Last night while out training for the Nike Women’s 15km race in Toronto, I picked up the intensity of my workout and added in a 15 minute High Intensity Training session at the half way point of my run. This is something that, if you are a runner and you do not already supplement your running with strength training, I suggest you try adding to your runs once or twice a week. It is easy to do and will help you burn an extra 100 or so calories in your workout as well as add in some cross training into your weekly workout routine which will not only help you become stronger (and faster) but will help keep injuries at bay.
Now I have an advantage because I do this for a living and I can put together a 15 minute workout off the top of my head which needs zero equipment and will kick anyone’s butt. However, I understand that is not an option for most, nor is having a personal trainer come out with you on a run to do it for you.
This is where a fitness app on your smart phone comes in handy, as it is like having a personal trainer available at the tip of your fingers. I prefer the Nike Training Club App, as it is so easy to use (I have no grasp of technology) and there is a large variety of workouts to choose from which are led by top athletes and other fitness fanatics. Each workout is described in detail, with pictures and videos to accompany the exercises, as well as important verbal and motivational cues to make sure you are doing the exercises correctly and you push yourself right to the end.
Last night I did Ellie Goulding’s workout, as she is a runner herself and is currently on the push to break an hour and 40 minutes in her next half marathon. But I also love Paula Radcliff’s workout, and seeing as she is the women’s marathon World Record holder with a time of 2 hours and 15 minutes, why wouldn’t I want to strength train exactly how she does? These are just two of over a hundred workouts to choose from.
Next time you are out for a run, either solo or with your running crew, stop the run half way and pick your favourite workout to try. After you are done, turn around and head back to where you started from, but run a negative split and attempt to run back faster than you ran the first half. I promise you that you will wake up in the morning and your sore muscles will remind of how hard you worked the day before. And trust me, if you are consistent with doing this once or twice a week for 6 weeks you are going to notice improvements not only in your running ability but also in how your body looks and feels.
Attached - Serena Williams out for a jog in Madrid on Sunday.