As you know from my previous post about the Turkey Trot, I am getting ready to run a 5k race with some friends from home. Because I am not a runner (I just want to be one!) I have been trying to learn some new techniques to help me perform as best as I can come Thanksgiving Day.endEnvy

With my mind on training, I noticed through Healthworks complimentary programming that Natalie D., a runner and a personal trainer at Cambridge Healthworks, was offering a workshop for runners and cyclers desiring to build endurance. I decided this would be good to attend considering my current situation.

Upon arrival to the workshop, I met Sierra, a member and recent triathlon finisher, looking to improve her performance in future races. Jihye, another member, is a swimmer and walker and she increase her ability for running and cycling, joined us.

To start the 30-minute workout, Natalie had us do a few “old school gym” exercises to get warm:

  • Toe Touches (25)
  • Jumping Jacks (20)
  • High Knees (30 seconds)

Then we started working on “burning out our muscles.” Natalie explained that the best way to get your muscles ready to endure long distances or hills is to get them prepared for that situation. You can do this by “burning” your muscles so that they have felt the same stress and fatigue of running up hill or running longer.

During the workshop we did this by completing the following series of exercises:

  • Wall Sits (1 minute)
  • Prisoner Squat (30 seconds)
  • 1 leg squat (30 seconds each leg)
  • Jump Rope with or without rope (1 minute)
  • Static Lunges w/ Tricep Pulse (25 each leg)

Next set, do a forward raise with free weights

  • Step Up and Push on Box (30 seconds each leg, holding 10 lb weight)
  • Plank (30 seconds)
  • Push Up on knees (12 reps)
  • Plank (30 seconds)
  • Wall Sits (1 minute)

By doing those exercises with minimal breaks in between, you will benefit even more because your heart rate is up and you are continuing to activate new muscle groups.

We also worked our core with some Superman lifts and swimmers, both performed face down on the mat, working our lower back and abs.

This circuit can be completed two times a week to complement your running workouts.

As we ended the workout, we completed basic stretches including the calves, hamstrings and quads and chest and hip flexor openers. To finish we did an inchworm stretch (think of bending over and then walking your hands out in front of you and then slowly inching your legs (keep them straight!) back up to your feet. We did this across the floor and continued to build our core while stretching our hamstring muscles.

To finish up, we learned that we should include one day of interval training (speed and hills) in our running regimen. This will continue to build endurance. I find that when I have difficulty doing that on my own, it helps to take a BURN class where you interval train with a group of people …but that will be another post. 🙂


How do you build strength while you are training?