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Old 09-22-2009, 06:35 PM   #1
Alec Sean Kellish
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Crosscountry and Core,


I am a crosscountry runner, currently at about 20:33min 5k, planning to hit sub 20 next week, haven't run a good race yet, and was looking for some core workouts and other workouts to decrease my times, in addition to what we do at practice already.

Our practices are either; basic 6-7mile run, workout (mile tempo, 200 repeats, mile tempo, 400repeats, mile tempo), 1k repeats, long runs, and a couple others, we also end with core.

I was wondering what exercises and workouts you recommend I do in addition to what I do at practice in order to improve my time. I have heard developing a strong core will help a lot, thoughts and advice?
What I can't do:
long workouts, this is because I am looking to do this in the small 20minute period i have after lunch before my next class.

Materials I have access to at the gym:
Pullup bar
Dip machine (assisted dip thing)
Chest press
squat rack
chest press
med. balls (cant throw them though)
giant bouncy ball things...
exercise mats,
and thats about it with other machines i cant name

So any suggestions or such would be helpful.

Last edited by Alec Sean Kellish : 09-22-2009 at 06:39 PM.
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Old 09-22-2009, 09:11 PM   #2
Eric Montgomery
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Re: Crosscountry and Core,

Don't waste time with crunches or anything silly like that. What does Coach Glassman say is the best way to strengthen your core?

"Stabilize your midline like a motherf#@$*r!!"

In nearly any athletic activity, the primary function of your abs, lower back, and spinal erectors is not flexion--it's keeping your spine straight and torso solid. Do squats, front squats, overhead squats, deadlifts, clean and jerks, press, push press, and push jerks. Lift heavy stuff and put it overhead. Do kipping pullups and knees to elbows. Interval running and sprinting will help too.

If you've got 20 minutes, that's enough time to do a 3x5 of squats or deadlifts. Just watch overtraining--make sure you're able to recover between the lifting and the XC practice.
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Old 09-23-2009, 12:14 AM   #3
Jesse Dahl
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Re: Crosscountry and Core,

Pick one of deadlift, back squat and overhead press each day and do something like 3x5 or 5x5 (if you have time for that). You will probably need to limit rest between worksets and have a slightly abbreviated warmup as well.

Try to add weight to the bar each workout. See if you can't sneak back in the gym after school or something and get another lift done. I'm assuming you have easy access to a pullup bar with all the track workouts you do, so when possible start doing some chinups and/or pullups.

I don't think it's going to be that beneficial to use so many different exercises when your training time is so limited. Do just a few basic strength lifts and work them more often. Plus with him being a xc runner, I'm going to assume he will be learning all the lifts as he goes since xc runners and coaches are clueless about weightlifting in general. That said, go buy Starting Strength and start reading so you don't hurt yourself.
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Old 09-23-2009, 02:37 AM   #4
Wayne Riddle
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Re: Crosscountry and Core,

Have you checked out the Crossfit Endurance site? WFS
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Old 09-23-2009, 02:07 PM   #5
Jason Hough
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Re: Crosscountry and Core,

Go for the strength work that Eric and Jesse mention. It will work the core and benefit you in other ways. Check out Steve Low's blog post "Why speed work is necessary for elite endurance" (WFS) and the linked "The Holy Grail in Speed Training" (WFS) for some good info on strength work as it relates to endurance training and ideas on implementation.

As for some other core suggestions: knees-to-elbows, L-Sits (or leg raises), good mornings, supermans. I'm a big fan of burpees as well, and those can be done as part of a pre-practice or pre-run warmup without any equipment necessary. And, burpees+kipping pullups makes for a quick, decent workout.

Originally Posted by Wayne Riddle View Post
Have you checked out the Crossfit Endurance site? WFS
CFE will definitely give some good suggestions on short, hard interval workouts, but adding a lot of extra intensity to a high school coach's program that he doesn't have control over doesn't seem like a good idea to me.
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