Week 10: Marathon Strength-Training

These stability-promoting power pairings target areas runners ignore.

The buzz word for this week: Pairings. In a meta sense, to run well and run healthy, you must complement your mileage with strength-training. "If you haven't picked up on it yet, running really does need to be paired with lifting," says Tier 4 coach Jason Skinner. "Structure, balance and movement tend to fall apart without it." 

On a more focused level, this week's 4-move series can be broken down into two sets of power pairs, both designed to challenge the stability of the body. "The benefit of this week is found in the pairings of the exercise," says Skinner. "The Reach, Roll and Lift create the mobility and stability required at the shoulder and scapula, while the Push-up Plank with Shoulder Taps reinforces those gains and ties in the core and upper extremities." Your third and fourth moves follow practically the same pattern. "The Split Squat with Band Adduction challenges the glute in a split stance position while the Lunge to Cable Row requires the body to further stabilize in a more challenging single-leg stance while once again incorporating the upper extremities."

And since all four moves focus on areas that runners tend to neglect, the workout is ideal for marathoners, making it an ideal match for your Week 10 mileage requirements. 

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(1) Reach, Roll, Lift for T-Spine Mobility (mobility

Start in a kneeling position with your butt resting on your heels, resting your forehead on your left hand. The right arm should rest palm down above the shoulder. From this starting position, reach overhead with the palm staying down. Upon completing a full reach, rotate the palm inwards (as shown). The arm should be straight and you should try to create the movement at the shoulder blade. Return to the starting position and repeat. Perform 6 to 10 reps per arm.  


(2) Push-up Plank with Shoulder Taps (activation

Start in a push-up position with the glutes engaged and in a perfect plank position. From this position, tap your right shoulder with your left hand (as shown). Nothing about the strict pushup plank position should change. The glutes should remain engaged and there should be no movement in the trunk. Continue with the shoulder taps in an alternating fashion for 8 to 12 taps per side. If there is movement, spread the feet apart for wider base or start in an incline pushup position using a bench or squat rack. 

(3) Split Squat With Band Adduction (movement prep

Anchor a Cook band to the wall or a cable column. The band should be placed below the knee of the right leg in a split squat position. This should create an inward pull that will be fought by the glute. Resist this as you perform a split squat (as shown). The split squat should go as follows: Start in a split stance with about 90% of your weight on the heel of the right leg. Descend to the floor with an emphasis of minimizing a forward shift. It helps to try to drop the left knee straight to the floor. Return to the top position by driving through the right heel. Perform 6 to 10 reps per leg.

(4) Lunge to Cable Row (movement

Grasp the handle of a cable or Cook band attached in a low position with your right hand. Start in a standing position. Step back into a split stance position with the right leg. While stepping back, lower your back knee towards the floor. Return to the standing position by driving through the heel of the right leg but instead of planting the foot, drive it up to a 90-degree position as your pull the right arm in a rowing fashion (as shown). Repeat for a total of 8 to 12 reps per side.