Workouts for a Strong Finish

A powerful finish-line kick is a runner’s secret weapon: being able to turn on the afterburners in the final stretch helps you out-pace a competitor, nab a personal best, or just look heroic in your finish-line photo. But a kick is difficult to summon when you’re low on physical and mental energy. The key to transforming an exhausted shuffle into a charging sprint is to increase your muscles’ ability to contract forcefully even when they’re fatigued. Doing the following exercises immediately after a run – even a speedwork session – will train your muscles (and your mind) to push hard when tired, so you’ll have the ability to dig in and finish strong.




Builds strong arms that can pump faster.

To do: After doing a standard push-up, move your left hand toward your right hand (inset). Then bring your left leg toward your right leg. Move your right hand out (shown below), followed by your right leg. Do a standard push-up. Do five moving push-ups in each direction.


Box jumpBOX JUMP

Strengthens your glutes and hamstrings to give you more power to accelerate your speed.

To do: Stand behind an exercise step or low bench with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees, extend your arms behind you, and explode up onto the platform, landing with knees slightly bent. Step back down and repeat six to eight times.


Double-leg boundingDOUBLE-LEG BOUNDING

Increases the efficiency of your sprinting stride (so running faster will feel easier).

To do: Run until you reach about 75 per cent of your max speed. Then drive your left knee and right arm up in a bounding motion. Land, then drive your right knee and left arm up. Keep alternating arms and legs as you bound forward for about 50 metres.


Squat. squat-jump comboSQUAT, SQUAT-JUMP COMBO

Works the glutes, hips, quads, hamstrings and calves. Adding a plyometric move challenges these muscles when tired.

 To do: Hold dumbbells by your side and sit down into a squat. Stand back up. After 12 reps, put the weights down and immediately do five squat jumps – bend your knees, sit back into a squat, and explode into the air (shown below).


Wall drillWALL DRILL

Boosts stride turnover – running with quick, short steps uses less energy and decreases stress on muscles, giving you more oomph at the end of a race.

To do: Place your palms flat against a wall at shoulder height and walk your legs back until your body is at a 45-degree angle. Sprint in place while your body weight pushes into the wall for 60 seconds.



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