Best Gym Work Outs For Runners Who Want To Build Strength

If you want to add strength, power and speed to your running you need to add strength training to your regular running routine. 

Strength training exercises can be used as part of training program for all races, 5K, 10K, half marathon, full marathon and ultra marathon.

Strength training exercises focused on running muscles can add speed and endurance to your running. One pro athlete who has benefited from adding gym work outs to his regular running is British long and middle distance runner, Mo Farah.

This is what Alberto Salazar said of Mo Farah after Mo won 10,000 & 5000 gold at 2012 London Games;

When Mo came to me 18 months ago, he was a skinny distance runner with a great engine but no upper body. At the end of races, he would tire and his head would bob around and his arms would flail.

‘He was the weakest athlete I’d ever trained — in terms of core strength and being able to do push-ups, sit-ups and single-leg squats. He was a 90lb weakling.

‘The No 1 thing that has helped Mo is not the 110 miles a week he puts in on the road, but the seven hours a fortnight in the gym.’

Going to the gym for a runner is not about beefing up but about building strength. The following gym exercise will help you build strength without adding unnecessary muscle weight.

Gym Exercises to Build Upper Body Strength

Push Ups

press ups

If done properly push ups will add strength to your chest, shoulders, triceps, back, abs and even the legs. Make sure your body is parallel to the surface. Connect your breath with your movements to make it easier. Inhale as you bend your elbows out to the sides and lower your torso down, and exhale as you straighten your arms and lift your torso back to the starting position.

Sit ups

Doing sit-ups is a quick way to get stronger abdominal muscles. Start off with doing the number you are comfortable with lets say 5 and then  add the number when you get stronger. If you can’t do them by yourself, ask someone to hold your feet.

Gym Exercise to Build Lower Body Strength

Squats

 

Squats or squads are good for increase strength. full body exercise that trains primarily the muscles of the thighs, hips and buttocks, quads, hamstrings, as well as strengthening the bones, ligaments and insertion of the tendons throughout the lower body. This is one exercise that will involve all the leg muscles used during running. To add more strength you can hold a weight on your shoulders.

Calf raise

Finally I come to calf raise. This exercise can be done at your door step or on a stair case. Calf raises will strengthen all the muscles of the lower leg.

The beauty of these exercises is you don’t have to go to a gym, you can do them from home.

Safety Tips To Follow When Exercising

1. Maintain proper form – Perhaps the leading cause of injuries while working out comes from not maintaining proper form while working out. It is far more important to use proper form than to try lifting heavier weights. A good idea is to install mirrors to allow you to view yourself while working out. This will help you keep a check on your form and make sure you are performing the exercise properly.

2. Use a spotter – If you are doing some exercises where heavier weights are involved, it is a good idea to ask a friend or family member to spot you. Let your spotter know how many reps you are going to perform so they are aware and can help assist you better.