If you’re trying to improve your running technique, you probably feel like you’ve tried every trick on the planet.
So, if you’re stuck in a running rut you may need to look further afield. Like outer space.
Adidas has partnered with NASA’s International Space Station to create a high-intensity, total body work out that aims to help runners build stability and efficiency, while also boosting mental and physical resilience.
Athletes, like astronauts, undergo strenuous physical training to endure the harshest of conditions.
To coincide with the launch of the new adidas Ultraboost 20 running shoe, the Train Like An Astronaut programme has been specially designed to help runners push the boundaries of their performance.
The Astronaut Workout
Stand with your legs straight and your hands on the ground in front of you.
Keeping your legs straight and abdominals tight, walk your hands forward.
Still keeping your legs straight, walk your feet back up to your hands.
Repeat this 4-6 times, or for 30 seconds.
Stand with your arms at your sides, elbows bent 90 degrees.
March forward by lifting one knee up as you pull the arm of the same leg back and drive the opposite arm forward.
Drive your foot down to the ground and repeat the movement, lifting your opposite knee and exchanging arm positions.
Continue marching for 10 meters.
Reverse lunge with rotation
Stand tall with your chest up, shoulders relaxed, and arms at your sides.
Step back into a lunge, bending your knees and contracting the glute of your back leg.
Twist your torso over your front leg, place the opposite arm on the outside of your knee and reach your other arm behind.
Return to a standing position by reversing the twist and then pushing up through your hip.
Repeat with your opposite leg.
Training tips for better running performance
Runners should add variety to their training routine, rather than consistently stressing their body through the same type of exercise. This will also help them stay motivated and engaged in pursuit of their goals.
HIIT-style training for example is just as effective and efficient in improving an athlete’s aerobic capacity as long steady-state runs.
Incorporating short duration all-out sprints at the end of a workout will help improve a runner’s endurance at the end of a session when their body and mind are drained of energy.
This will give them the ability to find that extra level when approaching the finish line for real.
Upper-body workouts are a commonly overlooked element of running training. This type of exercise can be hugely important in improving running mechanics and efficiency.
Kettlebell workouts, for example, help inspire more effective energy transfer, allowing a runner to become more efficient in their training and boost their overall ‘running economy’.
Complete each exercise in this circuit for 30 seconds with 10 seconds of rest in between exercises. Repeat for five total sets:
Clean – 1 arm kettlebell (repeat for a full set on each arm)
Stand holding a kettlebell in one hand in front of your body with your feet shoulder-width apart.
Keeping your back flat and chest up, push your hips back letting the kettlebell swing between your legs.
In one explosive motion, extend your hips as quickly as possible and shrug your shoulder, pulling the weight straight up.
Allow the kettlebell to float upward. When the weight reaches its maximum height, drop your body underneath and catch it at shoulder height.
Lower the weight back to the starting position and continue for the remainder of the sets.
Start in the classic push-up position with your hands beneath your shoulders and your legs straight behind you.
Keeping your torso stable and hips square to the ground, bend your elbows to lower your body toward the ground.
Without touching the ground, push yourself back up.
Continue for the full set.
Reach, roll and lift – alternating
Sit on your heels with your arms in front of you and the palms of your hands on the ground.
Reach one arm forward while keeping your hips back and your chest down toward the ground.
Rotate your palm toward the sky. Then lift your arm off the ground slightly and hold for 2 seconds.
Return to the starting position and repeat with the other arm.
Continue alternating to complete the set.
You can download the full workout here – which includes a thorough movement prep warm-up and sprint sessions.
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