So many runners are addicted to their 60 minute run. It makes sense in the 60-70 mile a week program to go out for a 60 minute run on your easy days.
But I would argue that most athletes are better off taking that 60 minutes and devoting 5 minutes to the Lunge Matrix (LM) and leg swings (see 4:30 mark of this video) before the run, then following the run do a 10 minute General Strength and Mobility (GSM) routine after the run. You only get in a 45 minute run, but you do a warm-up that helps set up the body to run more symmetric and you get not only a hormonal stimulus with the GSM but you also get a the mobility piece which will get your hips neutral when you go and sit during your work day.
For master’s athletes this approach makes so much sense because staying healthy is key and they are coming close to maximizing their aerobic metabolism for all of the years of running leading up to this point. For the middle school and high school athlete this approach keeps them athletic, keeps them from having over-use injuries and still gives them a 55 minute aerobic stimulus if they go right into the GSM without a break.
But if you don’t like that idea of a 45 minute run on your easy days then consider this one: find 15 minutes in your day to devote to becoming a better runner, which will allow you to do the 5 minutes of LM and leg swings before your 60 minute run. Then you spend 10 minutes doing GSM. 75 minutes total, and again, if you go right from the 60 minute run into the GSM following your run then you’re getting an aerobic stimulus that is closer to 70 minutes than 60 minutes.
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