Equipment free workout to help your running

Society is sat in lockdown due to COVID-19. Under current laws you can only go outside the house once to exercise, this could soon change and leave runners stranded.

If you’re reading this and quarantine is over (Yay!), however, continue to read as you will still learn and experience something new. So, if we can’t go to the gym to train, how can we grow and adapt our training in the safety of our own home with no equipment whatsoever?

Creativity is key here, and with a little knowledge on how to target certain energy systems, we can still train our running without even leaving the house or investing in any home fitness equipment.

These workouts are designed to be time effective so they are short, but intense. Some do involve going outside but only once, if the current laws do change to stop this you can always switch up some of the warm-ups and get creative in your own way to adapt the workout as necessary.

If you are unfamiliar with any of these exercises you can check out the exercise library at the bottom to teach yourself something new. These exercises are easy to master and are extremely effective, you can take them anywhere you like, whether it be at home, at the park or in the gym.

Place a good emphasis on quality of form, doing these exercises incorrectly will make them much less effective which beats the point.

These workouts are designed to create massive physiological changes inside of your body, once you’ve powered through one of them, show some respect to yourself and get some rest so you can recover efficiently. If you don’t allow yourself to recover, you won’t see much progress, if any at all. 

Workout #1 – The Full Body:

Burpees demonstration

This full body workout will build your vo2 max as well as increase your ability to move your body, burn fat and build muscle all at the same time. Training body weight movements in this fashion will allow you to skip the gym and still get an amazing workout without the use of any weights. 

Warm up:

7-minute light run, not too fast, just get the blood pumping.

Workout:

Every exercise in this workout needs to be performed to a maximal effort. The only way you will ever get fitter, is by creating intensity. So remember, the more you put in, the more you get back. 

5 Rounds of:

TIP: If you can’t perform a standard push up or plank hold you can adapt them by placing your knees on the floor. It is always better to perform a progression of an exercise than to try and perform a sloppy version of an exercise. 

By the end of the 5 rounds you should have nothing left in the tank. Record your total number of repetitions at the end of each round, your score will be the total number of reps for all 5 rounds. (In case you were wondering, every second of a good plank hold is counted as 1 rep.)

Beginners should aim for 2-3 rounds, intermediates 3-4 and experienced should push for all 5.

The 1 minute of rest is there for a reason so don’t neglect it, during this time, pull yourself together so you have enough energy to go all out on the next round. 

Cool down:

Remember to cool down with some stretching afterwards. Control your breathing and stretch every part of your body. If you are new to stretching, see the bottom for a stretch sheet or read our article on the best stretches for runners.

Workout #2Plyometric

Pistol Squat

Plyometric exercises are designed to build Speed-Strength. Famous amongst many different types of athletes to creative explosive power. We can utilise some of these exercises to build stronger, explosive leg power for running. 

Warm up:

3 Rounds of:

Workout:

3 Rounds of:

Complete this sequence as fast as you can. Your score is the total time it takes you to finish.

Tip: This is a killer workout, if you are a beginner just go for 1 round, intermediate 2 rounds, experienced 3 rounds.

Tip: If you struggle with pistol squats, you can assist yourself by holding on to something to support your balance and you can also squat onto a chair or a table if you can’t reach the full range of motion.

Cool down:

Cool down with a walk around the block and some big leg stretches. Also spend some extra time stretching out the calves as you will have been doing a lot of jumping.

Workout #3 – The Improver:

Air Squat

To get better at running sometimes you just have to get out there and run, so it’s time to grab your favourite running shoes and go outside. This workout will build your overall running speed, vo2 max and explosive power. 

Warm up:

3 rounds of:

Then:

5-minute light jog. Take your time, it’s only a warm up.

Workout:

  • Run 1 Mile
  • Rest 3 Minutes
  • Run 0.75 Miles 
  • Rest 2 Minutes
  • Run 0.5 Miles
  • Rest 1 Minutes
  • Run 0.25 Miles 

Get yourself through this sequence as fast as you can, your score is the time it takes you to complete the workout in full. If you are new to running you can run/walk as needed as long as you can keep yourself moving.

Tip: The rest will give you more than enough recovery for the next run, so run hard and fast knowing you will get enough rest at the end of each set.

Cool down:

Brisk 5-minute walk and stretch your legs.

Up Your Game:

Your body will adapt to anything you throw at it, keep in mind that training outside of just running is essential. You have to shake things up now and then to create a new stimulus for your body to adapt to.

Throw these workouts into your routine here and there to keep your body guessing. Record your scores for each workout and repeat them every now and then, each time trying to beat your previous scores.

You should try and record all of your workouts and running times to gauge whether your training is working for you or not. Fitness is measurable, and everything that we measure can be improved upon. Love your body and enjoy your training.

Exercise library:

Pistol Squat:

Pistol Squat

From a standing position hold your arms out in front of you for balance, place one leg out in front of you and with the standing leg keep a stable foot, brace the glute, hamstring and quad. Slowly lower yourself down through the eccentric movement keeping the integrity of your core and explode back up through the concentric part of the movement. 

Jumping Switch Lunge:

Jumping Switch Lunges

From a stand position, place on foot out in front of you, keeping the knee at a 90-degree angle, lower the other knee so it just about misses the ground, control this range of motion by engaging the glute, then use both legs to propel your body upwards and switch legs whilst you are off the floor. 

Jumping Jack:

Jumping Jacks

From a standing position jump both legs outwards and at the same time rotate your arms and perform a clap over the top of your head. Then jump your feet back in so they are nearly touching and rotate your arms back down to your sides. 

Burpee:

Burpees

From a standing position crouch down and kick your legs out behind you into a push up position, your hands should be in line with your shoulders, keeping the integrity of your core perform a push up by touching your chest to the ground, then keeping your glutes engaged jump your legs back in so your knees are close to your elbows and jump up off the floor touching your hands together over your head.

Push Up:

Push Ups

Place your hands on the floor shoulder width apart and have your legs out straight with your feet together. Keep your back straight by bracing your core and touch your chest to the ground and then push back up until your elbows lock out. 

Plank Hold:

Plank Hold

Place your elbows on the floor shoulder width apart, and have your legs straight out with your feet close to one another. Hold the core tight and keep your back perfectly straight.

Air Squat:

Air Squat

Start in a standing position, your feet should be aligned just outside of your shoulders. Brace the glutes, hamstrings and quads and lower yourself down so your hips reach just below parallel. Keep everything engaged including the core and push yourself back to a stand position. 

Jumping Squat:

Jumping Squat

Start in a standing position, your feet should be aligned just outside of your shoulders. Brace the glutes, hamstrings and quads and lower yourself down so your hips reach just below parallel. Keep everything engaged including the core and explode yourself up and jump into the air so your feet just about leave the ground.

Tuck Jump:

Tuck Jump

From a standing position, hold your hands out in front of you so they are parallel to your hips. Then jump up and touch your knees to your hands, (not your hands to your knees). Stay springy on your feet to build momentum. 

Butt Kicks:

Butt Kicks

On the spot, explode one leg back and engage the hamstring until the heel of your foot touches the glute, stay light on your feet and alternate legs. 

High Knees:

High Knees

From a standing position, hold your hands out in front of you so they are parallel to your hips. Then, staying light on your feet jump one knee up to touch your hand and then repeat on the other side. 

Cool Down Stretches:

https://blog.alexandrasports.com/what-are-the-best-stretches-for-running/

If you are new to stretching, try the stretches illustrated here as they will hit the vast majority of the muscles. 

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