Editor’s Note: This article is part of our Run College “Optimize Your Stride” course, available exclusively to Outside+ members. You can read more about the course and its offerings here. Already a member? Register for the course here.
Welcome to Level Two!
This phase of the course is all about workouts to boost your performance. We’ll be focusing on four routines designed to improve your strength, durability, and power. We’ve also included modifications to optimize and personalize the program just for you–whether that is working around a current injury or challenging yourself a wee bit more. No matter which options you choose, know that you’ll still be producing gains. Nothing stops this train!
Do not do more than one performance workout per day. Doing one of these workouts per week maintains your fitness. Doing two workouts per week will produce more noticeable gains. Be sure to rotate through the four workouts so that you’re hitting all the key areas to maximize your performance.
If you’re in a time crunch, you’ll benefit more by adding these into your program and slightly shortening your run time for the day, as opposed to ignoring these workouts completely and putting in more run volume. Quality always wins!
Once you’re reached your fitness and performance targets, continue doing one or two of these workouts per week for the long term.
When in the day:
It’s always best to do these PRE-run if possible, or on a non-run day.
When in the week:
Feel free to integrate these workouts as you have time — with one caveat. If you are doing speed work, that’s the most critical workout of the week, and we don’t want you going in overly sore. Your body is under the most stress 48 hours after a hard workout. So the worst time to do strength training would be 48 hours prior to your speed work session. Doing a performance workout the day prior to your speed work session is much better than 2 days prior.
When to progress:
When things get easy, you’ll need to add more load. Can you add weight? Can you slow down the movement? Can you add rotation? We explain recommendations for progression for each exercise. Pay attention to our progression cues and at some point, when you are ready, you’ll need to get creative and add load by sticking some books in a backpack, or using something heavy in the garage. The load should always be hard enough to be challenging, but not so heavy that you are moving super slowly at the end of your set.
When to Chill:
Performance workout number five is focused on active recovery. This workout will keep your neuromuscular ability primed for performance. It’s a great way to get some natural movement in after some hard sessions. It can be done anytime and will not result in soreness or impact the rest of your training.Section divider
Here’s a comprehensive overview of all the drills and workouts in the program. Congratulations on making it to Level 2! You’ll find all of the Performance Workouts in the second half of the training plan.Section divider
Performance Workout #1 – Hip Drive
Our first performance workout focuses on your hips. These 6 moves may seem deceptively simple, but trust us, they are going to level up your running game in no time.
Have fun… and if you’re swearing at Jay in the next 48 hours–that means you’re doing them right!Section divider