Let’s say you’re following a training plan for running. Maybe you even signed in for a race so you really want to follow through. But then life gets in your way. There’s no way around illnesses for example but there are steps you can take in order not to lose your progress when you can’t go out. The only option left is to train indoors.
Personally, I have two major enemies when it comes to completing my scheduled runs: rain and the absence of a nanny. I do go out and run when it’s drizzling but actual pouring rain is an obstacle for me. Als, I have a child and no nanny so when my partner is around the globe for work (which is often) I just cancel my running plans. But there may be a million other reasons for you why you can’t go out when you were supposed to. So what to do then?
The most obvious and simple solution would be to run on a treadmill. Of course, not everybody owns one and if your reason for not running outside is for example rain you can always go to a gym. This is not a solution however to the child care problem.
The other option is to cross-train. For best results, you’re supposed to do this anyway so if you’re going to miss a run here and there a good solution would be to use those occasions for cross-training. Let’s go over some options you can do at home with no equipment so they’re available to everybody.
According to some studies, plyometric training helps improving running pace not just in sprints but at basically all distances. Some examples of plyometric exercises are:
- Squat jump: squat down then jump in the air
- Lateral jumps: jump side to side
- Power skipping: while skipping lift the upper leg as high as possible
- Tuck jumps: jump, tuck the legs in, extend them, and land
- Box Jumps: jump onto and off of a large box or step preferably high as much as your knees are
- Plyometric push-up: do a push-up, but lift the hands and body off the ground (for example by clapping on the top position)
- One leg jumps and/or squats: since in running you have to depend on one leg at a time and there is no concurrent motion, try incorporating some plyo moves that isolate leg per leg
Do any combination of those in sets of as many repetitions as you manage but for no less than 30 seconds with about a minute of rest between them.
Very important! Always warm up before doing any of these exercises. Of course, this goes for any kind of training but plyometrics are called “the shock method” for a reason. Doing this kind of explosive movements with no warm-up is a sure fire way to get injuries. So the first 5 minutes of your 30-minute workout should feature some basic stretching and easier but still dynamic drills like hip circles, butt kicks and running in place.
Run at home
- Do running in place: run on the balls of your feet. Since this exercise can be excruciatingly boring i recommend doing it while watching television just to get through it. Also, vary the intensity throughout the session and/or use different running stances.
- Do forward/backward running: if space permits run for just a couple of steps, stop abruptly and do the same distance backward. Be careful while running backward though, especially if space is tight.
- Add lateral movement: do the same as above but moving right and left. This is especially useful since we don’t usually develop our leg muscles for sideways movement with classic outdoor running.
I usually choose the second option. But take your pick! I hope this helps.