Ever wonder what, in fact, the most effective strength exercises for runners are?
While there are hundreds to choose from, the one you must include in your running training plan is this walking lunge challenge that we came up with. Attempt at your own risk… just be prepared for BIG changes in your running 🙂
Sometimes the best thing you can do is step away from all of the fancy equipment at the gym. Get back to the basics of what challenges your current strength and what does so in the most efficient way possible.
Running doesn’t just require aerobic stamina.
Running requires muscular endurance and the ability to withstand miles of impact on your entire body, improving your running form and your energy level.
So how do you go about building that?
It’s quite simple.
You’re going to perform 5 minutes of walking lunges, alternating legs on each rep.
Consecutive lunges require your hamstrings, glutes, calves, and quads to fire and STAY FIRED from start to finish.
Very similar to your legs’ role in running, this strength exercise for runners helps exaggerate and pinpoint that muscular engagement necessary for running endurance.
Starting from a tall, upright position step out with one leg to a lunge position. Hips stay square, the knee stays over the toe and torso maintains its upright position.
From the bottom of the lunge, push through your heel, squeeze your glutes and return to standing.
Repeat, stepping out with the opposite leg.
Alternate for 5 minutes.
For every break you take (a break counts as anything over 2 seconds) during the 5 minutes, you will perform 3 push-ups!
We told you it would be a challenge 🙂
Keep your feet together.
Keep your hands below your shoulders.
Keep your hips parallel to the ground, keeping core engaged.
Keep elbows in by your sides, with elbows vertical over the wrists and not wrenching forward to compromise the shoulder position.
Need a modification?
At the bottom of the push-up, bend your knees to touch the ground.
From there, isolate and “snake” your chest up first, then press off your knees to snap the hips back up to a parallel plank position.
The goal for this exercise and for all strength exercises for runners is to BUILD ENDURANCE.
Try and stay moving for the full 5 minutes.
So whether you are following an 8 week half marathon training program, 16-week marathon training program or a monthly running training plan, figuring out how to maintain your form through the increasing fatigue is KEY in transforming your running. If you can get through this, you can learn how to hold onto your stamina, no matter what mile you’re on!
Use this challenge as a benchmark for your progress! Good luck.