RunCanvas Customized Coaching Packages

Customized training plans are built just for you!

This is done through a one time consultation.  The certified coach creates a unique training plan based on your individual history, schedule and needs and then uploads it into the app.  From there, you complete the workouts and modify on your own.   This is a great budget friendly option, that allows motivated runners the chance to work with certified coaches without the daily/weekly check-ins and modifications.

Customized Plans can vary in length, depending on the fitness level and current needs of the individual runner. Maximum length of a single customized plan is 24 weeks, which includes a base building period.

Self-motivation and individual commitment are required for this plan. A weekly follow up email is optional for athletes who have questions about the structure or function of their training. This can also be helpful if navigating injury or other issues that come during training.

If you are interested in purchasing a RunCanvas Training Plan, visit the VDOT Market Place! 

 

If you have questions feel feel to contact me.

 

 

 

 

 

One-on-one Coaching options

This is a list of the One-on-one packages RunCanvas Coaching offers.  If you would prefer the customized training plans check out this page!

Work one-on-one with a certified coach! Prescribed workouts will be uploaded into the VDOT App every 1-2 weeks and consistently updated based on your progress and feedback.  Tailored to your personal needs and daily schedules.  Ideally athletes would be able to commit a minimum of 5 days of training to receive best results.

Training plans include;

  • Initial consultation
  • Full Service online coaching offered through VDOT training App
  • Pre-hab exercises
  • Uploaded workouts and feedback
  • Plan adjustments as needed
  • Performance nutrition guidance (as needed)
  • Unlimited communication via text, phone calls or email with certified coach

Athletes who wish to pay monthly for the desired coaching package can check out the VDOT Market Place

 

 

One-On-One Coaching Sessions-$60/ 1 hour sessions

  • In-Person Coaching is exclusively for runners in the Kansas City area, or runners visiting from out of state. In-Person Coaching offers the benefit of live coaching sessions during your training that help ensure that the workouts are performed correctly, provide motivation and stimulus for improvement, and give the athlete an opportunity to seek feedback on technique, pacing, and other factors influencing performance.
  • This package can also include one-on-one goal specific race pacing.  (some limitations apply).
  • If you are interested in this package please email runcanvas@yahoo.com

Small Group Coaching Sessions- Inquire for pricing

  • Like In-Person Coaching, small group sessions offers the benefit of live coaching sessions during your training that help ensure that the workouts are performed correctly, provide motivation and stimulus for improvement, and give the athlete an opportunity to seek feedback on technique, pacing, and other factors influencing performance. Small groups sessions add in the benefit of having a team to train with and making private sessions more affordable.
  • If you are interest in this package please email runcanvas

 

RunCanvas offers both Customized plans and Private coaching options.  Check out the Runcanvas Coaching page to see which one would fit your needs best.

 

My 2019 Running Resolutions

Happy New Year! The world seems divided into two types of people.  Those who love New Years resolutions, and those who think they are dumb.  Well I am a total optimist and I love the clean slate and hopeful attitude that surrounds New Year and resolutions.

2018 was great, it was full of ups and downs, triumphs and failures.  While I didn’t reach my big, gigantic goal, yet. I made a lot of personal growth along the way which is just as important.  I look forward to taking those lesson from 2018, so that I can be better and stronger when I am chasing my dreams in 2019.

Here is my list of 2019 goals and resolutions

Running goals

  • Qualify for the Olympic Trials in the Marathon – This is will be my only time goal this year.  Its my big, big pie in the sky unicorn dream
  • 3,000 total miles for the year- This is about 500 more miles than I completed in 2018.  While, yes, it is a big jump I also had some inconsistencies that could have filled that gap.  So, really, the 3,000 miles goal is less about increasing mileage and more about consistent training.
  • Race more- this may seem like an odd goal, for someone who wants to focus on a big task like qualifying for the trials. However, I miss racing for fun. I don’t know where or when it happened but I started to fear showing up to a race and not feeling 100%. Even worse when I did, I felt like I had a self sabotaging mind set that would allow me to perform my best for that day to to enjoy the activity I love.  SO, I  am going to race more for fun. Race myself into shape.  Run a few races on tired legs and let loose a bit when things don’t go right.  I think this will also have a huge impact on some of my race day anxiety.  Running CIM was a huge eye opener for me, I  forgot to enjoy what I was doing.
  • Shorter Training Cycles-  I am going to break my training up into small, bite size pieces.  I think by doing so I will enjoy the process more and get to the line less wound up.
  • More of the other stuff- Ya know, that super important stuff that coaches talk about but we don’t always do. Cross training, plyos, strides, hill sprints, hurdle hip mobility drills, strength training.  The little stuff really does make a big difference.  I get into something for a while and then when I get deep into a training cycle, life gets crazy the little things fall off.  Just as I would plan and log miles. I have  set up a tracking system to emphasis these components during my different training cycles.

Blogging and Coaching Goals

  • Grow my blog readership and increase my engagement with readers and followers.  I’ll be more deliberate, about actively connecting with the online running community.  I love it so much, as with anything time becomes an issue and its the first thing to fall off.
  • Help more runners fall in love with running and reach their goals through  my online coaching business.  I love sharing my passion and helping other reach their goals. This amount of time I spend with runners leaves me so fulfilled and I want to return that back to our community
  • Instagram?-  I think I want to be more deliberate in capturing my running journey through pictures and sharing on social media.  I think putting a face the story really helps reader get to know me. I just also, really hate taking pictures of myself.  I feel silly when people “catch” me taking post run selfies. Like, I am probably to old for this stuff.

So, that is my list of goals for 2019.  Aside from me crazy goal of hitting the trials standard, the other things are little changes that I think will make a big difference.  What are you goals for 2019?  Do you like making 2019 goals/resolutions?

 

Need a coach to help you reach your running goals?

RunCanvas has some amazing New Years Specials going on to help make your 2019 goals a little easier!  

 

VDot certified! I am a VDot  Certified coach with over  10 years of coaching experience! I have worked with young beginners in the middle school level, high school athletes, and adults runners of all abilities.   Check out my coaching page for more information!

Why YOU should become a runner 2019

Running is awesome! I am sure it is no surprise, to anyone that I meet, that I think running is pretty great.  I am not the only one, however. Running is growing in popularity, it is definitely having a moment.  There is a reason why, running really is for everyone

Why everyone should become a runner?

  • Running is not one size fits all. Training and goals are all specific to the individual.  Unlike many other sports, your biggest competitor is yourself and the clock.  It’s an amazing feeling to run your first race, and complete it.  It’s an even better feeling when you set a goal and watch yourself break new PRs (personal records), after putting in the work. You EARNED that.  There are so many new types of races and distances available.  Really, there is a race out there for every type of person; casual, competitive, destination, fun, obstacle, dog races, trail, road, holiday and so much more.
    • You can check out my post on picking goal races here
  • Running is a great way to meet new people! The running community is full of awesome, uplifting and motivated individuals. As a collective whole, I haven’t met a more supportive and goal oriented group of people. My running friends go out of their way to meet up for runs, push you through difficult workouts and cheer you on to new PRs. You know you have made a great new friend, when they agree to get up a zero-dark-thirty, put on a headlamp and run with you.  It’s always worth it! Bonus, are you single?  Running is full of other goal oriented, active singles.img_0066Health– I am sure I don’t have to tell you, that running is good for you. There are so many health benefits to beginning a consistent running routine.  This doesn’t include diving head first into a high-mileage marathon program.  Running at least 30 minutes a week, 3 times a week has great health benefits.  Regular running raises your HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) and boosts your immune system. Running can lower your risk of many diseases; including some types of cancer, diabetes and osteoporosis.  Running may help by reducing high blood pressure and lowering your risk of heart attacks.  Running tops the charts as one of the best way to burn calories.  Worried about your knees? Don’t be, here is a great post on how running is actually GOOD for your knees.  The best part is, it can be done almost anywhere at any time!
  • Mental Health-running is a great stress reliever. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins (a natural hormone that acts similar to a drug that improves mood and increases energy). These hormones are also great in decreasing your risk for depression. Ask a runner, friend. They usually are in a better mood on days they get to run.

Steps to successfully becoming a runner

               Many people want to start out the new year with awesome New Year’s Resolutions.  The problem is many of them don’t make it to spring break.  Let’s not become another failed resolution, and instead, become a success.

Let’s making 2019 the year you became a runner.

  1. Running doesn’t have to be expensive, to get started. One thing I do recommend before diving into a running program, is investing in some good running shoes.  Go to a local running store, one that will watch you run and help you select the correct pair of running shoes for your stride.  This is very important to a new runner.  You are going to work new muscles and may have some soreness. Prevent injuries and get the right kind of running shoes, to give you the best chance for success.
  2. Set a goal, or a few goals. Set goals that are realistic and measurable.  Don’t try to go all in, the first day. All or nothing plans, almost always fail.  Start with smaller goals that lead to a larger goal.  Try signing up for a 5k next month.  Promise to build up to 30 minutes of running 3 times per week until you reach that 5k.  Reaching this goal will help motivate you to move onto bigger goals. Once you have run a race, set a new goal, rinse and repeat. Be careful, there is a natural high that comes from completing these goals, and it can become quite addicting.

    img_0068
    My big ol’ Ugly cry after finishing my first marathon and qualified for the Boston Marathon. You can not beat that feeling!
  3. Train with friends. Find some friends to train with. This will make the miles more fun, and help keep you accountable. If you aren’t sure who to run with, join a local running group. Running groups have become a big part of my social life. I am super bummed when I miss out on our Wednesday night group runs at the KC running Company store, or Saturday mornings with KC track club-Lee’s Summit group.  There are runners and groups for every speed and distance.
  4. Make back up plans, NOW. Sometimes things are going to happen, so you need to be proactive and have back up plans. It’s easy to find reasons NOT to run.  When things don’t go as planned, what is your back up plan?
  5. It’s okay to slow down. Many new runners, try to run too fast.  This causes a lot of strain on the body.  You need to work up to those fast speeds, only once you have built an endurance base. Try the talk test, if you can’t hold the pace and carry on a conversation, you need to slow down.  I wrote a previous post here, about slowing down your easy run.
  6. Consider a running coach or a plan. There are a lot of couch to 5k, 10k or half marathon plans. Consider your fitness level before choosing. Some may start out easy and increase in difficulty too quickly, some may start out too conservative for your current ability leaving your bored, while some may start out too difficult putting you at a high injury risk.  Getting a running coach can be a lot of help in ensuring you are successful in your running goals. I am a certified run coach, and I still use a running coach for training.  Here are some post about running coaches.
    1. Why YOU could benefit from a running coach!
    2. Which type of Running Coach is best for YOU
    3. Picking the right running coach

The first step is to get out there and run.  Take it one day or one mile at a time.  You will have tough days.  You will have days that you are feeling unmotivated, but I promise it will be worth it.  Taking on a more active lifestyle will have a rippling effect on many other life choices.  You will feel great!   

 

 

Need a coach to help you reach your running goals?

 

VDot certified! I am a VDot  Certified coach with over  10 years of coaching experience! I have worked with young beginners in the middle school level, high school athletes, and adults runners of all abilities.  RunCanvas is currently running some excellent New Years specials!  Check out my coaching page for more information!

 

RunCanvas Coach, New Years Specials

I love New Years! Reflecting on the personal growth and journey of 2018 and the excitement and hope looking at 2019.  cropped-Capture-1.png

To help celebrate the New Years, I will be sharing a New Years Special from RunCanvas.  Hurry these deals won’t last long!

8 week Beginning Runner Training Plan

Normally a one time fee of $50, you can now get it for $35

12 week Customized 5k training Plan

Normally a one time fee of $75 for this service, you can now get it for only $50!

12 week Customized 10k training Plan

Get $20.19 off the regular cost of $75!

 

16 week Customized Half Marathon training Plan

Save 20% off the Regular Price of $75

24  week Customized Marathon training Plan

Save $20 off the regular price of $120!

 

12 week Customize Final Marathon Training

$12 dollars off the regular price of $75

Buy one Customized Training Plan, get on 50% off!

 

 

 

You can pick any customized training plan and get a second one for half the price!  If you are interested in this option, contact RunCanvas so I can create a package deal

 

$100 off  16 week Private Online Coaching 

Regularly $300

 

$150 off  6 Months Private Online Coaching 

$350 off  12 Months Private Online Coaching 

 

2-for-1 Training! 

Have a friend or significant other that is training for the same race? I will create a custom training plan for you two to execute and you will only be charged on price! Contact me to let me know which customized training plan you want and I will create a custom package for you.

Picking the right running coach

Follow up from my previous two blog articles; Why YOU could benefit from a running coach! and Which type of Running Coach is best for YOU. Today, I am going to go into details about how to choose the coach that works for you.

Choosing to work with a coach is an excellent way to add motivation, structure and accountability to your training plan. It also takes some of the burden off the runner to create and execute a training plan when we often struggle with being objective about our own training.

Working with a running coach can boost some athletes progress greatly, but coaches some can also do more harm than good.  There are bad coaches who have had runners that have been successful in spite of their coaches and there have been athletes with world class athletes who haven’t fared so well.   A single success or failure does not define a coach. Each individual athlete and coach brings something unique to the table.  When deciding to work with a coach, do your due diligence and you will get the most out of the time and money spent.

 

  1. VDot certified!
    RunCanvas is proudly VDOT certified

    Certification-  A running certification is not required, in any way to be a running coach.  It does, however, show the coach took the time to complete a curriculum and passed a test on the basic principals of the sport.

  2. Adaptable/Flexible– Murphy and his darn law!  Life is going to happen and a coach that can help not only survive during those times, but also thrive, is a great tool.  I have worked with coaches who demanded certain workouts be on certain days and at certain times in the day.  While there might be some sort of scientific reasoning behind that demand, its unreasonable for the majority of athletes.  It doesn’t matter the depth of knowledge the coach brings if what they are asking for is unattainable in the long run.  Remember, endurance isn’t built over night. You are committing at least a few months to this coach if you are going to see this training schedule through.
  3. Approachable, yet can kick you in the rear when you need it-  Coaching is an art and finding that balance between being approachable and accommodating and nudging your athletes when they need it is a huge role, for a coach. Especially, because the balance is based on each individuals needs.  The big picture is that coaching is not a one way street of communication.  The best coaching happens through two way open communication building a bond between the athlete and coach.  This allows the coach to truly create a plan that fits the need of the runner and adjust in a way that accommodates the runners physical and mental needs throughout the cycle.
  4. Budget-  While a one-on-one coach would be an amazing way to reach your new goals.  For your daily runner, it may not practical,  Fitting both your time and financial limitations. Being upfront about your budget will help save you and your prospective coach time.
  5. Testimonials-  Finding a coach with a background of happy clients and success is a clue that the coach is on the right path.
  6. Experience- Experience as a coach,  experience as a runner and experience being coached all go into influencing the coach and how the work with their clients.  Discussing this background can often times give you great insight into the type of coach you could be working with.
  7. Interview-  I encourage you to interview your coach before agreeing to work with them. It doesn’t have to be a formal sit down interview either.  Feeling them out through message or a phone call can be just as informative.  Here are some questions to ask
    • Coaching philosophy and training approaches
    • How does the coach assess progress throughout the cycle
    • How does the coach handle illness and injuries
    • What are the coaches thoughts/and approach to lead up races.
    • Does the coach include or add on strength training, nutrition, race day advice or other similar items
    • How much communication and what type of communication is involved
    • What expectations does the coach have of their runners
    • How will you receive your workouts
    • Any other special circumstances or needs you feel are important when looking for a coach.

Taking time upfront to find the right coach will make working with a coach that much more rewarding.  You will be spending your time and money on this person, so feeling confident you have chosen the right fit for you is an important step in your journey.

Have you worked with a running coach before?  What is the most important factor for you when deciding who you will work with.

Need a coach to help you reach your running goals?

 

VDot certified! I am a VDot Certified coach with over  10 years of coaching experience! I have worked with young beginners in the middle school level, high school athletes, and adults runners of all abilities.   Check out my coaching page for more information  or you can find me on the VDOT Marketplace.  2019 coaching packages are currently being updated!

Which type of Running Coach is best for YOU

So you have decided, or are still considering, working with a running coach.  Great!  Run coaches are not one size fits all, though.  There are the worlds greatest coaches and they still won’t be the right fit for everybody.  I am following up yesterday’s post Why YOU could benefit from a running coach! with information on some basic coaching options available.  This is not a comprehensive list by any means, but a general idea of what is available. 

The first thing I think you should look at is what kind of coach you think you need.  This will vary greatly per individuals time limitations, location, motivation, cost and more. 

Here are some common options

One-on-one coaching-  This is going to be the most intense and most collaborative type of coaching.  It will also be the most time consuming and expensive.  You are paying for a coach to develop your training plan and then execute with you for some or all of your workouts. 

 Small Group- If you were a part of a Track or Cross Country team, this would be similar format. The coach would organize practices and runs for not only you, but also for other runners in the group.  The great thing about this is you usually have built in running buddies and you can get most of the same benefits as a one-on-one coaching package while saving money.  The time is often a bit more restrictive as you are obviously, stuck with what the group/coach has scheduled.  This is really a great option for runners who need coaching beyond just the run schedule.  As the coach can walk the group through all of the components of a good training plan.  Drills, strides, dynamic stretching, strength training.

Online Coaching-  This has really been where the coaching field has grown.  The general idea is that your coach uploads your workouts and then you complete them.  If you have a watch paired with coaching apps, such as the VDOT training app, then your coach gets all of the information from your GPS watch.  Giving the coach great details on how the workout went.  Most of the apps (VDOT included) have places to include coaches notes, feedback and ratings on how the workout went.  Coaches can add and modify the workouts as needed.  This really allows the coach to take into consideration your needs, schedule  and feedback in as they work with you similar to a one-on-one program. The best part is the flexibility you have as the runner.  As a runner, I prefer working with coaches in this manner.  It only works if you are motivated to complete the workouts as the coach is not there to guide you during the workout.

Hybrid Online-Small group– As a coach this is my favorite package option.  Basically the group meets 1 or 2 times a week.  Usually for workouts and/or long runs and then the coaches uploaded the daily workouts into the training platform for the rest of the week.  This allows the coach to have personal contact with the athletes, see in person how the workouts are going, give them nudges and keep them accountable during workouts without taking the unnecessary time scheduling the daily easy runs.   Hybrid option can also be used with online/one-on-one options.

Customized coaching plans-  This is usually done through a one time consultation.  The coach creates a unique training plan based on your individual history,schedule and needs and then uploads in into the app.  From their you complete the workouts and modify on your own.   This is a great budget friend option, that allows motivated runners the chance to work with certified coaches without the daily/weekly check-ins and modifications.

 

There are definite positives and negatives to each and coaching plan.  What works best for one runner may be completely wrong for another.   Looking at each option and being realistic about your training ability, time restrictions, motivation levels and communication needs will help direct you to the right option.

Tomorrow I will be sharing tips on finding coaches and narrowing down the list to the one that meets YOUR needs.   Make sure you subscribe so you can be updated!

 

Need a coach to help you reach your running goals?

 

VDot certified! I am a VDot  Certified coach with over  10 years of coaching experience! I have worked with young beginners in the middle school level, high school athletes, and adults runners of all abilities.   Check out my coaching page for more information!

 

 

Why YOU could benefit from a running coach!

As I have transitioned to a certified coach, actively seeking new clients and building my hobby into a business. I am surprised by the conversations I have had with runners on an almost daily basis surrounding the concept of hiring a running coach.  It’s not what I thought it would be.

It’s not that many runners don’t want a running coach, they feel like the don’t fit a certain mold for the type of runner who could benefit from one.  On one end of the spectrum you get runners who feel like they are too new, too slow or just in it for fun. They are motivated, goal oriented runners who feel like they don’t meet some higher tier that is required to work with a running coach.  This, my friends, is not the qualifying standard for working with a coach.  Motivated, goal-oriented runners of ALL abilities and backgrounds are the IDEAL athletes a coach looks for.

Then you have the opposite end of the spectrum.  The stubborn runners.  These are the runners that NEED the outside influence of a coach to protect them from, well themselves.  They have a case of the triple too’s. Too many miles, too soon, too fast.  Your competitive runners can get caught up in this frequently.  New runners who see quick gains (that was me).  Just because other runners in my speed range were doing it, didn’t mean my body could handle it.  There are a lot of hardworking runners who are not improving, who are working harder than necessary and not seeing the benefits of that hard work. I have been there, it is super frustrating.  

So how can a run coach help you?

  1. Get over a plateau and add variety to your training  This was one of the reasons I first reached out to a running coach.  In hind site, I waited to long.  A running coach can  be a great tool to help add variety to your training and getting over a plateau faster.
  2. Help you make the most of your time training- Are you a professional athlete?  If so, thanks for reading! However, I am guessing most of us are not and we have the balance of our regular jobs, families and probably a dozen other things that limit our training time. So when you do find/make the time for running, you want to know that what you are doing is going to get you the results you are looking for.
  3. Minimize your risk for injury or help you safely return from an injury  Running injuries suck and most of the time, they are completely avoidable.  A generic plan in a book or online does not take into consideration your current fitness levels, training history and prior injuries.
  4. Add consistency, direction and structure to you training plan  Adding a coach builds consistency in so many ways.  You are paying for a product, so you are more likely to follow through.  The coach can give you a nudge when you need and let you know when its okay to pull back. They will build cohesive plan with your individual needs and abilities in mind.
  5. Accountability, reassurance and objectivity Coaches become confidants in running. A sound board for goals, aspirations and then they work WITH you to build a road map.  Getting you from where you are now to where you wanna go, as at team.  When something goes wrong, they can make the appropriate adjustments without the emotional freak out.  Don’t even get me started on the taper madness that I’ve seen too many runner go through. Completely destroying their hard work and growth at the end of a training cycle.
  6. Teach you about proper training and the components that go along It really are the little things that make a big difference.  Running coaches go beyond singular track workouts.  The strides, hill sprints, recovery, nutrition, cross training, strength training and so much more.
  7. Keep you positive throughout the training cycle. Why do you run? Every single run may not be the best ever, no matter what the #runnersofinstagram want you to believe.  A good running coach will keep you strong and positive through the training cycle.
  8. They do the work! Allowing you to enjoy running more. This really ties into so many of the previous points.   The time it takes to efficiently plan and a adjust a complete training cycle.  The emotional roller coaster many runners go through as we are personally invested in the goals we have set for ourselves.  The coach takes a big chunk of that off your plate.  They do the leg work, they make the adjustments.
  9. See growth and reach your potential faster – While I don’t believe there is a magical, one size fits all plan.  There are training principals that can and will help you achieve your goals faster without increasing your risk for injury.

 

My tagline ” Balancing the science of running, with the art of coaching” is so much more than a gimmicky phrase.  I truly believe in it.  Working with a coach goes beyond, knowledge of the sport.   Kipchoge works with Patrick Sang, Flanagan works alongside coach Jerry Schumaker.  Do you think these top level athletes don’t understand the training principals? Coaching is so much more then Xs and Os, more then repeats and drills.    Here are two examples of VDOT Coaches who have partnered with other coaches to reach new levels of training.  These coaches recognize the greater value a coach brings beyond planing workouts. 

A collaborative effort

Coaches need coaches too

Just like everything.  Not all coaches are created equal and they are not one size fits all.   There are important factors to consider when finding a coach that meets your needs and will get you where you want to go.  Follow up tomorrow! Make sure you subscribe for more great info!

Do you currently work with a running coach? Why or why not?

Need a coach to help you reach your running goals?

 

VDot certified! I am a VDot  Certified coach with over  10 years of coaching experience! I have worked with young beginners in the middle school level, high school athletes, and adults runners of all abilities.   Check out my coaching page for more information!

Plyometric Exercises for Runners

What are plyometric exercises? img_1528

Plyometric exercises, sometimes referred to as plyos or jump drills  are high intensity exercises that build an athletes strength through the process of stretching the muscle and then releasing stored energy into the next jump.  Think of the stretching process like a rubber band and as you stretch that rubber band further back to shoot it ahead, the rubber band builds stored (potential) energy.

 

Why are they important?

Through the process of stretching and releasing stored energy your body builds strength and improves running economy through increasing your body’s ability to recruit more muscle fibers which impacts how efficiently your body can utilize oxygen while running.

There have been a handful of studies on runners adding plyometric exercises to their training routine vs running only and in multiple studies the experiment groups which added plyometric exercises increased running economy between 2-3%.  If you want to take a deeper look at some of those studies, you can click on the links below.

 

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Another study took 35 moderate to highly trained runners and compared the results of dynamic weightlifting and plyometric exercises.  After 8 weeks the group that incorporated plyometric exercises saw a greater increase in running economy.

Additionally, a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found a correlation between jumping and increases in middle and long distance times with the longer distances seeing the greatest correlations.

While I do believe many of these studies were limited by factors such as time and sample sizes, it’s definitely enough to see how the short amount of time spent on plyos could have a measurable impact on running performance and runners should consider adding it to their routine.

I especially like that most plyos take little to no exercise equipment, eliminating the need to go to the gym.  A key element for many non-professional runners crunched on time as they balance work, family time and run training.

How to add plyometric exercises to your running routine?

Just like any new workout routine, its best to start small and build up gradually.  Keeping in mind that there is a lot of impact in plyometric exercises.  Like strength training, I would really focus on plyos in the off-season and base phases of your training and then as you near the competitive portion of your racing season or goal race, I would back off and complete the plyos in smaller bouts for maintenance.

For the athletes that I coach, I would start them off with some basic body weight exercises before progressing them onto plyometric exercises. Because of their high impact nature, the  additional pounding on the legs can lead to a greater risk of injury for newer runners who don’t have a strength training background.  I would utilize plyometric drills for runners who are a bit more established, in between training cycles or looking to push them through a plateau.   Start your movements slowly and focus on form first. Learning to safely land and proper form for these drills will also minimize risk of injury and maximize the benefits gained.

Here are some great starter plyometric exercises for runners that require no exercise equipment

Skips for height

Similar in form to traditional skips. However, when you are coming off your driving foot you will thrust your opposite knee upward and explode in an upward motion. Using your arms in an opposing swinging motion will help you ensure you are driving upward and not forward.

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Bounding Drills

Similar to a regular running motion, you are pushing off your back leg bounding forward trying to take larger steps. Over-exaggerating the arm motion can be helpful in keeping the movement forward vs upward. img_1531

Jumps for distance

Standing with two feet about shoulder width apart jump forward, trying to cover as much distance as you can.

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Toe Taps

This is a move many soccer player practice at an early age. Any small item can work as a good focal point. You are tapping the ball/item with your toes as quickly as possible.

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If you’ve gotten to the point were the previous drills are feeling pretty easy here are some drills that you can progress to the next level.  This exercises still require not exercise equipment

689ffc69-5baf-489a-8dde-9b2f3da6ac53Squat Jumps-

Squat jumps increase power while building strength for both upper and lower body. Bonus, they burn more calories than traditional squats!

Stand with legs shouler-width apart. Go into a traditional squat motion and then explode up jumping from the squat position.  be sure to land lightly and in a controlled manner.  Go into the next rep as you drop back in the squat position.

 

Burpees 4d23530c-3eba-424e-a665-4b72ffd50df7

Burpees are a great full body motion incorporating muscles in the chest, arms, legs, abs and more. They are also a great fat burning activity!

Begin in a squat like position, drop your hands to the floor in front of you.  Kick both feet back so that you are now in a push up position.  From the push up position, with your hands continuing to remain on the ground, in one fluid jump.  Bring your knees back to near your elbows, then explode up.  When you land drop back into a squat position and go right into the next.  For an added challenge complete a push up at the bottom of the movement.

 

Calf Jumps 

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Calf jumps are quick movements that help isolate the smaller muscles in the lower legs. You utilize theses muscles during running every time your push off.   Unlike squat jumps and burpees, these movements are limited to a specific group of muscles instead of working on a full body movement.

Similar to calf raises.  Start with your feet flat on the ground.  As you go into a calf raise,explode up limiting your force and movement to your calf and ankle muscles.   I like to complete this close to a wall.  This limits the amount of movement through my knees and helps me focus on balance a  bit more.

 

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Squat jacks take traditional jump jacks to the next level.  Getting a deeper burn in the butt and leg muscles.  I like to start the movement slowly for the first set and then progress the speed.

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and slightly turned out, in a deep squat. Put your arms in a “goal post” position with elbows bent and close to your thighs. Jump up explosively, bringing your feet together and clapping your hands above your head. Keep your core engaged. Jump your feet apart, landing with control, and lower your body back into the sumo squat position with hands up to complete one rep.

If you are getting pretty comfortable with the previous drills then it may be a good time to introduce some light weights and box jumps.  We will get a follow up article on those plyos later.

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