A mind once stretched by a new idea never regains its original dimensions

Welcome to day 19. Almost there. Today is another running challenge. However with the previous weeks exercises this is well within your stride. It is also time to start thinking about your post-challenge running. Begin looking for ways in which your momentum can continue, from running groups to races to enter. The future starts here.

Warm up

Complete each warm up for 30 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.

Knee Drive:  Start by taking a large step forward, drive your knee up high and let the back leg also lift and drive through the back heel. Your aim to create air with both feet. Using your arms to assist with momentum. Keep working on the same leg for around x100 metres. Then practise with the other leg on your return. 

High knees:  Drive one knee up to around 90 degrees, if not higher. At the same time step forward and drive your other knee up to 90 degrees again. Move swiftly between the two along the 100-meter distance. To assist, move the arms back and forth and keep the head high and back straight. 

Running Challenge

8 minutes run, 2-minute walk x2

Your running challenge today will epitomise the term challenge. However you already have your hill runs and an incredible activation session under your belt, both of which have built you up ready for this.

Find you favourite running route you have found so far, and try to keep up a steady pace for 8 minutes. Then allow your body to rest by walking for two minutes. Repeat this twice.

Because this run is slightly longer, remember to take a running bottle with you to keep hydrated. While this adds extra weight, this is a great way to get you used to this now as the further you go the more hydration you will need.

Running Challenge

8 minutes run, 2-minute walk x2

Your running challenge today will epitomise the term challenge. However you already have your hill runs and an incredible activation session under your belt, both of which have built you up ready for this.

Find you favourite running route you have found so far, and try to keep up a steady pace for 8 minutes. Then allow your body to rest by walking for two minutes. Repeat this twice.

Because this run is slightly longer, remember to take a running bottle with you to keep hydrated. While this adds extra weight, this is a great way to get you used to this now as the further you go the more hydration you will need.

Cool down

Hold each stretch for at least one minute

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

Myofascial Release with Ball: To release trigger points in the leg. Begin in a seated position. Place the ball underneath one leg. Lift the hips and place pressure onto the ball. Move in small circles or up and down until you find a specifically sensitive spot. Exhale and place extra pressure onto the trigger point of the fascia. Continue for a minimum of x2 minutes. Repeat on the other leg.

RUNNERS TIP

Running for less than 30 - 45 minutes would usually mean you would be ok to run without a water bottle, however it isn't a bad idea to practice running with one now. Hydration will be your saviour for longer distances and on hot days. Water will refuel your body, refresh your mind and stimulate your muscles so you can run faster, for longer.