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Drill, baby, drill!


This past weekend was the second weekend in a long time that my long run was not in the double digits. My right hip area zone side region has been feeling a little funky lately so I’ve been taking it easy(ish). I have a 5K on December 10 and I’d like to break 23:00 (for the first time in 6 years), but my for-real goal is DON’T GET HURT! Training for the BPAC 6 Hour Distance Classic begins on 1/1 and I don’t want to start out on the DL.

Other than scaling back to running 3 days a week, logging more time on the stationary bike, and continuing with weight training, I’ve added “drills” to my weekly workouts. The drills are basically a mix of strength training moves, plyometics, and calisthenics to help work on my agility, balance, and core. For each exercise I do 5 1-minute sets. Some days I do only one drill but other days I do 2 or 3 (today I went all crazy town and did 6!). I’ve been keeping a list of any drills I come across online, in magazines and books, or over-heard at The Very Good Run Fast Shoppe/The New Very Good Run Fast Shoppe (not their real names) on my iPhone (thank you, ghost of Steve  Jobs) to build a nice repertoire (SAT word), and I think I’ve collected a good amount to keep things fun. While the 5 sets of Mountain Climbers last week were a little rough, it was the Jump & Sticks that did me in today!

I found Jump & Sticks in an old Runner’s World article called “Plyomtric Power.” Jump & Sticks promised to improve balance and strengthen ankle, knee, and hip joints. Perfect–I need all of the above. To execute the move, you jump from and land on the balls of both feet. You want to try to jump high (not far), land with you knees bent, and hold for two to three seconds before jumping again. I thought this would be kinda easy but it was the exact opposite. Landing on the balls of your feet requires a lot of balance and then holding that position for a couple of beats before jumping again is even tougher! By the end of the third set my calves were burning and my quads weren’t feeling too fresh either.

In the privacy of my kids' playroom, I can pretend I am Lolo Jones.

When I do these drills it amazes me how out of breath I get. I can go run 10 miles no problem but any kind of jumping, hopping, or bounding and I am sucking wind BIG TIME. This only reaffirms how much I need to include moves like this in my workouts. Not only will they improve my overall fitness, but they will be especially helpful when I need to call upon those fast-twitch, speed muscles in short races like the 5K. Starting the drills now is not going to help me on 12/10, but in general I think they will help get me in better shape, stay injury-free, and run some faster times in 2012. Fingers crossed!

4 Comments leave one →
  1. 11/28/2011 10:22 PM

    I did Jillian Michaels’ Banish Fat/Boost Metabolism today and holy crap was I hyperventilating from all of the plyometrics that Jillian and the other two chicks had no trouble doing (with gigantic smiles, no less). The standing mountain climbers just about did me in and I will be sore tomorrow, but I swore to myself that post-marathon I would include more of these kinds of exercises.

    • Suzanne permalink*
      11/29/2011 2:43 PM

      I posted way, way back taht I thought BFBM was a great workout for runners–tons of plyos! It should have a better name though.

  2. 11/29/2011 2:47 PM

    The name is totally misleading. It should be called “40 Minutes of Jumping and Kicking and Punching and Sweating and Hyperventilating That Will Leave You Feeling Like an Out-of-Shape Fatass and Super-sore the Next Day”

    • Suzanne permalink*
      11/29/2011 2:50 PM

      That’s actually how I refer to my wedding night.

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