Friday, June 13, 2008

Winding down the week

Tomorrow is my rest day, and boy I am relieved! All of my muscles are sore after a grueling week of running, weights, lunges, and plyometrics. I had a great week of workouts and my spirits are high (disclaimer: Marci's spirits could also be high because of the *awesome* cabernet sauvignon she is sipping as she writes this post...)

BTW what is plyometrics??!! I had never heard of plyometrics before my running bootcamp coach Ken mentioned the term after he had instructed me to jump sideways on one foot through a long rope ladder laying on the ground. It was tough to keep my coordination, and towards the end of the exercise, I was a bit like a train wreck that flew off the tracks. He explained that it would improve my running greatly, since when we run we often with only one foot striking the ground at a time. Makes perfect sense.

Fast forward to Friday bootcamp, and my instructor Michelle has us jumping up and down from bleachers with a little squatting motion, another plyometric move (see pic below). Not so much of a train wreck with this, but still a struggle with the co-ordination aspect. Again the term plyometrics was brought up. I decided to read up more about plyometrics, and report what I found out about it on my blog.

Plyometrics is a type of training designed to produce fast, powerful movements, and improve the functions of the nervous system. Plyometric movements, in which a muscle is loaded and then contracted in rapid sequence, use the strength, elasticity and innervation of muscles to jump higher, run faster, throw farther, or hit harder.

So the question is, does plyometrics work for distance runners? I found an article on runners web that suggests it does:

Evidence that plyometric training improves running economy and distance-running performance continues to pile up. In recent research carried out by Rob Spurrs and colleagues from the Human Movement Department at the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia, just six weeks of plyometric work (with 15 total plyometric sessions) improved 3-K run time by almost 3%!

There are a bunch of plyometric exercises you can try at running planet in case you are interested.

I have another long trail run (24km) scheduled for Sunday. I hope everyone has a great weekend and enjoys their runs!


anners said...

Crazy stuff. Hmmm, I'm crazy. Maybe I should try it ;)

Marcy said...

Oooooo they had an article in RW on that, it was in a month or 2's ago. I've been wanting to try it, but dang I'm 1) Lazy and 2) Forgetful LOL But thanks for the reminder.

Meg said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog! I'm a little behind on blog reading so sorry for taking so long to stop by yours.
Plyometrics sounds cool. It seems like it would help concentrating on strengthening specific muscles (i.e. in ankles?) too.

Kim said...

Awesome to hear! Then my weight training class is helping with that as well. We do all kinds of hopping up stairs. One guy was tired of it and groaned, "I'm NOT a bunny!". He's no longer in class. Wimp!

Lily on the Road said...

LMAO at Kim!

Wonder if it would help me, I'm finding the older I get, my balance is off...I'll check it out!

Nitmos said...

I've heard good things about plyometrics though I don't do much myself.