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I was wondering what ,if any, leg workouts will help me drop some time off my2 mile run. I do cardio and I do 60/120's but I want more time to drop. Any suggestions?
The best exercise you can do to reduce your 2 mile running time is running. Running, especially a distance like the 2 mile, is primarily a cardio challenge so no matter how strong your legs are if your breathing isn't good enough you won't gain anything with stronger legs.
If you're carrying extra weight losing that will help next best. After that, you should focus on strengthening your quads and core. A great exercise that hits both the quads and your core is the lunge and there are quite a few varieties of lunge out there. I prefer to start with walking lunges, and even among those there's quite a few varieties to choose. Check the exercise video section under medicine ball and body weight exercises for legs and you will find a good variety of options to consider.
Hope this helps!
5 years ago
Art has excellent suggestions!
You may also want to consider doing running specific drills and plyometrics. Any improvement that you can garner in your form and efficiency will lead to faster running times.
Running specific drills will hone your turn-over, your footstrike, and overall focus. As a former collegiate track athlete I can tell you we spent at least a third of our practice time working on drills
Running Times (magazine) is a great resource.
5 years ago
My two cents-
Although runnning alone can improve your time,if you have form issues when you run, extra running merely reinforces bad habits, like extra rotation in the torso ( a waste of energy) or poor landing in the foot, when a weakened ankle can be stressed.
Spend some extra effort on your hammies and glutes. Since most runners (in fact most Westernized people) are quad dominant, by spending some quality training time on the posterior chain muscles, you will balance the legs. The stronger backside will allow for better endurance since more muscles will be encouraged to share the load. Also creating better leg balance will protect the knees, another typical runner's issue.
I agree with James....plyometrics and balance work that challenges the stabilizer muscles.
Also oddly enough CORE and SHOULDER work. A tighter core lifts the "weight" off the legs. Think of a dancer being light on their feet. Their weight is "held up" by their strong core and shoulders.
If you need suggestions for specific exercises (hammies can be a tough one) check the site, or see the trainer at your club.
5 years ago
Thank you art. I will definitely do some lunges my next legs and core day. I do have some extra weight but i'm also in the process of dropping it. I run after every workout and I have my time down to about 16 minutes but I would like it at 14
5 years ago
All great points and suggestions above; I would just like to add that if there are any hills in your run, you can really benefit from doing specific Leg strengthening exercises. Your Hip Flexor muscle groups (inc. Quadriceps and Illiopsoas) will help you power up those hills, as will strengthening the abdominals (specifically, Rectus Abdominis) as this is another 'Hip Flexor'. Depending how much hill running there is (if any at all) you can also benefit it working your Adductor Magnus Muscle. This muscle assists the Quadriceps Muscle group and when your Quads 'give way' from fatigue, it is the Adductor Magnus which may help you reach the top of your hill. Your Glutes and Calf Muscles (Gastrocnemius and Soleus) are also worth strengthening and conditioning to tackle any of those hills you cross (or pass) in your running.
Now you would be aiming for muscle endurance rather than straight strength when going through your workouts, so you should be selecting a higher rep scheme (16-20reps) and very short rests (15-30sec) between sets (mimic the run itself). You can throw in a week worth of more traditional strength training to help for those quick bursts of speed you may need to call upon, but just remember that the more muscle you build, the more weight you have to carry around with you when you are doing you runs (and this can ultimately SLOW you down).
5 years ago