March Challenge: Day 3 – Strong Legs

runners have the best legs

Runner have the best legs! But running alone won’t get us across the finish line faster. Strong, sexy runners legs take a little extra work but that translates into more power…and more speed on race day.

Runner’s World article “Get Strong Legs” says,

Multiple studies show that regular strength training can improve running economy-how efficiently the body uses oxygen-by as much as eight percent, translating into greater speed and more muscle endurance. And it makes sense for runners to focus on their most important body part. “Strong legs also mean more power on the hills,” says Bob Larsen, who coaches elite marathoner Meb Keflezighi.

Besides just gaining more power, strengthening our legs will also give us other benefits. You need to be strength training your lower body for 3 reasons:

  1. To condition the muscles and soft tissues of your lower body to effectively support the weight in your upper body.
  2. To balance the strength, endurance, size, and control of the upper and lower body.
  3. To prevent injury to your lower joints and extremities.

Runner’s World says we should focus on the following muscles groups: Quads, Glutes, Hamstrings, and calves. Great! We will work on all of those today. 🙂

Day 3 exercises: 3 sets of 10 for each exercise

  • Plank – :30
  • Squats – Add weight for more difficulty
  • Donkey Kick + Fire Hydrant – Do these simultaneously but make sure you watch your form on each rep to get the most out of both exercises
  • Single Leg Deadlifts – This is a slow precise exercise that will strengthen our hamstrings and help us learn how to stabilize on one leg. It also fires up up the entire posterior chain creating a phenomenal and strong rear end.
  • Calf Raises – 10 per side
  • Plank – :30
  • Side Plank – :30 each side
  • Calf Stretches – Hold a deep stretch to feel the calf muscle getting softer
  • Pigeon Pose
  • Quad Stretch

Looks like a lot…but it really won’t take long at all. If you’re not sure about how to do these exercises, please check out the “how to” videos and scroll towards the bottom for the leg exercises. Stretching instructions for today are below.

It’s getting closer to the weekend which means long runs are coming up so if you are running today….take it easy and slow. Conversation pace. Keep it short save energy for your long slow distance this weekend.

That’s all for today Challengers! Push yourself, feel those legs burn, and make it a great day! 🙂

Pigeon Pose: My favorite stretch! This feels fabulous! Watch here to see how to do it correctly.

Quad Stretch: Instead of standing to stretch your quads…kneel down and push your hips forward while holding your foot up. This will give you a better stretch and you will feel it higher in your quads as opposed to closer to your knee.

Kneeling-Quad-Stretch

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