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Circuit Training

Published on June 16, 2020

Circuit Training – Combined Speed-work and Strength

During these times when gym access is limited it remains important to continue with your strength training to keep injuries in check. We recommend the Forerunners fundamental exercises to maintain basic strength. You can add circuit training to your weekly routine to add variety to your training, and improve strength.

Circuit training has many different forms. For example you can move quickly between different strength exercise stations. ex. 20 push-ups, 20 sit-ups, 20 burpees, 20 lunges with 30 second break between. Other circuit training you use weight machines and quickly rotate between machines. The circuit training that I am referring to is when you add running intervals between exercises or drills.

The fundamental running exercises we recommend on a regular basis:

1) Single leg mini squat knee bends

2) Single leg calf drops

3) Front and side planks/ crunches

Running Drills completed after long runs and tempo workouts:

1) A drill

2) B drill

3) C drill

4) Side shuffles

5) Grapevine/cross over side shuffles

6) Lunges

7) Skating lunges

8) Double leg hops

9) Single hops

Here are three examples of workouts that combine speed with strength. During these workouts you are using the strength exercise as part of the recovery between the running intervals.

a) Short intervals (strength and sprint speed)  – Warm-up for 2km + complete the 9 running drills listed above with 100m to 200m sprints run at 1 mile race pace between each drill + 2km warm-down.

b) Medium Intervals (strength and VO2 Max) – Warm-up 2km + run 400m at 5km pace, followed by 20 sit-up recovery, run 400m at 5km pace, followed by 20 push-ups, run 400m at 5km pace, followed by 10 lunges, run 800m at 5km pace followed by 20 x burpees + 2km warm-down. Your total time for recovery between the running intervals should be 2 minutes including the strength exercises.

c) Long intervals (strength and tempo) – Warm-up for 2km + complete the 9 running drills listed above with 800m repeats run at tempo pace in between each running drill + 2km warm-down. Your total time for recovery between the running intervals should be 2 minutes including the running drills.

You can circuit train on grass fields or wood chip circuits such as Douglas Park, which gives you a chance to workout on a soft surface. Circuit training was popular in the 70s and 80s but over time it was found that focusing on specific strength and specific running workouts at separate times yielded more efficient results. Circuit training may not be the most optimal way to train but during these times when gyms are closed it is one of the better ways to stay strong and healthy. Its an excellent workout you can do on your own or in socially distant small groups. Circuit training is another fun way to keep fit and run faster!

Contributors

Carey Nelson
Co-Owner - Forerunners Main Street & Clinic Director (2007)

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