Learn over 50 drills that will improve the strength, power, and speed of distance runners of all levels!
- Get functional exercises designed to increase the static and dynamic core strength of your runners.
- Learn a functional, progressive power training sequence of drills tailored for coaches and athletes that may not have access to a weight room or traditional resistance training facilities
- See a dynamic, variable, and extensive agility and power progression of exercises designed to improve the stability, explosive strength, and speed of your athletes
with Andrea Grove-McDonough,
Iowa State University Head Women's Cross Country Coach;
2014 NCAA Cross Country Runners-Up;
Back-to-Back Big 12 Champions (2-13-14);
2008 Canadian Olympic Trials 10,000 meter Champion, 2x Canadian National Titleist, 7x National Canadian Team Member, NCAA All-American at 1500 meters
with Troy McDonough,
Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist;
Physical Therapist and Assistant Track Coach at Iowa State University;
NCAA Division 1 All-American in Decathlete, Member of 2006-2007 United States Bobsled Team
Traditional distance running coaches have primarily focused their efforts toward, and spent their training time on, increasing the aerobic running volume of their athletes. They have little consideration of one simple fact: running is the prolonged repetition of a series of one-legged hops—an activity that demands far more functional strength and power than most coaches (and runners) realize or train to enhance.
Using a progressive approach intended to address the needs of the beginning (or low-strength, low-coordination) runner, up to and including elite-level competitors, coaches Andrea Grove-McDonough and Troy McDonough demonstrate a range of progressive and challenging exercises. These range from static and dynamic core strength and stability enhancements, to a multi-joint-focused medicine ball series, to a highly advanced agility and power ladder progression. Employing high-level male and female distance runners to show how to do each activity properly , the McDonoughs include detailed, essential explanations of key coaching points and make technical corrections of the demonstrations.
Strength and Power Series
In this teaching unit, learn how and why to incorporate strength training exercises with functional plyometrics designed to improve your runners' ability to maintain speed on the stable, but unlevel terrain that characterizes cross country running. You'll also learn to enhance in-race acceleration as well as finishing speed for middle and distance track racers. Included are:
- Properly executed back squats with a barbell and an appropriate amount of weight followed by a squat jump to expand an athlete's strength, power, and neural functionality.
- Single-leg body weight squats from atop a 24" box in combination with single-leg squat jumps to increase a runner's power plant.
- Box step-ups with a barbell followed by alternating-leg box jumps to develop functional strength and power and provide a significant, meaningful challenge for even the highest level runners.
Agility Power Ladder Progression
Faster running in races begins with training to run faster, and having strong stabilizer muscles around the hips, knees, and ankles is essential to fast running and injury prevention. In this unit, learn how to incorporate a speed/agility ladder via a myriad of physically—and mentally—challenging coordination and quickness exercises.
- The Double Forward Quick Foot exercise, though relatively low-impact, is a drill that encourages explosive forward movement designed to reduce ground contact time, which is the key to running speed.
- The Single Forward Quick Foot exercise makes the transition to single-leg support and challenges the athlete to maintain quickness and posture in a highly functional drill.
- The highly functional, highly challenging Single-Leg Zig-Zag Hop demands focus, dynamic strength and coordination from the athlete. As with all the higher-level exercises, McDonough emphasizes that this drill should only be undertaken when the athlete has mastered the preceding exercises.
You will notice that the use of high-level athletes to demonstrate these exercises—from the most fundamental to the most advanced—allows you to see them performed properly, which is an invaluable aid when it comes time to incorporate them into your t
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