Day 5: A Runner’s Secret Weapon

running arm swing secret weaponWhat if you had a secret weapon that you could pull out during a tough race?

What if your arms could carry you through those final miles when your legs are screaming at you to stop?

Runners who focus on their arms when feeling fatigued are able to to maintain a good rhythm, stride frequency (cadence) and posture.

Working your arms, shoulders, and back increases muscle strength and promotes good posture, which improves breathing and arm swing. Arm swing is the X factor in running well!

We don’t need huge biceps. We don’t need to lift lots of heavy weight. But taking the time to strengthen and tone our arms is the secret weapon that will help us finish strong. And it doesn’t hurt that it will be easier to pick up our kids or grandkids, open tight jars, and look good in those summer tanks. 🙂

Day 5 exercises: “How to” Videos

  • Lunge Stance Single Arm Shoulder Press – 2 sets of 10
  • Renegade Rows – 2 sets of 10
  • Arm Raises – Front & Side – 2 sets of 10
  • 20 Push Ups
  • Plank – 1 min (2X)
  • Side Plank – :30 each side
  • Arm Stretches – see below

Bonus: #ILoveMyArms I love my arms

Love your arms and try this extra arm workout today. What’s a few more planks and push ups? 😉

Loving all the running drills and speed work! I know it’s intimidating…but give it a try. I promise it will be over fast. You will be tired…but you will feel amazing! Go back and check out this weeks drills and speed work here.

We are seeing times come down…and those faster times are feeling easier too. Even if you think “I don’t care about my time” the speed work will help your regular runs feel easier. Not only are you working on speed…you’re also training your body to get used to the added oxygen it needs…ever heard of VO2 max?

VO2 max is a measure of the maximum volume of oxygen that an athlete can use…and this can be improved with training. Improvements in VO2 max occur due to increases in the amount of blood your heart can pump with each contraction (your heart’s stroke volume) and a variety of adaptations in your muscles, such as increases in the size and number of mitochondria in your muscle fibers.

Throwing around some confusing stuff here…but the take away is that speed work intervals will help you increase the amount of blood your heart can pump with each contraction. This “harder than normal” workout will force your muscles to adapt and will increase the number and size of your mitochondria. All this translates into the ability to breathe easier during hard runs. Who doesn’t want to breathe easier while we’re working hard?

We’ll go over this again…but it’s something I want you to think about. Remember that speed work isn’t just about getting faster…it’s about teaching your body to adjust and use oxygen in the most productive way.

That’s it…get to work Core Crew! Make today fabulous!

Oh…and don’t forget to stretch. Stretch out your arms (arm stretches below) and our 7 Key Stretches for Runners are always a good choice…or take a few minutes to run through the Yoga for Runners routine. A few stretches before bedtime will help you relax and fall asleep easier too! 🙂

Arm Stretches:


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