In a bid to get running fit for Amsterdam half marathon I am paying trainer Rebecca Cox to hurt me. I would like you to share the pain. Try this interval sprint and strength session, go on I dare you.
I don’t know about you but on long runs my legs usually pack in way before my lungs and cardiovascular system. If it was up to them I could keep going much further but my bum, my bum and legs say no.
The idea of Coxy the Crucifier’s latest session is to build endurance strength in the legs and glutes through high repetition exercises. “Doing higher reps and using your body weight is a great way to build muscle for endurance,” says Rebecca. “When strength training you tend to go for heavier weights and lower reps, but by decreasing the weight and increasing the reps it gets your muscles used to working for longer and is an ideal way to build muscle functional for endurance events.”
The exercises also build lactic acid in the legs so you can practice running on them when they feel like lead and you’re totally knackered – like the end of an endurance race you see. It’s not nice. But it’s not the worst thing she’s done to me. And I have to say, running cub on Wednesday nights is starting to feel a good bit easier. If 50 burpees etc are beyond you, cut the numbers down the first time you do it and slowly build up. Maybe take a friend to time you/encourage you/share the pain.
- 50 x burpees (yep, you read that right. To warm you up (!) and tire the legs out before running)
Burpees work the whole body and the cardiovascular system. No one likes them.
- 5 x sprints to tree, lamppost or other landmark, round and back – a distance of around 200m in total. Take half the amount of time the sprint took you as rest between each run and try and complete each sprint in that time. So for example a 40 sec sprint = 20 secs rest, all sprints to be completed in 40 secs or under. Try and make your last sprint the fastest as you’ll have a minute to recover.
The tree will slow you down so you need to work harder to accelerate and build up speed again, it also helps you work on agility.
- 1 minute rest. Nice.
Round 2 – perform the exercises back to back with no rest
- 50 x squat thrusts – starting in a plank position on the floor jump your feet in towards your hands and back out again
Cardio and a good way to target your legs – particularly quads.
- 50 x squat jumps – perform a normal squat adding a jump as you power up
AAAAhhhh quads. Helps build explosive power for that sprint to the finish line.
- 50 x static lunges (25 pulses on each leg)
Quads, butt, hamstrings, owww.Your legs will be shaking by now so obviously it’s time to go straight into some more sprints.
- 5 x sprint repeats as above. Try and keep them within the same time limit if you can.
- 1 minute rest. Enjoy!
- 50 x squat thrusts (it’s going to be hard but try and keep your form on these exercises, tight core)
- 50 x squat jumps
- 1 minute holding squat – get into a squat position and hold it with legs at a 90 degree angle
- Straight into 5 x sprint repeats as above. (I nearly fell over on the first one after that holding squat)
- 1 minute rest.
Round 4 – last set of exercises, and a little bit easier this time – or they would be if you hadn’t just done all of the above
- 50 x squat thrusts
- 25 x squat jumps (50 if you can manage it but my form was going. Your squats should be nice and deep, chest up. Better to do less with good form than more with poor form.)
- 5 x sprints but this time, instead of running round the tree, run to the tree, lie down on the ground, pick yourself up as fast as you can and run straight back. This keeps the body guessing. Just in case you’ve started to get used to the sprints and find a rhythm, you are shocking your body with a new movement. Also, by this point you are extremely fatigued so the act of moving your whole body from standing to lying to standing again is a massive drain, taking up the last bit of energy you have. Tempting as it is to just keep lying there, try and do these within the same time frame as all other sprints. Pretend you’re in the army. I found it helps.
Congratulations, you are done!
Cool down, stretch out, pat yourself on the back. Boast about your hardness on social media.
If you would like to train with Rebecca Cox visit her website lifeafterdeskpt.com or give her a tweet @coxwolds Contrary to the above evidence she’s really rather nice and her prices are very competitive.