Start Your January Strong – Week Four

Welcome to Week Four!

Week Four: Restoring Your Body:

You expect a lot from your body. You expect it to drive you to your PB, and you expect it to run day after day, constantly delivering, but what do you do to restore it after each hard session? This week we’ll focus on a warm-up to help your body start the restoration process – it’s a full-body workout that helps the muscles, although you may not feel it at the time – and then the ultimate cool-down, with a stretch session that will leave you restored and ready to run again.

An Introduction to the Week:

Day One: Warm Up to Restore your Body

Day Two: Workout to Restore your Body

Day Three: Stretch and Restore your Body

Start Your January Strong – Week Three

Welcome to Week Three!

Week Three: How to Avoid Injury 

The biggest obstacle to any big training block is getting injured, so this week we will look at what is non-negotiable when warming up before a run, because going into a run cold, no matter how short, is often how injuries happen. Your core muscles can make or break your running – if not used properly, You are likely over-straining other muscles, and that often causes injury. So, we’ll look at how to strengthen your core properly, from your abdomen right up to your chest, to ensure you have a strong base to support your run. And lastly, this week we’ll look at increasing your mobility through stretching, loosening the key muscles so you don’t become a tight ball after a hard run, ultimately preparing you for the next run.

An Introduction to the Week:

Day One - Warm UP Pre/Rehab your Injuries

Day Two: Workout Pre/Rehab your Injuries

Day Three: Stretch Pre/Rehab your Injuries

Start Your January Strong – Week Two

Welcome to Week Two!

Week Two: Improving Your Running Performance

Now that you have the basics locked in, we focus on key aspects to improve your overall performance! You will go through a focused warm-up, exercising your lower body, and to ensure you are strong where it counts, with key core activations to create strength where you need it. Then you will move onto a proper cool-down stretch session, so that your muscles recover optimally, and you are ready to start your next run strong.

An Introduction to the Week

Day One: Warm Up - Improve Your Performance.

As previously mentioned, in the past a lot of emphasis has been put on warm ups mainly being about injury prevention, but more recently sports professionals have focused on the importance of warm ups improving athletes performance.
Week 2 is all about improving your performance, again we have chosen a dynamic warm up which includes dynamic stretching and involves continuous movement patterns that extend the range of motion around a joint to stretch the muscles and increases blood flow to the tissues to help warm up muscles prior to running. When everything is warm the body is much more ready to perform than when it is cold.

Day Two: Workout to Improve Your Performance

In the week 2 workout we focused a little bit on the lower body strengthening for knees and hips but also on core strengthening with emphasis on rotational exercises to improve your performance.
Training rotational and diagonal movements will balance your strength and flexibility on both sides. Think of your body as an X, with your hips falling in the center of that X. As your left leg swings backward, so does your right arm. The two opposing ends of that X (left leg and right arm) create a twist in your torso. With each stride, the twist shifts in the other direction. Athletes who are strong through that X-shaped line of tension in the torso will put forth less effort with each stride than those athletes who have weaknesses along that chain. Since this slingshot movement happens literally with each step, it is imperative that athletes train this connective chain. Hence this week 2 focusing on rotational exercises to improve your performance.

Day Three: Cool Down and Stretch

Cooling down after your workout allows for a gradual recovery of preexercise heart rate and blood pressure. Cooling down may be most important for competitive endurance athletes, such as marathoners, because it helps regulate blood flow.
Stretching helps to bring down your heart rate, and lower your body temperature gradually – which in is a great way to prevent light-head and headaches and manage DOMS(delayed onset muscle soreness). Stretches can be both dynamic and static. The major difference between the two is that dynamic stretching involves muscle movement, while the Static involves holding the movement for a period of anywhere between 30-60 seconds. Usually, a combination of both is best. A cool-down is equally important.
You will see that in Week 2’s cool down, we have made use of both dynamic cool down and stretching to help you improve your overall performance.

Start Your January Strong – Week One

Welcome to Week One!

Week One: What You Need to Do Before You Run

This week’s videos focus on key movements and stretches that should be done before each run, from warming up and engaging your core correctly, to some mobility and stretching. All little things that you may not think were important, but if done right, make a huge difference to your running, and more importantly, help prevent injury.

An Introduction to the Week

Day One: Warm-up Before Your Run

Why should we warm up before we run?

For runners, the emphasis has traditionally been on injury-prevention, but more and more, we are now beginning to understand the true benefits of how a warm-up is actually about improving your performance.

Performing a proper warm-up gradually increases our body temperature, heart rate and blood flow to the working muscles, and may even contribute to reduced muscle soreness before beginning your actual session or race – essentially enhancing performance.

In this video we focus on dynamic movements to warm up the whole body. We start with movements to wake up the muscles, warming up around your joints to improve range of movement, and then steadily increasing to pulse-raisers, to make sure the body is warm and the blood and oxygen is pumping to your muscles.

This warm-up can be done in your house, on the driveway or on the road before you get running.

Day Two: Workout Before You Run

You’ve probably heard it a hundred times before: A strong core is the foundation of every great runner’s performance. That’s because a strong core can improve your posture and speed, because the strength in your limbs is tied to the strength in your torso. A strong core is a solid foundation for strength in the rest of the body.

Day Three: Mobility and Stretch Before your Run

This video’s primary focus is on how to engage your core, not by doing millions of sit-ups, but by focusing on the mind to muscle connection. This connection is about learning to contract your muscle on demand and is extremely important, as it is training the muscles in your core to work in harmony, so you will have better balance and stability. Contracting your trunk muscles provides support for your spine and pelvis in static positions, and during dynamic movements.

A good mobility and stretching session helps compensate for running-specific stresses on your muscles and reduces the risk of overuse, muscular imbalances and Injuries. Stretching also helps reduce post-run soreness and can accelerate recovery time.

In this video, we therefore focus on mobility and active/dynamic stretching to balance muscle strength between the muscle actively performing a movement and its counterpart, hydrated fascia tissue, and building enough strength to get into a stretch and stay there.

Start Your January Strong Challenge

In association with Novaturient Pilates, we bring you the four-week Start Your January Strong Challenge, aimed at working key muscle areas that are often overlooked when you are in the middle of a training block. This is not an intensive challenge, but rather an easy-to-follow one, to ensure that you stick with it through December, and start your upcoming season stronger than ever! 

Starting on the 11th of December and running to the 6th of January, this easy-to-follow challenge will be available here on our exclusive members-only site! Once registered you will log in, and every week your new videos will be uploaded here for you to do and follow. We look forward to walking this journey with you.