If you sacrifice early, you will win late.

Welcome to day 14! Two thirds of the way through and your goal is well within your reach. Think beyond you goal too, and where you may want your running journey to go after this challenge. With today's challenge take it slowly and listen to your body, take breaks when you need. No matter your goal, big or small, you can do it!

Warm Up

Complete each warm up for 20 reps

Leg Swings: Keeping one leg stationary, slowly swing the opposite leg forward and backwards in a single smooth movement. The aim here is to stretch the back of your hamstring as you swing your leg forwards, therefore after a few swings, aim for your leg to swing higher. 

Adductor Leg Swings: As you swing your leg back across, aim to drive your leg up high, opening and warming up your hip. Ensure to repeat the same motion with your other leg, crossing back and forth, aiming to open your hip high on each repetition. 

Opening the Gate: Stand tall, engage your core, and pull your shoulder blades down and back.  Move this leg in and across the centre of your body (your left knee should cross over the right leg). Abduct (move out) to the left, opening your hip as far as possible. 

Closing the Gate: Similar to opening the gate, this time you are driving your leg up out to the side to begin with, then you drive your knee and leg into your midline and down. Make sure to keep your core tight, hips pointing forward, and body still while closing the gate. 

Walking Lunges: Have open shoulders and a straight back, tuck your pelvis sightly. Stand upright, feet together, and take a controlled step forward with your right leg, lowering your hips toward the floor by bending both knees to 90-degrees. 

Kick Backs: Quickly bend your left leg behind you, almost connecting your left foot to your left glute, repeat the same motion with your right. As you begin to perfect this motion, speed it up.

Running Challenge

Find a hill, 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off for 10 minutes.

Todays running challenge is completely different to those of its predecessors. Today we are introducing hill training. This is great for endurance training. Find a hill location near to you. If you would like to push yourself a bit further aim for a slightly steeper hill. 

By including regular hill training within your running routine,you will improve your leg muscles and strength, which will transfer into your regular running, improving your speed, technique and ability.

Find a hill, 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off for 10 minutes. Return to the base of the hill if your hill is shorter and repeat.

Cool down

3 Step Rotational Hamstring Stretch Driving both hands down to your feet, twist your torso so you aim to try and connect with the back of your heels. Repeat to the other side. Next, take a step further in and again drive both hands around the side of your body to try and touch around the back of your heels as much as you can. Third step, take another step in, your feet should now be touching. Repeat on both sides. 

Deep Lunge leg Lift: Bring the right leg into a lunge position at the front. Lift the back left leg to open the stretch within the groin area. Create small circles or movement back and forth. Where you may feel a tender spot, bounce a little to open the stretch. 

Foam Roll Glute:  Ensure a mat is on the floor. Pick up a foam roller and place in on the mat. Sit directly on top of the foam roller, so that its right underneath your glute. Place both hands behind you for support, and bend both legs. You can use your left hand to gently place your right ankle onto your left knee. Gently roll back and forth until you find any other trigger point in the fascia tissue. You will feel where the trigger points are by the level of sensitivity. 

Foam Roll Hamstring: Find a spot on the floor where you can roll out. There should be at least enough space for you to lie down comfortably. Place the roller on the floor and sit down in front of it. Place the back of one knee on top with the foam roller facing horizontally. Prop yourself up on your hands next to your glutes. Bend the leg that isn't on the roller and plant that foot on the ground. Walk your hands toward the roller so that it rolls up your hamstrings. Go slowly up the entire back of your leg until you get to the point where your leg meets your hips. Stop there and roll back down to the bottom of your knee. As you roll, turn your leg to the left and right to hit different parts of your hamstring.

Myofascial Pole: Using a pole or another household item like a broom, place yourself onto your knees and bring the pole to the back of the knee. Slowly sit down onto the pole and breathe through the sensation (which will be quite intense!). Hold for 15-20 seconds, slightly lift the legs up and bring the pole down by 1cm. Place weight back onto the pole and repeat further down the calf. You may find as you reach the bottom of the calf that you may ned to apply extra pressure onto the pole. You can do this with both hands.

RUNNERS TIP

If you enjoyed today's session, look into Fartlek. As strange as it sounds, it is Swedish for "speed play" and improves your speed and endurance over time. It is a form of continuous running, where you play around with your speed, from periods of fast, and slowing down to an easier pace. Give it a go on your next run day!