/ Best gym exercices to improve running

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Bjartur i Sumarhus on 22 Nov 2012
I have access to a gym which I would like to use in the morning to improve my running. Wondering if there are some "magic" exercises I can adopt to improve ? Currently just running but am sure mixing in some gym work will get me to the next level.
Bjartur i Sumarhus on 22 Nov 2012
In reply to Game of Conkers: Exercises...I swear i'm going dyslexic in my old age
David Reid - on 22 Nov 2012
why not try a rowing machine or cross trainer, if they are in the gym you use.Personally I find the only way I can improve my running is to just go that little bit further once you think you have reached the distance/ time or shit state you have come to knowing.
luna985 - on 22 Nov 2012
What are you improve - speed or distance?

As a general rule interval training/HIIT will improve both...
Bjartur i Sumarhus on 22 Nov 2012
In reply to luna985: I guess both, but suspect distance will come from running further. I'm just looking for the best complimentary gym work to a week of running approx 40-50km
The New NickB - on 22 Nov 2012
In reply to Game of Conkers:

Will depend were your running is at! What is holding you back, fitness? biomechanics? will power?
Turdus torquatus on 22 Nov 2012
In reply to Game of Conkers:

Jo Pavey ought to know what she's on about:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2009/jan/10/strength-training-running
Bjartur i Sumarhus on 22 Nov 2012
In reply to The New NickB: Nothing holding me back, just have new access to a gym that I didn't have before.

I'm thinking squats, leg extensions plus some core stability work. Was just wondering if anyone on here did the same and found any exercises particularly good for improving their running.

I'm currently running up to 10 miles but am looking to get this distance up to 15 miles
saul - on 22 Nov 2012
In reply to Game of Conkers:

Just run more! 15 miles a week is nothing, integrate some different sessions speed work, tempo, hills, long slow distance. If your training to reach your potential and have other family/work commitments you shouldn't really have time for anything but running. If you want to build mileage slowly just cross train, eliptical/bike will build leg strength as well as imroving aerobic fitness. Most of the elite distance runners I know don't do gym work unless of course they are injured and looking for something else to do.
Bjartur i Sumarhus on 22 Nov 2012
In reply to saul: 15 miles for one run...currently running about 40-50km a week but struggle with the time committment. Hard to find the time to run longer than 1.5hrs at a time in the week.

So basically I run 4-5 times a week. But can now go to the gym every day before work and easily do 30 mins of specific exercises. SO was looking for advice FOR THOSE SESSIONS ;-)
saul - on 22 Nov 2012
In reply to Game of Conkers:

Ok I get you. Looks like you've got it sorted then running 5/6 days a week with all the right sessions in there should have you coming on nicely over time.

From personal experience and from others I've trained with hitting a decent spot of form can take 12 months of consistant training two years being the real aim. Consistancy being the key and progressing your sessions making them harder and harder. Increasing speed and duration and decreasing recovery over the weeks and months.

I guess like you said core strength is something you could work on but unless this is really poor I don't personally see any correlation from when I have awesome core strength to when I do not possess these powers in my running ability. I run best when I have trained most which is incidentally when I hav climbed little and therefore am weak due to little stregth training.

I think leg strength is best improved through hill work and cycling, this way you can kill two birds with one stone by increasing base aerobic fitness. I you want to do gym work for general conditioning or aesthetics then great but if you want to get as good as you possibly can at running use the time to run more.
dave frost - on 22 Nov 2012
In reply to Game of Conkers: without doubt the best exercise is the front squat.

Cheers
Dave
Ben Sharp - on 22 Nov 2012
In reply to Game of Conkers: imo the best strength exercises for running don't need a gym. Split squats, clam, leg raises, heel lifts etc. type strength training running into you tube and do the ones you find hardest.
The New NickB - on 22 Nov 2012
In reply to Game of Conkers:

You want to run further, do you want to run faster? It is good to have a bit of time to stretch and work on core stability, but remember core work is quite difficult to get right. The secret to running further is just carrying on, the more you do it the easier it gets, but looking after your body will make this easier.

Any sort of intense exercise will help with fitness and dealing with those hard miles, a lot of very good athletes swear by spinning. Are you just going out running or doing speed work of some sort? A mix of intervals on the treadmill and to a lesser degree other cardio machines will help with this.
SteveRi - on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to Game of Conkers:
When I worked across from a gym, I used to do tabata intervals on the treadmill and stability stuff - one legged squats, weighted, different angles, bosu ball, etc. Insurance work for a multiply sprained ankle. Plus a bit of upper body for vanity.
hydraulicwave - on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to Game of Conkers: Burpees
nw - on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to steveri:
> (In reply to Game of Conkers)
> When I worked across from a gym, I used to do tabata intervals on the treadmill and stability stuff - one legged squats, weighted, different angles, bosu ball, etc. Insurance work for a multiply sprained ankle. Plus a bit of upper body for vanity.

Agree with this. Unless you are a sprinter I think the best use of gym time for a runner is injury prevention/rehab. Try and increase your durability.

Steff - on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to Game of Conkers:

I have noticed an improvement in my ability maintain running form over long periods of time since I started working the core.
Running form in terms of "bounciness" can also benefit from plyometric exercises.
However, I personally would not do either of these in the gym due to personal preference. I also have a gym next to work which I can use and the one thing I use is the shower after running to work ;-)
IainRUK - on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to Game of Conkers: I'd just do core and stretching, then further cardio, bike etc.
wbo - on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to Game of Conkers: What is your basic training like now? To be honest while I'm aware of Jo Pavey and many other athletes going to the gym it would not be my 1st port of call to get to the next level.

It can indeed be helpful for strenghening the core, but for many runners doing leg exercises, weights will not be especially helpful, and if you really mash your legs up (and 30 mins a day is plenty to do that) your ability to do the more useful running bit might decrease.

Are you , for example, doing any 'proper' hills. Not a hilly run, but hills per se.?
Bjartur i Sumarhus on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to wbo: Nearly all my running is pretty flat. Not very hilly around my office. Weekends its undulating but not hilly in the sense of proper hills.

I think my the answer to my question was above. Use the gym for knee stability work, core strength and stretching. Maybe even the odd bench press ;-)
IainRUK - on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to Game of Conkers: I think biking can help with the hills, I'd bike more then.. tbh I'd try as much as feasible to increase mileage..
Sebastian Fontleroy - on 24 Nov 2012
In reply to Game of Conkers:

I'd recommend plyometric exercises. Bodyweight movements where you have to explode like sprints, box jumps, squat jumps, strides, high knee raises (jog on the spot), lunge jumps. If you're distance running a lot you wont build muscle. Well not enough to hinder.

Be warned that these carry risk of injury if not warmed up thoroughly.

Try Tabata sprints, they are a killer. Try tagging one of these onto the end of a 30 min run. I'm not saying it's magical but you may notice a spring in your step on your next run (if sufficiently rested).

Seb
wbo - on 24 Nov 2012
I would imagine hills will be the thing that can have the most impact - what are you intending to run, race. I used to do a session that would benefit most people between 800m and 5k, and a good 5k is a requisite for 10k, 1/2 mar. I lived in the Fens with my parents, and would jog for a few k's to a road bridge that was circa 150 - 170 m over the railway - when you've warmed up from the jog wallop up at full whack, then jog slowly down, and repeat. Don't walk, don't jog fast. Start with 8, build to 12. Jog home.
For those who fancy themselves as tougher I used to this - warm up, 6 * 3 minutes rolling in Richmond Park, 15 mins jog, do the hills as above and struggle home. I got that from some very good runners.
After either of the above your legs will hurt for a few days.
lost1977 - on 24 Nov 2012
In reply to Game of Conkers:

ukc doesnt like the link but look for the article by charles poliquin called ten reasons why runners should include weight training. very good source for training information
Sebastian Fontleroy - on 25 Nov 2012
In reply to lost1977:

Interesting article, thanks for posting. The pitcher squats were something to take away with you. Haven't done them before and will be adding them to my leg routine.

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