The final phase of my 4-phase barefoot running preparation program is power endurance.
I introduce this early in my Team Over The Top gym training classes and build the intensity/volume slowly over 6 to 10 weeks. By the end of the program, my runners are ready to tackle outdoor barefoot running safely, efficiently, powerfully and with improved technical fatigue tolerance.
The following circuit is supported by the corresponding video footage.
Make sure you do these barefoot as per all of my drills. This is one of many power endurance circuits that I use with my runners. It will give you a starting point.
- 1-legged Power Jumps (on the spot) – designed to lock in proper compact, light balanced landing without tiring; thus decreasing the risk of avoidable running ‘itis’ injuries. Stand on 1 leg with knee slightly bent. Jump powerfully from the floor straight up as high as possible. Lift the knee of the leg that you jumped off as close to your chest as possible. As you return to the floor, land on the mid-foot of the same leg, bracing the whole core, keeping the knee bent and cushioning the impact. Immediately repeat the action using the same leg. Repeat for 30 seconds. Switch legs and repeat. Rest for 30 seconds and repeat x 3
- Sumo Squat Power Hops – designed to improve whole core fatigue tolerance when running in the Squat/Scoot style, keeping you centered, balanced and quiet on the feet. From the Sumo Squat position (refer to video), do 5 hops forward and 5 hops back to the starting point. Repeat for 30 seconds. Take a 30 second rest and repeat x 3
- Side Plank Push-offs – designed to improve upper body fatigue tolerance, thus allowing you to hold the shoulders quiet and square, leading the legs in a quick turnover, forward motion. Position yourself in a side plank position from the hands (refer to video). Lower your body close to the floor and push off upward powerfully. Land with elbows bent to cushion the impact. Immediately repeat the action for 30 seconds. Switch to the other side and repeat. Rest for 30 seconds and repeat x 3
- Flying Forward Lunge – designed to exaggerate the physical stress on feet, ankles, knees, hips and back during the running action. This improves the body’s ability to protect the skeletal system from unnatural forces that lead to injury whilst running. The actual squat/scoot style of running becomes easier to replicate. Standing in the running position, jump into the air and lunge forward at the same time. Upon landing, lower the body to the point where the trailing knee almost touches the floor. Immediately explode up to the start position whilst switching the legs in the air. Repeat the flying lunge action with the arms driving forward and backward for 60 seconds. Rest for 30 seconds and repeat x 3
- Tricep Dip Push-ups – designed to balance off the power endurance of the backs of the arms. As you go deeper into a run, the backs of the arms often fatigue before the fronts. This can lead to the shoulders over-rotating, the hips dropping and the feet rotating out with the end result being injury! Position yourself in the tricep dip position (see video) with the knees slightly bent and resting on the heels. Explode off the floor straight up and land with the elbows bent to cushion the body. Lower the body to just above the floor and repeat for 30 seconds. Rest for 30 seconds and repeat x 4
Doing this once per week will translate into stronger, more powerful running with less fatigue over longer distances as you shift to outdoor barefoot running. Enjoy…!