Week 16: Marathon Strength-Training
With race week finally here, your focus is on consistency.
Welcome to race week—with months of work behind you, all eyes are on the start line. And while you're sure to be busy with last-minute errands, stocking up on race-day nutrition and throw-away sweats, and even building that ever-important playlist, this is not the week to try to make any significant fitness gains.
"Now that the final week of training is here, it's all about maintenance and routine," says Tier 4 coach Jason Skinner. "Runners always ask what to do on race day. The answer is don't change a thing. You've had plenty of trial runs. You want to do exactly what you did before those runs. In that spirit, this week's series of exercises is all about maintenance and recovery."
Most of these moves will be familiar, as you've already used them in your training. (Repeat after Skinner: Nothing new during race week.) So be sure to perform this 4-move routine on your designated strength-training day, prioritize your sleep this week, and get ready to have the race of your life. You're ready for this.
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(1) World's Greatest Stretch (mobility)
See the instructions here.
(2) Band Knee-Ups (activation)
Wrap a resistance band around both feet. Stand tall and drive right knee up while mimicking a running motion with your arms (as shown). During the knee drive, maintain a neutral spine and stay tall. The left leg should be stable with the glute active. Perform 10 to 15 reps; switch legs and repeat.
(3) Foam Roller Hip Flexor (movement prep)
Kneel on left leg, with left knee bent 90 degrees, right foot flat and right knee bent 90 degrees. Keeping left glute contracted, extend arms out in front of you at shoulder level, pressing hands down onto the end of a foam roller (as shown). This will engage the abdominals, which will increase the stretch of the hip flexor.) Be sure to remove the arch of the lower back by using the glute to tuck the pelvis underneath you. Drive forward slightly, maintaining the posture of the spine. Perform the stretch for 40 to 60 seconds per side.
(4) Foam Roller Legs (movement)
Sit on top of a foam roller and cross left leg over the right. Lean on the hand of the crossed leg and roll in the area that would make up your back pocket (as shown). Move around until you find a sensitive area. Rest on that area until you feel the sensation diminish. Move to another area. Spend 2 to 3 minutes rolling the hips.