Introduction to Strength Endurance Exercises – PART 2

It’s essential that you review the article on Introduction to Strength Endurance Exercises for a complete detailed description of technique for each exercise and suggested progressions.

How do I know which participants can handle these exercises?
You can introduce these exercises to all of the 3 program groups.  It is important that as a Leader you are very familiar with the exercises, can comfortably demonstrate and critique your participants, and clearly understand the gradual progression.  It is not “written in stone” as to how your group will do, and that’s why you need to assess your group each week as to how they are progressing with the exercises, and decide if and when they are ready to progress to the next level of difficulty.

*Please note it is not essential that you include these exercises if you are not comfortable.  I would suggest that Run10KFaster groups would benefit the most and have the most interest in incorporating these exercises on clinic day.  For Walk10K and LearnToRun10K groups it would be fun and an added bonus, but it is not necessary.  I know in the past my own walkers and those learning to run thoroughly enjoyed doing the exercises, and definitely became stronger and more coordinated.

Recap:   Strength Endurance Exercises
*Remember to check the details in the Strength Endurance Article

General Progressive Pattern for the following exercises: 
Start with 10 steps each leg.  Progress to 15 steps, then 20 steps, every other week.
Walking A's: 
Skipping A's
Running A's (Run10Kfaster only)

Walking "Over-the-barrel" B's
Skipping B's
(You'll notice no Running B's)

C's (butt-kicks)

Lunges:  Start with 5 lunges, then 10, then 15, then 20, every other week.
Happy Feet to finish:  Start with 5 seconds, with a shuffle-jog in-between.  Repeat once.  Every other week progress to repeat twice.  Then 3 times.  That may be enough.  If participants would like more, you can decide to increase the time to 10 seconds and more, depending on how they are handling the exercise.

Key Words:
Constant reminder to be vocal!
Up on the toes, eyes are straight ahead, body posture is upright, tall and relaxed, shoulders square, stomach muscles held firm, back nice and tall.

Progression Details:
Do all exercises.  Start with a very comfortable, easy pace, working on technique and familiarity with the exercise.  Just as on Leader Day, have participants line up across an imaginary start line.  Leaders should demonstrate the exercise, and then have participants mirror the exercise for 10 seconds to start, or 10 steps each leg.  Shake out the legs, and walk or jog back to the “start line.”  Repeat the pattern for each exercise.  Gradually progress to 15 seconds, or 15 steps each leg, and finally 20 seconds, or 20 steps each leg.  Progress each week according to how your group responds to the exercises.  Similar to Leader Day in the gym, the distance covered is minimal as the steps are tiny:  approximately 0.5-1 foot for each step, so that for 10 steps each leg only about 10 feet are covered in distance.  Finish with the Lunges and Happy Feet as indicated. 

Walk10K and LearnToRun10K
Slow progression.  Comfortable, easy pace.  These exercises can be done as part of the warm-up, after the easy walk warm-up and dynamic stretches.  Participants may never progress to the Advanced Level where they would work on each exercise for 20 seconds at a brisk pace.  The exercises provide variety, and they will help participants to gain strength and improve their walking and running technique.

As with the Walk10K and LearnToRun10K, at an easy pace to start make slow progressions.  Each week, add more steps, and eventually they will progress to the Advanced Level, performing the exercises each for 20 seconds at a brisk pace.

These are excellent preparation for the clinic workout, done just after the easy jog warm-up and dynamic stretching, before they start the workout.

Final Thoughts:

  • Explain that the suggested exercises are popular and regularly used by  running/walking circles to help technique by strengthening specific running/walking muscles
  • They are excellent before and after a walk/run session, but are easiest to use as part of the warm-up just before the main part of the session begins.
  • Make sure as Leaders you can demonstrate each exercise comfortably
  • Watch for use of arms/body posture/on the toes
  • Make sure participants take TINY steps and only cover about 0.5-1 foot in distance for each step.



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