This cross-training challenge will seriously boost your speed in just 30 days

Molly Ritterbeck
·3-min read
Photo credit: Kory Kennedy using photographs by Philip Friedman
Photo credit: Kory Kennedy using photographs by Philip Friedman

From Runner's World

Running the same distances in less time is one of the most addicting aspects of running. No matter what level you’re at, we all want to get faster, finish stronger, and shave seconds—or even minutes—off our personal best times.

But just heading to the track to rip sprint intervals isn’t always the best formula. A fast runner is also a well-rounded runner, so we teamed up with Chris Lee, the assistant coach and head strength trainer for pro running team Tinman Elite, to create a 30-day cross-training challenge that will make you a better, faster, and more powerful athlete.

Lee based this 30-day cross-training challenge on training systems he uses with his elite athletes. The unique program features exercises that are strategically sequenced, in which the first move functions as prep for the next, to increase effectiveness. This means you’ll get better results in less time and decrease your risk of injury overall. Plus, every single workout is just 18 minutes or less.

Consistency is key with any type of training, so the goal of these under-20-minute workouts is to keep your regular running high-quality and consistent. That doesn’t mean the workouts are easy! But it does mean they will fit into your regular training seamlessly.

How to do this workout challenge: The program consists of one mobility workout and three strength workouts per week in addition to your regular running. The three strength-based workouts should be done after a run with one day of rest between, and the mobility sessions can be done after a long run or on rest days. You’ll complete all four workouts twice in the first two weeks, take two rest days (yes complete rest days!), and then move on to a progressed version of each workout for the final 14 days.

The program is completely adjustable to your time constraints, so feel free to move around the workouts as needed. Keep in mind, however, that each session is meant to be done after a run with one rest day between, so evaluate how you feel after the first week and make adjustments if needed.

You can find the workouts below:

Phase 1:

3 Tips to Crush the 30-Day Cross-Training Challenge:

Heed this advice from Lee to get the most out of the next month of training.

Choose the right weight for each move: On a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being extremely easy to lift and 5 being extremely hard), these exercises should feel like a 3. That also means you might want different weights for different exercises.

Learn the movements: Take time to pause the video at any point and replay. Perfect practice makes perfect form, and perfect form will prevent injuries. Don’t feel rushed.

Hydrate and fuel appropriately: You are adding a new element into your training, and on some days, you’ll be doing both a run and a strength workout. Be sure to fuel up beforehand and recover well afterward, while hydrating throughout the day

Chris Lee is the assistant coach and head trainer for Tinman Elite, a NSCA-certified strength and conditioning specialist, NASM-certified corrective exercise specialist, level-1 functional movement specialist, and level-1 certified run gait analyst.

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