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Alternative training for busy runners

Although running is one of the most convenient sports you can do in that you can just lace up your trainers and go; it isn’t always practical to head out of the door for a run. With that in mind, check out these workouts that you can do from the comfort of your own home.

Exercise Aim Sets Reps Recovery Tips
Walking lunges Single leg strength 3 10 (5 each leg) 60 secs Keeping your head and chest up, switch on your core muscles and take a wide step. Drop your back knee towards the floor. Be sure that your knee and ankle on your forward leg remain in alignment. Using your glutes, drive your hips through and take the next forward step. If you want to challenge your core stability and strength further, you can perform this exercise whilst holding a medicine ball above your head.
Press ups Upper body strength 2-3 10-20 90 secs Assume a straight arm plank position, ensure that your hands are directly under your shoulders. Bend at the elbow and lower your body, keeping your back flat and your neck in a neutral position. Push back up the starting position.
Single leg squats Single leg strength 3 5-8 each leg 60 secs Keeping your head and chest up, hinge back from your hips, pushing your bum back and your weight through your heels. Keep your core muscles switched on to help with stability. Try to ensure that you maintain good hip and knee alignment.
Kneeling side plank with leg raise Pelvic strength and stability 3 30 seconds (each side) 60 secs Lie on your side with your knees bent at 90o and your legs behind you. Your knees and shoulder should be in line. Prop your torso up with your upper arm. Lift your hips upward until your body forms a straight line from your knees to your head. Extend your top leg straight and hold this position, making sure that your hips don’t drop towards the floor and your head remains in a neutral position.
Single leg calf raises Lower leg strength 3 15-25 60 secs Stand with the ball of your foot on a step, bending your knee slightly. Raise up onto your tiptoes and then concentrate on lowering your heel slowly back to the starting position.
Glute bridge Lumbo-pelvic stability 3 8-10 60 secs Lie on your back with your knees bent at 90 degrees and your feet flat on the floor. Squeeze your glutes and lift your hips until your body forms a straight line from your neck to your knees. Hold this position for 5-10 seconds, remembering to keep your glutes switched on. Return to the start position and repeat.

Tabata circuit

Tabata training is a form of high intensity interval training (HIIT) that is based on 4 minute blocks. It’s a fantastic and time effective way to work on both your aerobic and anaerobic energy systems. However, there is a catch; this type of training isn’t for the faint hearted. You need to push yourself hard and not simply ‘go through the motions’ if you want to reap the benefits.

Each exercise in the circuit lasts for 4 minutes and is split into the following format:

  • Work for 20 seconds

  • Rest for 10 seconds

  • Repeat 8 times

  • Take 1 minute of rest between each different exercise.

You can even download a Tabata training timer for your phone or iPad that keeps track of time for you.

Try the following routine for a workout that will leave you feeling the burn

Step ups

Step up onto a box, whilst, maintaining a good posture, chest up and shoulders back.  Step down using the same leading leg. Alternate legs and repeat.

Mountain climber

Start in a straight arm plank position. Alternate bending your knees and bringing them forward as close to your hands as possible. Focus on keeping your back flat throughout the movement.


Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. Drop down into a ‘push-up’ position. Push back up and jump into a squat position. Jump as explosively as you can into the air, raising your hands above your head to complete one rep. On landing, start the next rep straight away. 

Side plank

Lie on your side with your legs straight and your ankles together. Prop your torso up with your upper arm. Lift your hips upward until your body forms a straight line from your ankles to your neck. Alternate sides for each 20 second block. 

Reverse lunge

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Step one foot back directly behind your body. Bend both knees to drop into a single leg squat position. Return to the starting position and alternate legs.

Russian Twists

Sit leaning back slightly with both knees bent and your feet elevated so that you assume a ‘V position’. Hold a weighted object with both hands. (If you don’t have any dumbbells or weighted plates at home then a large bag of rice will do). Keeping your hips facing forward and your trunk fixed, rotate your upper body and the medicine ball to each side, turning your head as you twist.

Written by Louise Damen

Louise is a two-time England Cross Country Champion and a former European XC Trials winner. She has also represented GB at various international events and her marathon PB is 2:30:00.

Comments (1)

  • sfernando 'some graphics/ pictures would certainly help Louise for some easy work out plan to keep the Seniors slim fit and healthy please. Thanks'

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