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The Best Workouts For Mid-Distance Runners

Jason Hughes
Published by Jason Hughes
Fact checked by Markus Oliver, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: May 14, 2022

Mid-distance running, in essence, is not much different from its sprint or long-distance counterparts. Whether you are preparing to run a marathon, jog through the park, train for a triathlon, and everything in between, finding a balance between cardio and strength training is the key to building enough endurance, speed, and strength to complete your track in the fastest time possible.

In this article, we'll go over some of the best workouts for both your endurance and strength, as well as review some common injuries and remedies that runners may experience.

Common Foot Problems For Runners

Plantar Fasciitis and Metatarsalgia are extremely common persistent injuries that a runner can have in their foot. Both are usually caused by running incorrectly, or by placing undue stress on the bottom arches and heel of your foot. Continuing to run with these conditions untreated will degenerate the tendons and supports in your foot which can be extremely detrimental to your movement. What may start as a nuisance can quickly degenerate into a lingering issue, and it may stop you from running altogether. Let's take a look at some treatments below.

Treatments For Runners To Recover Quickly

Metatarsalgia treatment for runners: Remember to RICE. When you suspect you may have Metatarsalgia (intense pain in the ball or middle of your foot) the first thing to do is rest and take a break from running. Apply ice to the area, as there may even be swelling. Place a wrap around the foot to compress the area, making sure it is nice and tight. Finally, elevate your foot above your heart until the swelling subsides. Before resuming your original running routine, strengthen your balance and ankles through exercise, and invest in some orthotics. Consult your doctor if the problem persists,

Plantar Fasciitis Treatment for runners: The good news is that you can recover from plantar fasciitis in a few months with just home remedies, such as RICE (see above) stretching, performing exercises with the ball of your foot, and avoiding hard impact activities on your foot such as sprinting on concrete or jumping. If the problem persists, it may be time to speak to a professional, as orthotics, therapy, athletic tape, and specialized shoes can speed up your recovery.

There is a reason your coach always tells you to overtrain. When your training is more difficult than your current competition, you will have a leg up on your opponents. Even if you are training for a 1500-3000 tournament, long-distance running (especially at an altitude) will increase the number of blood cells you have in your system, making it easier for you to endure long days of running. Start with a mile at a time, and slowly work your way up to 10. Once you've reached this milestone, focus on shaving off time from your 10-mile run.

Cardio Training Exercises For Mid Distance Runners

HIIT - High-Intensity Interval Training has been proven time and time again to be the best exercise to increase your endurance while minimizing your recovery time. The best part about this workout is that it can be combined with any other form of workout, as this is just a method of changing your cadence. HIIT can be applied to running, jumping, swimming, rowing, or any other workout regime without needing to disrupt your routine and may aid in breaking through plateaus. For example, if your regular morning workout is a 30-minute jog, every 5 minutes do a 30-second sprint at your maximum speed. This boosts your metabolism and will build muscle and endurance quicker.

Jump Rope Squats: Jumping rope elevates your heart rate, increases your coordination, and brings your knees up, which promotes good running technique and reduces injury. To further make this exercise better, it includes squatting in between sets of jumping rope. Try alternating between 45 seconds of jumping rope and 20 seconds of squats to complete a repetition, and do 10 reps for 2-3 sets. Not only will this train your endurance, but it will strengthen your core.

trail runnersLong Distance Running: There is a reason your coach always tells you to overtrain. When your training is more difficult than your current competition, you will have a leg up on your opponents. Even if you are training for a 1500-3000 tournament, long-distance running (especially at an altitude) will increase the number of blood cells you have in your system, making it easier for you to endure long days of running. Start with a mile at a time, and slowly work your way up to 10. Once you've reached this milestone, focus on shaving off time from your 10-mile run.

Strength Training Exercises For Mid Distance Runners

Step-ups: can be done on stairmaster, steps, bench, or box. Elevate one leg on the stairs or bench and push off your other leg, keeping your body straight and having your knee over the ankle of the supporting leg. Make sure to bring your hips forward when going up rather than pulling with your knee forward. Finally, bring your back leg up to the height of your front knee without touching the stairs. Lower back on the floor. 2 sets of 10 reps. Use dumbbells to increase difficulty.

Lunges: Begin by standing shoulder-width apart. Take a large step forwards with your right leg and lower your body and your back leg's knee toward the floor. Stop right before making contact. Your front knee should be over your ankle and your body should be straight and upright. Complete the motion by pushing your back leg and bringing your front leg back to meet it. Repeat for 8 reps and 2 sets. Use dumbbells to increase difficulty.

Superman: This exercise strengthens your upper back, keeping you in an upright position when running, increasing aerodynamics, and reducing pain. Lay face down and place your hands by your ears, making sure your palms face downwards. Lift your shoulders and chest off the floor by squeezing your shoulder blades together (do not use your hands!). Be careful to not look upwards to not place undue strain on your neck. Lower and repeat. 10 reps of 8 sets, place resistance on your back for added difficulty.lunges

FAQs

Which is better running vs stairmaster?

They are both different exercises and should be incorporated into your workout regimen for maximum results. Running increases endurance, while stairs and stairmaster help to build leg muscles.

Is it safe to go running every day?

Running or jogging for 10 minutes daily is extremely beneficial for your cardiovascular and mental health. Make sure to wear the proper equipment and stretch before you run.

Can running build muscles?

Yes, increasing the distance and challenge on your run consistently builds your quads, hamstrings, glutes, and lower back.


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