Plyometric training for runners

What is plyometric training?
Plyometric training is often perceived as explosive jumping exercises, even if it means short, mostly of own body weight performed explosive interval style exercises. Training is based on the ”stretch-shortening cycle” method. Leg muscles is stored in a large number of human energy stocks, for example, when we jump we are able to take the energy for next jump from the previous ones impact, when landing on the ground. This makes it possible to jump even higher.

Why you should do it?
Quick conclusion is that this type of training must be good for sprinter, but Turner et al. (2003), actually found that it also help improve running economy for longer distance. It’s also prevent injuries as it’s strengthening ligaments and muscles. To have speed and specially able to maintain speed, runner need to train both speed and power. When these features are development not only running speed but also contact time on the ground accelerate. The less feet spent time on the ground while running the less human use energy.

Including plyometric exercise to your training plan
Before you start to do plyometric exercises, you should have a good base condition already. Do not do the exercises year-round. Do exercises on your speed and power development training cycle. It’s not good to do the exercises in the same week when you have running race.

Squat jumps, tuck jumps, lateral squat jump, lunge jumps, side hops, bounding, power skipping and diagonal obstacle jump are just a few examples of plyometric training. Before you start to do plyometric training, you have to warm up. You can do 10-20 repetitions, 10-20 times depending on your fitness level. If you are not familiar with these kinds of training start with lower reps and pay attention to your technique especially when landing on ground to avoid any injuries.

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