Plyometrics! and My Running

WOW, thank you so much for the feedback from yesterday’s post.  Sounds like (hopefully) people understood what I was trying to convey! I was very worried about that! And just in case I wasn’t clear yesterday…. I get passed ALL THE TIME!!!! I mean seriously. Living on a college campus… the Indiana University XC team makes me look like I am running backward. No joke. But I myself LOVE when they give a wave, smile, etc.

… And from the sound of it, so do you guys! So I will continue with what feels natural! Being Merry about Running 🙂

Oh, and this sunset happened the other day.

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….I mean Praise the Lord, huh? Gorgeous.

Now, on to the topic of the day…

I always seem to get on these “kicks”… sprinting…spinning….HIIT…CrossFit…weightlifting…

(FYI running is a constant throughout these obsessions!)

But, I love getting into new activities and discovering alternative ways to challenge myself!

My new thing as of late? PLYOMETRICS!

Plyometrics— “Jump Training” to develop our fast-twitch muscles, power, and speed.

And boy have I spent an embarrassing amount of hours researching the benefits, practice, and incorporation of plyometrics into running workouts. Lots of articles, demo videos, blog reading from other runners, etc.

Here are some “bites” from the articles:

Eighteen competitive distance runners followed a six-week plyometrics program in addition to their usual training, while another 18 runners of similar ability carried on with their normal routines. Before and after the six-week period, the runners did a series of tests, including two sprints and a 2400-meter (roughly 1.5-mile) time trial. The plyometrics group lowered their 20-meter and 2400-meter times by 2.3% and 3.9%, respectively, while the control group didn’t improve on the tests at the end of the six weeks.”

The studies have shown that even less than two months of this [plyometric] type of training will translate into tangible improvements in the efficiency of a runner.

“Plyometric training has been shown to be an important part of training a distance runner to recruit muscle fibers most efficiently.”

Whelp… sounds pretty good to me! I read lots more articles but don’t feel the need to bore you all. You get the point!

So what are some Plyometric exercises?

-Well, really anything that gets you “bouncing”… quick movements, up on your toes, minimal contact on the ground, engaging fast twitch muscles… just a few examples:

  1. squat jumps
  2. stairs/bleachers
  3. long-jumps (hops)
  4. single leg jumps
  5. box jumps
  6. Single leg Hurdles

And Running Times even puts it into a nice little Schedule for us 🙂 They are so considerate to planning it out for us…

Week Single Leg Hops Bleacher Hops Double Leg Bounds Alternate Leg Bounds Squat Jumps Depth Jumps Box Jumps
1 2 x 10 2 x 10
2 2 x 10 2 x 10
3 2 x 10 2 x 10 2 x 10 2 x 10
4 2 x 10 2 x 10 2 x 10 2 x 10 2 x 10
5 2 x 10 2 x 10 2 x 10 2 x 10 2 x 10 2 x 10 2 x 10
6 2 x 10 2 x 10 2 x 10 2 x 10 2 x 10 2 x 10 2 x 10

**If you click on THIS link, you will see the article, this schedule, and a description of the workouts at the bottom of the page!

There is so much info out there that if you Google/YouTube some workouts and techniques you will find lots of great advice!

The Kenyans and other TOP marathon runners use this drills on a weekly basis… if nothing else it is a great warm-up or cool-down to our runs to loosen us up (while building our strength and speed!)

News in MY Running Life

In semi-related news… I have out of the blue pulled a little muscle in my hip/groin. Literally cannot remember doing it or anything, but I woke up on Monday and it was bothering. I ran 6 miles on it, which, shockingly enough, did not help ha.

SOOOOO…. I am taking time off of running! Doing weightlifting, stretching, abs, pushups, crosstraining, PLYOMETRICS… and funny enough I am absolutely not worried/upset/stressed about this. I think I have finally learned that I go through “running spurts” and I will not at all lose any speed/endurance if I take a week–or two– off! In fact, knowing my body as I do, I will feel GREAT when I come back! It will be perfect as the Richmond Marathon is around the corner!! 🙂

Have a Great Wednesday my Friends! You are all lovely, such kind people! I love your comments and feedback and sharing running/stresses/LIFE with you all!

Have you done any Plyometric work for running or other sports? Thoughts?

What are you most looking forward to this weekend?!

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21 comments

  1. hey- be careful, I pulled something in my hip/groin a couple years ago and kept running on it. It turned into a stress fracture and I was out of running for 18months!

    1. Ahhh!!! Thank you so so much for the heads up!! I will be extra careful– I know hips are nothing to mess around with! Believe it or not… I am much better with taking injuries seriously now than i was a few years ago. So I am taking it easy and doing weight lifting and stuff for a while. Give them a break! Already it is feeling so much better since I “stopped” right away. Seriously though, thank you for the words of caution!! Runners need to remind/hold eachother accountable sometimes! we can get a little intense sometimes! Have a good one!

  2. pickyrunner · · Reply

    Wooooo good for you taking time off! If I’ve learned anything, it’s that I enjoy my runs a lot more if I am not in pain during them. Go figure, right? 😉 it’s nice that you have these other workouts to keep you busy and excited about working out and I hope you heal fast!

    1. haha I know funny how pain free running is more fun!! Why does it take us so long to learn things that the rest of the population seems to understand fine?!?! Runners…..
      Thanks Sarah! Already I am feeling better! I definitely caught it early and stopped right after i noticed it!

  3. Yay for you not being stressed!! I know I would be if I couldn’t run haha. I had a coach in high school trying to get me to do plyometrics, that was hard!! He had me doing box jumps, and I felt like I was moving in slow motion, which I think I was since he was always telling me faster! Defiantly a challenge, now I need to find a box so I can do these, because well, I like a challenge 🙂 Most looking forward to my boyfriend coming home for the weekend, and just getting done with some homework, so I can relax and catch up on shows!

    1. I know it is is good i am not stressed over it…. but that is probably because school is AWFUL right now and all my stress is directed towards exams/midterms!! I am sure I will get antsy here verrrrrry soon!
      Yay for spending time with your boyfriend!! Have fun!
      I LOVE box jumps! love love love!
      And I HEAR YA on tv shows!! I am dying to watch some I missed!

  4. This is in response to your post on encouraging other runners…a day late and a dollar short; that’s me. If i pass someone running slower than me (infrequently happens) I’ll raise my hand to acknowledge them and maybe say “good-morning/evening” whatever the case may be. The same goes when I meet up with someone going in the opposite direction. That wave is meant to acknowledge them as a fellow runner and that we are all in this together….the fast….not so fast…and the in-between. If I pass a girl and say something like “looking good” I wouldn’t want her to think I meant physical looks and make her feel uncomfortable when I actually meant her effort was looking good…if that makes any sense. If I’m on the track and there are kids running I generally say something encouraging but once again I’d never want to make someone feel threatened or uncomfortable while out on their run.

    1. GREAT advice… I think as a young women I probably don’t come off too threatening… but that is very very considerate that you are aware that you (as a man) might. I never feel uncomfortable or threatened by other runners– guys or girls. I see all runners as RUNNERS. The men do not make me uncomfortable… and I think a lot of women runners feel similar. I Love encouraging younger kids who are running!! yayy gotta get those kids into the running club at a young age 🙂
      I love when faster runners encourage me… so I will keep on encouraging them! Thanks for the advice!! Have a good one!

  5. Thanks for the head’s up on the plyometrics! Also, looks like your sky was on fire! Beautiful!

    1. I knowwww the sky WAS on fire! I was walking out of the grocery and I was shocked and commented on how beautiful the sky was to whomever was around me. They were strangers. And they just stared. And said nothing. Evidently they don’t appreciate beautiful things!!!!

      1. Bummmmer! I’m glad you noticed it though!

  6. Polymetrics sounds intense…i totally go through phases with other types of cross training too.

    1. I think they can be as intense as we want them to be… but I remember we did them for soccer and they were great! I am going to really do them now while I take some time off from running!

  7. What a gorgeous sunset! Taking time off running can be good…I just took two weeks off myself. Enjoy broadening your workout regimen!

    1. Yay so glad to hear positive feedback regarding the break! 🙂 I think it will definiely only HELP… glad you are back at it though!
      Have a good one!

  8. Ok first of all that sunset is AMAZING!!!!! So pretty!! I want to be focusing more on these types of workouts right now so I love that they do so much for your running. I hate the thought that by doing something else I might be losing all the work I did this summer, but it’s not true with plyo!

    1. I know I always hate the thought that I am goign to ‘lose” my endurance… but i think in this case it is great for our muscles to do some different exercises so they are stronger for our running!
      and our bodies will always “remember” the act of running and be able to bouce back fast! We have the endurance inside of us!! we would have to take literally 10 years off of running to literally start from ground zero haha

      1. It’s true. It just feels like it sometimes haha

  9. 1.You live so close to me! ( I think)
    2. The sunset ! *drools*
    3. Box jumps killed my shins in high school. I did the wrong motions with my arms for an entire season so I always crashed into the wooden and metal boxes…which took some flesh with every fall. Totally worth it though!
    4. Cheers to not being stressed friend! Love the improvements I see in you..you know what I mean. ❤

    1. Ahh do we live close?!?! 🙂
      Box jumps! yes they take some coordination so as not to end up with scrapes up/down the shins! ouch!!
      Yes I DO know what you mean… and thank you so so much 🙂
      Hope you have a wonderful Sunday and a great week ahead!

      1. I moved to the Buckeye State a few months ago!
        Thank you, I hope that you have a fantastic week!

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