Technical Tip- How To Improve Your Pace Through Plyometric Exercises
By Specialist Run Coach Lydia Palmieri
We all know that hills and interval speed work increase pace. BUT, explosive plyometric moves also help us become faster runners.
Explosive dynamic moves that incorporate jumping and bounding as well as quick changes in direction and speed help you develop the elastic tissue components needed to maximize efficiency and power. When you do plyometrics, you are developing, stressing, and training your nervous system to efficiently perform a task, which will then translate into faster running.
Here are some examples you can try, but please always warm up with some dynamic stretching. Never perform these exercises without a proper warm up routine.
Lower slightly into a squat position and quickly jump to your left side, aiming to cover as much distance as possible. Land softly on your left foot and immediately jump to the right side. Continue until you cannot maintain speed or distance, or no longer than 20 seconds.
Stand on your right leg. Jump up, driving your left knee up. Use your arms to help propel you forward. Continue to jump forward, aiming to spend a very short time on the ground. Jump until you can’t maintain speed or distance, or no longer than 20 seconds. Repeat on the other leg.
Stand on a sturdy box, step, or bench. Jump down and immediately explode upward, jumping as high as possible. Walk back to starting position on the box. Repeat until your jump height shortens, or no longer than 20 seconds.
Assume a push up position. Bracing your core, keep your upper body rigid while you alternate driving each knee forward as quickly as possible. Focus on keeping your core stable throughout the movement. Stop when speed decreases, or no longer than 20 seconds.
Stand tall. Brace your core and explode upward, jumping as high as possible. Land softly on the balls of your feet and immediately repeat. Stop when jump height shortens, or no longer than 20 seconds.
Put some of these exercises into your next strength session and see the difference in your running.