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How should strength and plyometric training vary throughout your run season and training?

What are plyometrics & why should you include them in your run training?

What are plyometrics?

Plyometrics are a form of training that often require fast lengthening of a muscle before a contraction to perform a movement. They often involve jumping, bounding and hopping in various different activities.  Hopscotch is the perfect example of this form of exercise used during our early years. This form of exercise is regularly performed in an elite sport setting to help to reduce injury but also improve performance.

How do plyometrics work?

When performing plyometric movements, muscles will go through a stretch as well as an accelerated shortening contraction. During the lengthening / stretching phase, energy is stored within the muscle and the connective tissues, then as the muscle goes into a shortening contraction, the energy previously stored is recovered to contribute to the explosive movement. This is likened to the stretching of a spring before a release back to its natural position. The more we use this style of training, the better we become at storing that energy and our ability to release energy quickly to perform a movement.

Why should runners use plyometrics in their training?

The benefits are clear for basketball players and long and triple jump athletes as to increase their ability to jump vertically or for distance. But why should it have a place in your run training routine?

A large focus of plyometric training is being able to produce the most possible force with the least amount of ground contact time, whilst not losing all the energy you’ve created into the ground.  Sound familiar? This is exactly what we go through with running.  It’s all about becoming efficient with each contact we make with the floor and taking that efficiency in to the next stride. So, whether you’re struggling for speed with your runs or find yourself having heavy contacts into the floor, plyometrics could take your running to the next level.

Where to start?

There are no official requirements to start plyometric training, however those who have experience in running and have also participated in some form of strength training will be at a good level to start adding plyometrics to their routine.

If you’re interested in learning more about how to apply plyometric training to your run training safely and effectively, contact the clinic on 01454 540066 to book a gym session with Dan.

Can I run when pregnant?

Can I run if I’m pregnant?

Yes! If you ran regularly before pregnancy. Physical activity of 150 minutes moderate intensity over a minimum of 3 days per week is encouraged!

Examples of moderate intensity activities could be swimming, water aerobics, biking, dancing, hiking, brisk walking.  It doesn’t have to be running!

So what does the evidence say?
A paper asking 1,293 women who take part in Parkrun found that exercising during pregnancy is completely SAFE & IMPROVES the chance of a healthy baby & mum.
We also know that running during pregnancy DOES NOT affect the number of weeks babies were born or the birth-weight of the baby and has been found to help…

✅reduce fatigue
✅reduce lower back pain
✅reduce varicose veins
✅reduce swelling of the ankles
✅improve mental health, reducing stress, anxiety & depression

All women are advised to take part in regular exercise during pregnancy unless you have been advised not to by your GP due to placenta previa, pre-eclampsia or other serious conditions.

Tips for pregnant runners:
1) Supportive running shoes & bra

2) Adequate nutrition & hydration
3) Focus on good technique rather than fast pace
4) You should be able to keep a conversation as you run
5) See a pelvic physio for technique guidance as your body changes
6) Perineal massage from 34 weeks + can also aid for birth preparation if you’re worried about increased pelvic floor muscle tone during labour
7) The Active Pregnancy Foundation are another great resource for information if you’d like to say active through pregnancy


Stop & seek help if you experience:
● Persistent excessive shortness of breath that does not resolve on rest
● Severe chest pain
● Regular and painful uterine contractions
● Vaginal bleeding
● Persistent loss of fluid from the vagina
● Persistent dizziness or faintness that does not resolve on rest

As always, please seek medical advice check with your GP or our Women’s Health Specialist Liz Brown, if you’re unsure!

#yougotthis #moveyourbody #antenatalphysiotherapy #antenataleducation #antenatalexercise #mumswhorun #safepregnancy #safepregnancyexercise #physiotherapy #pelvicfloor #pregnancyandpostpartumathleticism #pregnantfit #informedisbest #keepmovingbaby #runmummyrun #perinealmassage

UK CMO Physical activity guidelines, (BJSM, Smith R et al (2018)
Is recreational running associated with earlier delivery and lower birth weight in women who continue to run during pregnancy (BMJ Open Sport Exerc, Kubrt et al 2018)
Largest ever study of running habits shows that running in pregnancy is safe: Pregnancy Hub (2018)
2019 Canadian Guideline for physical activity through pregnancy Br J Sports Med, Mottola et al (2018)

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