My Friend, Tyler, is the fastest person I know. He effortlessly churns out sub 6 minute miles, wins (almost) all local 5ks, and makes it look easy. He was a distance runner for Providence College in his earlier years, having success in a nationally ranked program. Last year he trained all winter to do his first marathon, Providence, in the spring. He was using Providence as a qualifier for this year’s Boston Marathon, things didn’t quite go as expected. Unfortunately Tyler badly strained his calf muscle and limped to the finish line just shy of qualifying pace. Since we are all stuck at home and races have been cancelled, he asked if I could put together a workout for he and his running crew.
There are many predictable overuse injuries with runners, particularly runners that don’t do anything except run for exercise. Anterior knee pain, IT band syndrome, lateral hip pain, Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, shin splints, and low back pain to name a few. This scenario doesn’t just pertain to ‘elite’ runners or marathoners, this is very relevant for anyone that is a runner or looking to get into running for exercise. Particularly individuals that are looking to get fit after falling out of shape for several years due to the demands of, how do I say it? Being an adult?!? Working, raising kids, taking care of a home, etc., takes its toll on the body. Some muscles tighten up, some get weaker, some weight may be gained, ability to absorb impact dramatically declines, placing greater stress on all of your muscles and joints. Here is a simple strength circuit of exercises for runners, using very little equipment, you can do these to help avoid the common traps set in the road for runners. Tuning up the body will ensure you get many more happy, smooth miles on the road, and far fewer frustrations.
Also, here is a more detailed description of the first exercise, since many of you may not have a ‘super band.’ It is one of my favorites, thanks to Rob Strachan, DPT, and has helped me tremendously too!