Ending the majority of your runs and workouts with strides is an effective way to both maintain footspeed and to cool the body down. These ‘elongated’ sprints can range from 50 to 200 meters. Start slowly and gradually build into a ‘slow’ sprint while exaggerating your running form and slightly lengthening your stride. You should reach your top speed two-thirds of the way in before proceeding to coast to a stop. Repeat these six to twelve times. Measure out a distance between mailboxes or landmarks in front of your house or apartment and make a habit of completing these after most of your runs. If you’re in a rush, you can also replace strides with 10-20 second accelerations with several minutes of easy running between during the last few miles of a run.
10. Strengthen – Core and Upper Body
Similar to number eight, getting in a routine of doing core-strengthening exercises and light upper-body work is an effective way to improve form and prevent injury. Make a list of ten to twenty abdominal exercises (crunches, planks, etc.) and switch it up each time, repeating each exercise for thirty seconds to a minute. When done right, push-ups and pull-ups are also great exercises for runners to help improve upper-body posture and form. As a guideline for a lot of types of supplemental work, one day per week will help maintain existing strength levels, two days per week will lead to gradual improvements, and three days a week is a really effective amount to make substantial gains.
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