Got the running bug? Love the buzz of clocking up the miles? Running ticks so many boxes. Low cost, low carbon, works from the front door, can be done anywhere, any time.
Once you get into running, you’ll want progress. That means longer runs without collapsing in a puffing heap. And it also means plain running faster. To get that progress, you need to get stronger as well as running more.
Plyometrics (or jump training) can really help to improve your running performance.
Sudden jump and twist moves may seem a bit old school, but there’s nothing wrong with that. Plyometrics was developed in the 1960s and named in the 1970s, but the principles are still very valid.
Each plyometric move has two parts. Part 1 lengthens the muscle with a stretch, part 2 contracts it with a sudden move. There’s a lot of science and studies backing up that working muscles in this way really does make them stronger. For runners, that means more strength, more endurance and more resistance to injury. Plyo training makes you run faster!
Any plyometric variation will do – all that matters are the explosive jumps. Try these, making sure you are wearing impact absorbing footwear and have warmed up first.
Jump squat: stand tall with feet shoulder width apart. Squat down until your knees are at a 90 degree angle. Keep core and glutes tight and jump as high as you can, landing in the squat position.
Box jump: (tricky one – how’s your balance?) Stand in front of a solid box or step. Squat as above and then jump UP on to the box. Jump down again to repeat.
Burpee: the all-in-one workout. Squat, put your hands down, kick back into a pushup, do that pushup and then frog jump up.
Plyometrics are great for all-round fitness and will also help your running. Win-win!
wow - that box jump is a challenge. I will persevere!
Plyometrics are very effective. I would add standing on the spot then jumping up tucking your knees up to your chest. A few of these finish me off!
Just tried box jumps. Great fun!