Wednesday, January 20, 2021
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6 ways to improve your running in lockdown

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With runners in lockdown around the world, you might be wondering how you can use this time wisely. We’re not talking about finishing 1,000-piece puzzles, reading a book a day or learning to speak Japanese. No, we’re talking about the things you can do at home right now to improve your running in lockdown.

It might be a while before we’re racing again, but that doesn’t mean you can’t improve your running performance at home in lockdown. Here are some of our top ideas.

This article includes affiliate links that help to support Run Deep. 

Do some yoga

Yoga isn’t just for the super flexible. Even the most rigid runner with the tightest hamstrings can benefit from this ancient form of exercise. You just need to find the right kind for you. You can go for the full yoga experience, including advice on breathing and meditation – perfect if you need to relax. Or you can find short routines that use yoga-based moves to help you stretch those aching limbs.

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There are many benefits of yoga for runners, including increased leg and core strength, improved mindfulness and awareness, and injury prevention. 

Why not build it in to your lockdown routine? Here are some online videos that we like, but there are plenty of them available.

Yoga For Runners – Physical & Mental Stamina 

Yoga For Runners – Cool Down Sequence

30min Yoga For Runners

YOGA for Runners – Beginner’s Routine to IMPROVE Running

Core Balance Yoga Mat, Thick Foam 6mm, Non Slip, Exercise Fitness Gym, Compact Lightweight With Carry Strap
  • PERFECT THICKNESS FOR YOGA PRACTISE: 6mm thick foam to reduce fatigue and safeguard from injury when working...
  • NON-SLIP FOR SUPERIOR SUPPORT & STABILITY: Foam has a textured surface for superior stickiness. Provides...

Last update on 2021-01-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Incorporate strength work to improve your running form

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Most of us know that doing strength work can really help to improve our running, but we don’t all make it a priority. It’s hard enough fitting in all the runs we want to do around work and family.

But now is a great time to get some strength work done, especially if you can’t get out for a run as much or at all. If you have weights around the house, maybe it’s time to get reacquainted with them. Or you can fashion your own weights using household objects. You might even be able to find some online, though there has been a shortage.

There is nothing wrong with sticking to body weight workouts either. These are great for improving your strength.

Try and find programmes that are tailored for runners. These will often concentrate on things like leg strength, particularly single leg work, to help strengthen your legs for running. And don’t neglect your core either – a strong core makes for a strong runner.

Here are some online videos that we like to help you master the basics, but there are lots more:

Runners’ Strength Workout – Quick & Easy

Strength And Conditioning Training For Runners

Kettle Bell Workout For Runners

Do your stretches

How often do you actually stretch properly after a run? Every single time, just when you remember, or never? Maybe you’ve even been into physio recently and have a series of stretches you’re supposed to do to help with an injury or niggle.

Well, now is the time to get on time of some decent stretching. Chances are your running load has reduced, so use some of the time that would otherwise be spent running doing some quality stretching.

Get yourself a decent book on stretching, or have a look for an online guide. These can help you target any problem areas and make sure you’re getting the most out of your stretches.

Last update on 2021-01-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Use a foam roller

Ah, the good old foam roller. It can be the runner’s worst torture device or best friend, depending on your perspective. But while you’re at home in a lockdown, you probably aren’t getting any niggles seen to. And if you’re used to have regular sports massages, your legs might start to tell you about it soon.

A good session with a foam roller has great benefits for runners. A foam roller can help you to work away those niggles and rehab your body. Make the most of this enforced cutdown in your running load and really focus on getting your legs in prime condition.

Foam rollers vary in quality, size, knobbliness (is that a word?) and price, so you’ll need to do your research. There are vibrating ones, such as those offered by Pulseroll, which are more expensive, but can give you a much deeper experience.

However, even a budget roller will give you a good massage where you need it. Consider checking out some foam rolling videos on YouTube to get an idea of how to target key muscle groups.

Improve your running with HIIT

If you’re missing weekly speed or interval sessions, or if you never do that kind of running, you can really benefit from incorporating some High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) to help improve your running in lockdown.

HIIT training means working at a high intensity for a short period of time, followed by a short recovery. If you’ve been roped into doing PE with Joe Wicks, then you already have some HIIT in your life. The great thing about HIIT workouts are that you can get them over and done with pretty fast. The average session is usually 20-30 minutes in total – easy to fit into your day.

HIIT session often include things like plyometrics (jump training), which can help strengthen your body for the impact of running. There are usually lots of squats and lunges too for leg strength, and ad exercises for a strong core.

Read a running book

Running books come in a number of different types, but many of them can help you improve your running in lockdown. Whether you’re reading for inspiration or trying to educate yourself, there is definitely a running book out there for you.

We have previously collected together a choice of 9 books about running we think are worth reading, so do check that out if you’re in need of some inspiration.

80/20 Running: Run Stronger and Race Faster By Training Slower
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Fitzgerald, Matt (Author)
Jog On: How Running Saved My Life
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Mackie, Bella (Author)

Last update on 2021-01-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

What have you been getting up to in lockdown? Have you tried anything new, or varied your routine? Let us know in the Comments or on our social media channels. 

Main image by happyveganfit from Pixabay 

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