Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Target® C9 through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about Target® C9 all opinions are my own.
During the winter it takes me a lot longer to warm up when I go for a run and I always remind myself that it’s important to not to judge a run by the 1st mile. Usually, when I’m training in the winter, I’m focusing a lot on my form, because I train for my races in the spring. The winter, to me, is all about building strength and getting stronger for the spring mileage. If I have to wake up earlier to get my run in, my muscles take longer to start moving so my first few miles I always use as a warm up. I usually can run a 1-2 mile warm up by my house and then do a workout later. This also allows me to wear more clothes on my warm up to shed once I’m ready to run faster. Something that I have also started to include in my workouts is running with a sled. I have never done this before, but when I’m working on increasing my speed, I feel that it has helped me become a better runner. It allows me to focus on my form when running and when I get tired it helps me run more consistently. Running with the sled is something I’ve learned through coaching my high school team. I’ve seen how much it helps them and I know this helps me improving my times.
This workout I do on the track because the sled works better on the dirt. I start with a 1 mile warm up, then do 4 150s, on the track at a faster pace. Then it’s time to put on the sled! I start with a 25 with the sled and then do a 400. With a 3 minute rest. I do 2 sets like that. Then I have a 5 minute rest. Then it’s 50 meters with the sled and a 600. 2 sets of those and then back down to the 25 meters and 400 set. 2 sets of those and then a mile cool down. It’s a really tough workout and I always feel it the next day. I finish off the set with a few plyometrics that I’ve found have really helped me as well.
The first one I do is bounding for distance and for height. I do each drill for 50 meters on the track. It helps with my knee lift and my arms. Usually longer distance runners don’t have a very good knee lift because they run so far and don’t focus on form. Doing this has improved my knee drive up hills and my overall running. It’s helpful to remind myself to pick up my knees at the end of the race when I’m trying to sprint as well.
The second drill I do is high knees. Notice a pattern? It’s all about getting my knees to lift! This helps with lifting my legs when I’m tired to keep me going and running the same pace. I am constantly reminding myself to pick my knees up when I’m running and feeling like I’m slowing down.
Even though these plyometrics take an extra ten minutes after my run, I’ve seen huge benefits by adding them in and they really help in the cold weather.