You already call yourself a runner, but now you are interested in finding ways to get faster and stronger. By mixing things up and adding a few cross-training elements to your workout, such as jumping rope or throwing around a medicine ball, you’ll be going farther than ever before.
Jump Rope Basics
Running is all about endurance, speed and strength, something boxers know a thing or two about. Steal one of the biggest training tools of the ring, the jump rope, and get faster on your feet. The quick jumps increase your stride frequency and build your aerobic conditioning, muscle endurance and power, according to boxing trainer Ross Enamit on the “Runner’s World” website.
Medicine Ball Basics
No matter what sport you do, all of your power begins in your core. This is especially true for runners because a strong core transfers this power down into your hip, buttock and leg muscles so you can run with more power and speed. With a medicine ball, you can develop a strong set of abdominal muscles, hip flexors, glutes and lower-back muscles so you’ll be able to pound the pavement longer without the fear of injury or fatigue.
Jump Rope Workout
When adding this new intense exercise to your routine, start slowly. No matter how conditioned you feel you are as a runner, jumping rope can surprise you with its intensity. Start conservatively with six repetitions that are 30 to 60 seconds each. In between repetitions, run in place for 30 seconds while focusing on high knees, and then take a 30- to 60-second rest. Gradually build up your jump rope intervals so they are three minutes in length.
Medicine Ball Workout
Medicine balls come in a variety of sizes, ranging from 1 to 50 pounds. Believing that more is always better, people tend to choose heavier balls than necessary. To effectively target your core, select a ball that is heavy enough to slow down your movement but not so heavy that you're out of control, lose accuracy or limit your range of motion. A 6- to 8-pound ball is usually enough for most people. A few medicine ball moves include the high toss, hay bale, V-ups and hamstring flips. Start with 10 reps of each move for one set and progress to two sets.
Fitzalan Gorman has more than 10 years of academic and commercial experience in research and writing. She has written speeches and text for CEOs, company presidents and leaders of major nonprofit organizations. Gorman has published for professional cycling teams and various health and fitness websites. She has a Master of Arts from Virginia Tech in political science and is a NASM certified personal trainer.