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Become A Better Runner Without Running

  • By Linzay Logan
  • Published May. 25, 2011
  • Updated May. 26, 2011 at 11:17 AM UTC

Give this high-intensity cross-training workout a try!

Written by: Linzay Logan

The single best way to become a better runner is to, well, run. Adding distance, speed, and changing terrain are all great ways to test your limits as a runner and to become faster and more powerful. However, cross training can be just as beneficial when incorporated into your run training. Lifting weights can make you stronger and doing other varieties of cardio can work your muscles and lungs to become more powerful.

My favorite way to cross train is to incorporate short high-intensity bursts of cardio into weight lifting for a one-hour workout. I teach this format of group fitness twice a week and it has certainly has had a positive impact on my run. Add this cross training workout to your running schedule once a week and you will see a difference in your race times and maybe even your biceps, too.

Complete every cardio exercise for one minute and for every weighted exercise complete three sets of 12 to 20 reps. Use weights that are heavy enough that you feel very fatigued by the end of the three sets. If you can complete all three sets without fatiguing the muscles, increase your weight or complete more reps.

Warm up for five to 10 minutes with an easy run.

Squats

-Try pulsing on the last rep at the bottom of the squat for eight counts as well as taking the squats at a faster and slower pace. It works the muscles differently.

Bicep Curls

-Alternate sets of hammer and regular curl.

Jumping Jacks

-Make sure your arms are strong and straight and your heels are touching the ground at every jack.

Mountain Climbers

-Try and stay a plank position and avoid sticking your butt up in the air—it makes it easier.

Static Lunges

-Don’t lunge your front knee over your toes. Concentrate on going straight down and straight up.

Driving The Car

-Hold a five to 10 pound plate for the barbell or a hand weight with both hands straight out in front of you.  Then move your hands like you were driving left to right in a car. Keep driving for 20 to 30 seconds. This should make your shoulders burn.

Burpees

-Explode off the ground when you jump up.

Front Kicks

-Alternate left and right focusing on bringing up the knee first then extending the knee.

Plié Squat

-Your feet should be at least three or four feet apart and your toes should point out. Tuck your tailbone under and squat straight down and straight up.

Tricep Extensions

-Keep your elbows in close enough to feel your biceps grazing the sides of your head.

Squat Jumps

-Use your arms to power up your jump.

Jump Rope

-Jump side to side, front to back and straight up and down.

Push-Ups

-Your arms should be about as wide as a yoga mat. Set your knees down if you can’t complete a regular push-up.

Plank

-Make sure your body is aligned straight from the top of your head to your heels and engage your abs.

Stretch

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Linzay Logan

Linzay Logan

Linzay Logan is a contributing editor to Competitor magazine.

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