Pump your arms and your legs will follow.
It’s a thought we have during the last stretch of a long run, with our legs losing the will to move…let alone run.It’s opposition, learned in elementary school gym class, but most of us have never given it much thought since then. Opposition keeps us from falling over to one side. (Thanks, arms!) When running, your arms act as a counterbalance against your legs, and vice versa: when we’re running along and speed up your arm swings, your legs will naturally pick up the pace so that, again, you don’t fall over.
While having less-than-strong arms probably won’t land you on the pavement, strengthening your arm muscles is vital to keeping you upright, in proper form, and running efficiently. Plus, when you hit it hard during the home stretch of an endurance event, your arms have to kick into overdrive. If they are worn out and fatigued by the time you get to mile 12 in a 13.1, they may very well be why you don’t hit a new PR.
Training our triceps, deltoids, shoulders, and back are most important. Strengthening your lats as well as the muscles around your shoulder blades can help keep your back straight, transfer power to your arms, and stabilize your shoulders. When we’re running, our triceps and deltoids are doing most of the work. A lot of the forward swing, which we would think is thanks to our biceps, is actually momentum. Of course, it’s still important not to ignore your biceps, because they look good and we don’t want any muscular imbalances.
Today’s arm day is quick and simple. Remember to use today’s short reps to learn the exercises and do them correctly to avoid injuries and wasted time working the wrong muscles.
We’re working our arms today but these moves also incorporate our core muscles so keep your core tight and use that mid-section power to hold you steady while performing these moves.
Day 6 exercises: 2 sets of 10
- Rotational Shoulder Press
- Standing Core Dumbbell Swing
- Push Ups
- Wall Sit (After your run) – :60
- Ab Challenge – 20 Crunches, Bicycle Crunches, & Leg Lifts + :30 Plank
- Burpees – 20
Bonus: #SlenderSexyArms – If you have extra time today and want to do a little more, try this bonus arm workout. Use small weights or water bottles. DO NOT USE LARGE WEIGHTS FOR THESE EXERCISES! I also usually do not jump for the jumping jacks. Focus on powerful movements up and down with your arms and cut out the jumping portion.
Speed Work: You probably see lots of our #CoreCrew members putting up new personal records on tough races. Why? SPEED WORK! Speed work is key to getting faster AND to running stronger during our long runs. Putting a little speed into your routine once a week will make our long runs speed easier and require less effort.
Workout: 4-8X 800M (1/2 mile repeats 4-8 times)
- Warm up – 1-1.5 miles easy
- 1/2 mile repeats with slow jog or stop and stand still and breathe in between sets
- Cool down 1-1.5 miles easy
Wondering how fast or how much effort you should be putting into this workout? Look at the chart below and find a recent 5K time or what you think you would be able to ru for a 5K. The pace next to it is for 1/4 mile repeats (or 400meters) Take that time than double it and add 8-10 seconds. So if you run a 5K in 25 minutes you should run your 400 meter repeats in about one minute 49 seconds. So for 800s you double that to 3 minutes 38 seconds then add 8-10 seconds getting 3:48-3:50 per 800 meters (or every 1/2 mile).
I know this sounds a little confusing so if you aren’t sure please reach out to me and ask. I will help you figure out where you should be.
If you are new to speed work. Start small and don’t overthink it. Start with 4x 1/2 mile repeats (total of 2 miles) and just practice getting close to your time goal each for each 1/2 mile. If you have been doing speed work for a while or are used to go longer distances, suck it up and go for 8x and watch your pace on the first few sets. Don’t try to go all out and beat that pace time. The goal here is stay right on target and hit that time, not to go faster in the beginning and burn out so you can’t finish the workout.
Need help? PLEASE PM me here and let’s chat!
Let’s get to work! It’s Monday…the day that sets the tone for the week. Work hard and get your mind right for the week ahead! We all know the #1 rule to working out and making sure our week goes according to the plan… NEVER SKIP MONDAY!
GETTTT ITTTT CREW!! 🙂