For an endurance runner (which would be anyone that runs 5k or longer, building muscular endurance is one of the fundamental levers associated with improving performance. If you are looking for something a little more imaginative to include in your weekly training schedule, you might like to experiment with this set.
I designed this to be part of an overall 1:1 coaching session. I think it’s important to try and be a little creative in finding ways to develop the different facets an endure runner needs. It would fit in after a warm up and Technique component. Therefore I have not detailed a warm up, but obviously you would not do this from cold.
3 to 5 Sets (depending on existing strength) with 20 second rest as:
- 16 x Single Leg Touch Downs, eight each leg. Coaching point: keep your leg and back straight and perform the movement slowly.
- 16 x Air Squat at a slow even tempo. Concentrate on range of motion rather than speed.
- 16 x Calf Raises. If you have a convenient ledge so much the better, if not then just off the floor is fine. Bodyweight only.
- 50m sprint at your Interval pace, touch a floor marker and the 50m sprint back.
This would work well as a set performed half way around an Endurance / Easy pace run.
I tend to think touch downs are an often over looked exercise for runners. They develop balance and ankle stability as well as working hip muscles and core engagement. Squats are just an all time favourite for working quads and very handy when you are limited to bodyweight exercise in the middle of a park (social distancing anyone!). With a relatively high number of reps and stacked as circuit this becomes quite intense and is a great way to build muscular endurance.
The purposes of the sprint is to raise heart rate and bring in a completely different energy system which will add to the fatigue quickly on the leg muscles. Making this relatively quick to do but actually quite high stress and demanding.
Regress this set by reducing the number of repetitions but keep a minimum of three sets.
Progress the set by taking the reps up once you are doing five sets.
Let me know how you get on if you decide to give it a go. Enjoy.