Week 8: Marathon Strength-Training

You'll use your own bodyweight as resistance with this 4-move TRX workout.

Just as you focused on the ViPR a few weeks back, and have incorporated kettlebells and foam rollers, this week, you'll introduce a new training tool into your marathon-prep arsenal: the TRX suspension trainer. The black-and-yellow straps have been around for quite some time, but still garner serious buzz when it comes to strength-training. For runners, they're a near-perfect assistant, as they keep impact at a minimum by forcing you to use your own bodyweight to help you stretch and strengthen. 

And even though these moves may seem simple, you'll be working multiple muscles at once, explains Tier 4 coach Jason Skinner. "Because of the instability the TRX creates, exercises require a lot more focus and it forces the user to utilize many muscles to stabilize movements," says Skinner. "In addition, because of its simplicity, the user can seamlessly move from exercise to exercise and minimize rest. This can create a great metabolic effect." 

Perform this 4-move workout on your designated strength-training day. 

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(1) Hamstring Stretch (mobility

Lie on your back with right leg bent and left leg extended straight in the air, a handle in each hand. Apply downward pressure to the TRX handles as you lower your left leg to the floor. Using your hip flexors, pull your left leg back up and try to increase the stretch in the hamstring (as shown). Keep the left leg straight and the toes pulled towards the shins. Perform 10 to 15 reps; switch legs and repeat. 

                              

(2) Knee Tucks (activation

With your feet in the TRX handles, get into a strong push-up position. This position should mimic a plank with the glutes engaged. Without raising your hips in the air, drive your knees towards your chest (as shown). Return the legs to the straight, plank position. Perform 8 to 12 reps.

                             

(3) Eccentric Hamstring Curls (movement prep

Lie on your back with your heels in the handles of the TRX and bridge up using your glutes (as shown). This should be the starting and finishing position. Use your glutes as you drive hips towards the ceiling while also curling your heels towards your butt. This action should be performed explosively. Lower the legs to the starting position in a slow, controlled manner, taking about 4 to 6 seconds to do so. Perform 8 to 12 reps.

(4) One-Legged Squat (movement

Holding the handles of the TRX, shift all of your weight onto your right leg. Your left leg should be off of the floor as you sit back with the hips into a single-leg squat position (as shown). Hold the bottom position for 1 to 2 seconds; perform 8 to 12 reps, then switch legs and repeat. As you progress with the exercise, utilize less assistance from the upper body.