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Strength Work On The Track

482234423Runners can run more consistently if they stay healthy and injury free.  The key to remaining injury free is running with better biomechanics and building a stronger body to absorb the training you are performing.  The following workout encourages running with good biomechanics and helps to address strength training while logging mileage at your goal race pace.

This workout is excellent for returning to speed after an injury or while building up to track workouts in race season.  I run the “race pace” efforts by feel and inevitably the 300 m segments get faster when I start to fire the right muscles and run more efficiently during the workout progression. With this workout, I get 6 km of race pace running with good form and almost 15 minutes of targeted strength work to add to whatever mileage I perform warming up and cooling down.

This is a great workout to do with a group as the 300m repeats won’t split the group up too much and you can motivate each other for the duration.  The main thing to keep in mind is to pace the repeats to your ACTUAL race pace, not what you dream of running.  Also, running relatively fast is beneficial for this workout but running at maximum pace could invite injury when you are challenging your hips and hamstrings.  Stay focused and disciplined with your pace.  I like to keep the repeats at 5km to 10km race pace when I am feeling good, and half marathon pace for weeks when I am under a lot of load or when I am racing on the weekend.  This is not meant to be a track speed workout.  It’s a strength workout, and like running hills, is performed to accomplish more mileage at race pace with good run form.  Focus on form and efficiency to get the most out of this workout.

The following is a general guide for what exercises you might try, but I suggest that if you’re working on a certain body part or rehabilitation exercise include that here.  For instance, I started this workout with clamshells and two-leg glute bridge, as I was building back up from a hip injury.  As you get stronger, you can include more challenging strength exercises like burpees.  Start conservatively to build to four rounds. Don’t blow a hamstring overdoing it in the first round.

You don’t need the track to perform this workout.  A grass field is great and instead of 300s you could run one minute before stopping to do the strength exercises

Warm up: 15 to 20 minutes of easy jogging and some gentle strides.

Round 1 (8 minutes no-rest):
– Overhead Squats x 20
– Run 300 m  at race pace
–  15 single leg v-sits per leg
– Run 300 m at race pace
– Repeat for the entire 8 minutes then do two minutes of walking recovery.


Round 2 ( Run/strength for 8 minutes continuous):
– Lateral Lunge x 10 each leg
– Run 300m at race pace
– Mountain Climber Press-Up x 15 each leg
– Run 300m at race pace
– Repeat to 8 minutes, followed by 2 minutes recovery


Round 3 (8 minutes continuous):
– Crab Walk or Monster Walk with band
– Run 300 m at race pace
– Single Leg Deadlift x 10 each leg (careful this is a tough one!)
– Run 300m at race pace
– Repeat to 8 minutes, followed by 2 minutes recovery


Block 4 (8 minutes continuous):
– Single Leg Glute Bridge x 10 each leg
– Run 300m @ race pace
– 4-point Donkey Kicks x 10 each leg
– Run 300 m at race pace
– Repeat to 8 minutes

Cool Down 10 minutes followed by dynamic stretches.

 I schedule this workout throughout the race season and I find it is perfect for taper weeks.  Don’t be afraid to add it to your rolodex of workouts throughout the whole season. You might find the added day of strength work keeps you healthier and stronger all year long.