You Want to Run Faster? Start With Your Core!

You Want to Run Faster? Start With Your Core!

If you want to run faster| the key might not be upping your speedwork and mileage. The answer might just be strengthening your core. Keeping your torso stable while your legs power you forward makes your running more efficient. And the efficiency leads to speed. Here are some effective core exercises to add to your training program.

| Runner’s Crunch

This move teaches your abs| back| and hip flexors to all work together to strengthen your center.

  • Start on your back with your elbows resting on the floor at 90-degree angles.
  • With your core engaged| roll up to almost sitting while bringing your right knee up to meet your left elbow. It should feel a little like running.
  • With control| straighten your leg as your slowly peel your back down| vertebra by vertebra| until your shoulders touch the mat last.
  • Alternate with your other leg to complete one rep.
  • Do 10 to 15 reps.

| Side Elbow Plank

This simple plank variation trains the torso to stabilize with emphasis on the obliques| the abs on the sides of the torso.

  • Place your right elbow on the ground. Extend both legs out so that your body is in one straight line and you’re balancing on the outside edge of your right foot.
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds| then switch sides to complete a rep. Do two to three reps.

| Elbow Plank With Arm Reach

Adding some arm motion to your planks is great stability training and translates directly to your running form.

  • Start in an elbow plank with your palms facing inward.
  • With your abs pulled toward your spine| reach your left arm forward| keeping your torso as still as possible. Bring your elbow back to the mat. This completes one rep.
  • Repeat on the other side| and continue alternating sides for 20 reps total.

Run a Faster 5K With Our 6-Week Plan

It’s time to dust off your fitness goals for Spring and join our Running Challenge. If you’re feeling the need for speed, we have a 5K training plan for you. Designed for experienced runners, the plan is full of speedwork to help you push your training pace and get that new PR (personal record) on race day. Along with tempo runs and intervals, we’ve added a dynamic strength-training workout to keep your legs, glutes, and joints strong to help you run even faster.

And we are here to support your speedy endeavors with running tips to improve your form, playlists to keep you motivated and on pace, and advice on nutrition and recipes to support your goals.

Check out the training plan below, print it, and get at it!

Extra Credit

Here are guides to help with your nonrunning training.

5-Minute Core WorkoutFoam Rolling Routine For Rest Days Plyo and Strength Workout to Build SpeedYour Postrun Must-Do Stretches

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Ericka McConnell

Run a Faster 5K With Our 6-Week Plan

It’s time to dust off your fitness goals for Spring and join our Running Challenge. If you’re feeling the need for speed| we have a 5K training plan for you. Designed for experienced runners| the plan is full of speedwork to help you push your training pace and get that new PR (personal record) on race day. Along with tempo runs and intervals| we’ve added a dynamic strength-training workout to keep your legs| glutes| and joints strong to help you run even faster.

And we are here to support your speedy endeavors with running tips to improve your form| playlists to keep you motivated and on pace| and advice on nutrition and recipes to support your goals.

Check out the training plan below| print it| and get at it!

Extra Credit

Here are guides to help with your nonrunning training.

5-Minute Core WorkoutFoam Rolling Routine For Rest Days Plyo and Strength Workout to Build SpeedYour Postrun Must-Do Stretches

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Ericka McConnell

Yes, You Can Run Your First 5K in 6 Weeks

Recommit to your fitness life by joining our 5K Running Challenge! We’ve created a six-week plan to get you up and running ¡ª literally. If you have a casual relationship with running and can run comfortably for at least 10 minutes, our plan will help you go the distance and become a bona fide runner.

We’re here to support your endeavors with running tips to help you love running and improve your form, playlists to keep you motivated and on pace, and advice on nutrition and recipes to support your goals.

Check out the plan below, print it, then start training!

Extra Credit

Here are guides to help with your nonrunning training.

5-Minute Core WorkoutFoam Rolling Routine Yoga SequenceStrength Training For Runners Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Ericka McConnell

Yes, You Can Run Your First 5K in 6 Weeks

Recommit to your fitness life by joining our 5K Running Challenge! We’ve created a six-week plan to get you up and running ¡ª literally. If you have a casual relationship with running and can run comfortably for at least 10 minutes| our plan will help you go the distance and become a bona fide runner.

We’re here to support your endeavors with running tips to help you love running and improve your form| playlists to keep you motivated and on pace| and advice on nutrition and recipes to support your goals.

Check out the plan below| print it| then start training!

Extra Credit

Here are guides to help with your nonrunning training.

5-Minute Core WorkoutFoam Rolling Routine Yoga SequenceStrength Training For Runners Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Ericka McConnell

Runner’s Workout: Plyo, Strength, and Agility

Runner’s Workout: Plyo| Strength| and Agility

A little strength training goes a long way| especially when you are pushing your body to run faster. Strengthening your joints and muscles with classic bodyweight and plyometric exercises can help prevent overuse injuries that could interfere with your training. When adding speedwork to your running regimen| also take time each week to do this short and effective workout. It’s designed to keep you light on your feet| improve your agility| and strengthen your legs| core| and glutes. We’ve even added a couple upper-body exercises to improve your posture while running| which is so important as you log those many miles.

Check out the workout below| and keep scrolling to learn more details on each exercise.

| The Workout
“|”id”:37101225|”type”:”image”|”thumbnail”:”Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Ericka McConnell

“”|””large_link””:”” Jumping Jack

  • Jump off the balls of your feet as you perform this classic exercise.
  • To modify| step the legs wide and then step them together instead of jumping.

| Skip in Place

  • Skip in place by hopping on your right leg while bringing the left knee up toward your chest. Engage your abs as the knee comes toward your chest.
  • Switch legs| and keep skipping while pumping your arms.
  • | Gate Swings

    • Begin standing with your feet together. Hop your feet wide apart| and come into a deep squat| bringing your hands to your thighs. Your toes will be pointed outward.
    • Push off your knees for leverage as you jump| crossing your legs to land. Continue jumping out and in| alternating which leg come in front as you bring your legs together.

    | Single-Leg Line Hops

    • With your right foot slightly off the ground| balance on your left foot.
    • Hop sideways| back and forth| over an imaginary line.

    | Up-Down Plank

    • Begin in a full plank. Lower your right elbow to the mat and then your left| coming into an elbow plank.
    • Put your right hand on the mat| and straighten your right elbow. Do the same on the left to return to full plank.

    | Superman

    • Lie face down on the mat| with your arms by your sides.
    • Arch your back| raising your legs| head| and upper body off the floor| bending your elbows| and squeezing your shoulder blades together.
    • Lower everything to the floor| and repeat.

    | Single-Leg Bridge

    • Lie on your back| with bent knees. Extend your left leg straight| two inches from the ground.
    • Press through your right heel| lifting both hips off the ground| squeezing your glutes. Then lower your pelvis to the mat| and repeat.

    | Alternating Lateral Lunge

    • Start with your feet directly under your hips. Step your right foot wide to the side| coming into a lunge with your left fingers touching your right foot. Your right knee shouldn’t go beyond your right toes.
    • Push into your right foot to return to standing| then lunge sideways to the left to complete one rep.

    | Reverse Lunge and Hop

    • Come into a lunge with your right leg back. Swing your right leg forward to hop up on your left foot| and land softly back in a lunge.

    | Single-Leg Touch and Hop

    • Begin standing your weight on your left foot. Keeping your back long| bend your left knee to touch the floor with your right fingers.
    • Swing your right leg and left arm forward to return to standing| hopping once the torso is upright. Land with control| then slowly lower your torso| and bend your knee to touch the floor again.

    | Squat Jump

    • Start in a squat with your arms by your sides.
    • Swing your arms to the ceiling| and jump.
    • Land quietly as you return to the squat position. This completes one rep.

Easy and Essential Postrun Stretches

Easy and Essential Postrun Stretches

Running outside might just be the fittest gift Spring weather brings| but cooling down at the park can present some obstacles. While we’re all for stretching| lying on the grass to lengthen your hamstrings isn’t always option. We’ve created a guide of convenient stretches u2014u00a0all done standing u2014 to hit the all the muscles you worked hard on your run.

| Scissor Hamstring Stretch

  • Stand with your feet together. Step your right foot back about two feet| and bend forward at your hips| keeping your back and both legs straight. After holding for 30 seconds| switch sides.

Easy to do anywhere and safe for injured backs| this hamstring stretch is great if you’re really tight.

| Quad Stretch

  • Grab your right foot with your right hand| and pull it toward your butt. Reach your left hand forward for balance. To increase the stretch| squeeze your right glute.
  • Hold for 30 seconds| then switch legs.

Focus on keeping your knees together| so the outside of the quad gets thoroughly stretched.

| Low-Back Stretch

  • Pull your right knee toward your chest to round and stretch your low back. Increase the stretch by pulling your abs toward your spine.

This is a quick way to relieve any tension in your low back.

| Standing Piriformis Stretch

  • Bring your right knee toward your chest| then open the knee to the right. Cradle your right shin| and gentle rock your leg from side to side to increase the stretch.
  • Hold for 30 seconds| and switch sides.

This is a standing variation of the yoga pose Pigeon| which targets the deep glutes.

| Runner’s Lunge

  • Start standing in parallel| and take a big step back with your right leg| bending your left knee.
  • Squeeze your right glutes to increase the stretch in the front of your right hip. Hold for 30 seconds| then switch legs.

This position stretches the hip flexors and is very important to do after speedwork.

| Runner’s Lunge With a Twist

  • Deepen your runner’s lunge by stepping your back foot a few inches farther away| so your front knee is bent to 90 degrees| knee directly over the ankle.
  • Twist toward your front leg| reaching your top arm to the sky and your bottom hand to the ground for balance. Hold for 30 seconds| and switch sides.

This variation deepens the stretch and opens up your back| too.

| Calf Stretch

  • Step your right foot back about two feet| bending your left knee.
  • Press your heel into the ground to increase the stretch.

This is a great stretch to do throughout the day| not just after runs.

| Soleus Stretch

  • Step your right foot back about a foot. Keeping your feet parallel| bend both your knees.
  • Press your right heel into the ground as you shift your weight forward to increase the stretch.

It’s important to keep the deep calf muscles loose to prevent problems with the sole of your foot| like plantar fasciitis.

| IT Band Stretch

  • Cross your left leg behind you| putting weight on the outside of your left foot. Reach your left arm toward the sky.
  • Press your left hip out to the side to increase the stretch of your left IT band. Hold for 30 seconds| then switch sides.

The IT band runs down the outside of your leg| and when it gets tight| it can mess with your knee joint. Keep it loose with this stretch after every run.

| Hamstring and ITB Stretch

  • Cross your feet with the right foot in front| and bend forward at your waist.
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds| then switch sides.

This stretch lengthens the IT band and the hamstrings.

| Sumo With a Twist

  • In a wide stance with your toes pointing out| bend your knees| so your thighs are parallel to the ground and knees are at 90 degrees.
  • With your hands on your thighs| straighten your right arms to twist to the left. Hold this position for 30 seconds| then switch sides.

Give your back and inner thighs some relief by adding a twist to your sumo squat.