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Work Out to Improve Your Running Performance

December 20, 2010
Collage of varius Gray's muscle pictures by Mi...

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My intention was to provide a blow by blow account of the Linschotenloop – a half marathon that I should have run on Saturday the 18th December as part of my marathon training. Just a few hours before we were to run – luckily BEFORE I left the house – the organising team decided to cancel the event due to the snow and ice. Probably a sensible decision at the time. Anyway – a safe one.

So… too dangerous to run outside – then what? Do something inside, of course.  So what exercises to do that will support and improve your running? Alvin, one of the trainers at Hermes Sport & Therapie Centrum, helped to prepare a programme that not only helps to strengthen my legs but also improves lung capacity and, so, oxygen uptake.

I also asked him to include some exercises to improve my back muscles and so contribute to increasing my metabolic rate (just increasing muscle/fat ratio should do this).

He advised not just different types of exercise for the various muscle groups but shorter, more intensive sessions. Previously I had been exercising using a series of 2X25x. He advised 3X15x with a rest periods of 30 seconds between each series.

So among others the exercises, all 3X15X consist of:

– Pulley chest extension – carried out with the pulley at stomach height and extending the elbow back (hand perpendicular to the floor)

– free weights chest exercise – lie on back on a bench, begin with weights at shoulder height and extend up to that the weights are almost touching each other

– a fly exercise with a machine, starting with hands in front of you and extending arms backwards

– squats with some 4 – 5 kilo

leg extension – on the machine

– leg extension/ leg curl machine to strengthen hamstrings

– upright rowing for my back – squeezing my shoulders back

– lat machine

– Bicepts

– triceps – with the pulley & rope

– stomach exercises

– back exercise with back extension

By the way – I was saved from the rowing machine as I was told that will only shorten my muscles and I need to lengthen them!

I may not have run 21 + klms but I did get an intensive workout!

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