Easy Run: These light runs are best done at a conversational pace. Meaning, if you can’t run and recap last night’s episode of “The Bachelor” at the same time, you’re going too fast!
LSD: Excuse me?! No, not that LSD. In this case, the acronym stands for long slow distance, or the week’s longest run. The only kind of trippin’ runners might be doing out on the road is over their own shoelaces.
Recovery Run: Also lovingly referred to as “junk miles,” a recovery run is a short, slow run that takes place within a day after a long, harder run. This teaches the body how to work through a fatigued state - a dress rehearsal many runners will be thankful for at mile 19 of a marathon!
Speedwork: Aimed at improving running speed, these types of workouts can include intervals, hill repeats, and tempo runs (all explained below). In addition to getting faster and increasing endurance, speedwork, well, usually hurts a lot, too!
Interval Training: By alternating specific time periods of specific high and low intensity during a run, intervals are just one way to get faster, build strength, and see calories melt away.
Hill Repeats: Runners make like Jack and Jill and go up the hill (again and again) in this other cruel form of speedwork. Heading up at a 5K pace and recovering down at an easy jog or walk, the number of hill repeats per workout depends on experience and fitness levels. But the benefits from the pain? Speed, strength, and confidence!
Fartleks: A fartlek not only makes us giggle, it’s an easier form of speedwork for beginners. Meaning “speed play” in Swedish, fartleks are easy runs broken up by quick sprinting bursts. When changing speed though, the runner calls the shots (unlike more rigid intervals). So newbies can make it as fast and as hard as they can handle. That’s what she said.
Tempo Run: Usually done just once a week, tempo runs are a tougher form of speed training. Runners challenge themselves to hold a “threshold” (or comfortably hard) pace for a 20-minute period during a run - along with a good warm-up and cool down, of course.
Pick-Ups: Short, gentle increases in speed, or pick-ups, at the end of a run help aid recovery. Sorry, they unfortunately have nothing to do with these cheesy lines.
Strength Training: Runners need muscles, too! Among its many other benefits, strength training, or exercises performed with or without weights (think push-ups, squats, and planks), helps runners become stronger and prevent injuries. Their bodies take quite a beating while hammering it out on the road, so they need all the help they can get.
Cross-training: Runners should also squeeze in time for cross-training, or sports and exercises other than running that improve overall fitness and strength. Great examples of cross-training for runners include cycling, swimming, yoga, water running, and weight training.
Rest Day: Choosing the couch over the road at least one day a week allows a runner’s body to recover and repair muscles. We say rest days can still be all about marathons though - a “Friday Night Lights” marathon, perhaps?
Lets not forget threshold runs! These runs are done to push the body to reach its lactic threshold. Essentially sprint until you die. And repeat.
Weekend Workout: BOOTY MURDER!
This is an intense BOOTY & CARDIO workout that will target your glutes, thighs and burn tons of calories. Murder is RIGHT.
Time: About 30 minutes, including warm up.
Equipment: Weights optional, 5-10lbs recommended. You’ll need a mat, water, a chair or bench and a timer.
How To Do It
Warm up for 5 minutes. (Squats, jog in place, walking lunges, jumping jacks & dynamic stretching for about a minute a piece).
Complete the exercises in two ways…
- Complete each section, rest 30 seconds, and repeat before moving on.
- Complete all exercises in order, then repeat the whole circuit.
Stretch afterwards, you’re gonna feel this tomorrow!
Modify the moves when you need to (tap down for balance, reduce range of motion and take breaks).
Single Leg Toe Touch To Reverse Lunge
A. Balancing on one leg, pull your opposite knee up to hip level. Bend your standing leg slightly at the knee as you lower both hands to the floor - you can use weights (or a medicine ball) here. As you lower, the lifted knee will move back (as shown) and you can straighten it as you lower, or keep it bent at the knee. Use your core & your glutes to lift yourself back up & return to balancing standing position.
B. Keeping your standing foot planted, step the lifted leg back into a reverse lunge. Hold for a beat, then return to balancing position. Try not to touch the lifted leg to the floor and remain balanced on your standing leg throughout the movement. Repeat.
Form: Keep knees on top of your toes, put your weight in the heel of the standing leg, and tighten your core to help with balance. Tap down anytime you need to find your balance.
Butt Kick Runs
Like a run in place, except try to lift your heels towards your booty, kicking them back and contracting the hamstring. Lift as high as you can (some people can’t reach their bums, some can) and move quickly to get the heartrate up. No weight required.
From a standing position, step one leg slightly behind you and bend the front knee until you’re in a semi lunge/squat. Your weight should be about 80% in the front heel, 20% in the back heel - use the back leg for balance. Hands at your sides, hop up on the front leg, bringing your back knee up towards your chest. Find your balance before you hop, land softly with the jump, and use the front leg to power yourself up. Replace the back foot and repeat. Use weights in your hands to increase the difficulty.
See video demo here.
In a table top position (all fours), bend the knee at 90 degrees and left up & out to the side. Keep your shoulders in line with your hands, and keep the knee off the ground as you repeat. Try to keep your belly button pointed down towards the mat, and only lift up to hip/back level. When lifted, your thigh should be as close to parallel to the floor as possible. Repeat on the same side.
Lie down on your mat, back flat, knees bent, feet planted on the floor. Lift your hips towards the ceiling as high as you can. Relax your shoulders and chest, and pulse your hips up, then lower back down to the mat. Squeeze your glutes as you raise them.
Advanced: Alternate straightening one leg as you lift (one legged hip raise). Alternate with each raise, or do 30 seconds on each side (gotta keep it even!). Add three pulses at the top of the raise for added difficulty.
Using a chair or bench. Step one foot on to the chair, and lift yourself up, raising the opposite knee to your chest as you lift. Put your weight in the heel of your stepping foot, and push through the heel to lift yourself up. Replace the opposite leg to the floor, but keep the stepping leg on the chair. Repeat. (weights in your hands for added difficulty)
See video demo here, but eliminate the extra squat.
Standing Leg Extentions
Using the chair for balance if you need it, bring your feet slightly wider than hips width apart, and lift one leg out and to the side. Contract the glutes and outer hips as you lift and lower, and try not to swing your torso from side to side. Keep the standing opposite knee slightly bent, and try not to tap the leg to the floor (unless you need to for balance). Repeat and hold the leg up for 1-2 beats per lift.
In a slightly squatted standing position, open your legs wider than hip width apart. Trying to keep your core steady, pump your feet in small run/shuffles in place. Go as fast as you can, keeping the squat position and keeping your core steady.
Advanced: Hold dumbbell with both hands in front of your chest. One hand on each end.
Triple Pulse Squats
Like a normal squat, but pulse up and down (1-2 inches) three times before coming back up to standing. Keep feet about hips width apart, and push your booty BACK and not directly over your toes. Weight should be in the heels of your feet, and knees should not go past the tops of your toes (wiggle them to check and look down to make sure you’re in the right position). Squeeze your glutes as you stand and repeat.