This first four week block introduces the fundamentals of physical preparation including dynamic warm-up, trunk bracing (core work) and general strength.  Across the four weeks the difficulty of the sessions can be increased with week one focusing on teaching the exercises, week two on perfecting technique, week three on increasing challenge and week four on seeing how much the athletes have improved.

Exercises

Dynamic Warm Up A

  • 20m Easy Skip (cue “knee up/toe up/arm action”)
  • Walking knee to chest squeeze x 6 each side
  • 20m Easy Skip
  • Bodyweight squat arms in front x 10 (“heels down/hips back”)
  • Walking lunges x 10 (“step over the knee/vertical torso/coordinated arms”)
  • 20m Easy Skip
  • Hip hinge x 10 reps
  • 20m Lateral skip left
  • Sumo squat x 10 reps
  • 20m Lateral skip right
  • Lateral lunge to 90 degrees and slide back x 5reps each side
  • 20m Easy Skip
  • Reverse lunge to high knee x 10 reps
  • 20m Easy Skip

Trunk Bracing A

  • Side plank from knee (anti lateral flexion) – 30s
  • Shoulder tap push up (anti rotation) – 30s
  • Deadbug  (anti extension) – 30s
  • Rolling plank (anti rotation) – 30s
  • Monster walk with mini bands (glutes) – 10m*
  • Push up climb from forearms (scapular setting) – 30s

Introduction to General Strength

Single Leg Progressions

  • Single leg quarter squat & hold 30secs each side (x2)
  • Single leg quarter squat 8 reps (x2)

Lunge Progressions

  • Reverse lunge 8 reps each side (x2)
  • Walking lunge 15m (x2)
  • Walking lunge with dowel overhead 15m (x2)

Hip Hinge Progressions

  • Kneeling hip hinge x 12
  • Standing hip hinge 12reps (x2)
  • Inchworm walk out 2×6*

Push Up Progressions

  • Push to giant cone from knees 10 reps (x2)
  • Push up to giant cone 8 reps (x2)

Bridging Progressions

  • Bridging from heels 20 reps (x2)
  • Single leg bridges 12reps each side (x2)*

Split Squat Progressions

  • Split squat and hold 45secs each leg (x2)
  • Split squat and hold with dowel overhead 45secs each leg (x2)

Finisher A

  • Single leg hold against wall
  • Split Squat and hold
  • Push Ups x 10
  • Double leg bridge and hold
  • Wall sits

Session Execution Notes

The following notes provide guidance for individuals undertaking the session in a sports hall. Adjustments should be made for other venues.

Schedule

The session should progress through the following order. During weeks 1-2 when participants are first learning the exercises it may be necessary to reduce the time they are performed for in order to keep to time. In weeks 3-4 when everyone knows the exercises the time the participants are working for can be increased. The list below shows the session structure and provides an idea of which elements would typically be performed during which weeks. The reason less is done during weeks 1 and 2 is because more demonstration and explanation is required on the part of the coach, lengthening session times.

  • Dynamic Warm Up A – Week 1, 2, 3, 4
  • Trunk Bracing A – Week 1, 2, 3, 4
  • Introduction to General Strength A – Week 1, 2, 3,4
  • Finisher A – Week 1 (if time permits), 2, 3, 4
  • Trunk Bracing A – Week 2 (if time permits), 3, 4
  • Static Stretching – Week 1, 2, 3, 4

Dynamic Warm Up

The Dynamic Warm-up can be performed with participants moving from one side of the hall to the other. The 20m distance is just a guide and can be extended or reduced based on space. The focus during the warm up is on technique and mobilising the key joints (ankle, knee, hip, spine, shoulder, elbow).

Trunk Bracing A

The initial two weeks Trunk Bracing is performed the focus is on correct exercises execution with good explanation and demonstration from the coach. Participants have the option to work for either 15s/30s/45s/60s. The rest period is the time required to demo the next exercise.

During weeks 3 and 4, participants have the option to work for either 15s/30s/45s/60s. The total time including rest for each exercise is 75s. Such a structure allows for differentiation between groups while staying on a consistent schedule. Therefore the work to rest rations are as follows for each group:

  • 15s work / 60s rest
  • 30s work / 45s rest
  • 45s work / 30s rest
  • 60s work / 15s rest

Individuals should choose a work time that they can manage with perfect form.

Introduction to General Strength A

In weeks 1 and 2 the focus is on correct exercises execution with good explanation and demonstration from the coach. Most exercises should be performed for 2 sets so the athletes can have a go at learning the key movements. During these first two weeks the exercises will probably not be that tiring because athletes are learning the movements.

In weeks 3 & 4, less explanation and demonstration should be required by the coach. This will reduce rest periods between exercises challenging the participants further. The focus is always on good execution rather than trying to make the athlete tired.

Finisher A

Participants have the option to work for either 15s/30s/45s/60s.The total time including rest for each exercise is 75s. Such a structure allows for differentiation between groups while staying on a consistent schedule. For push-ups individuals have to do 10 reps in the 60s. If they finish early they get to rest for the remainder of the exercise.

Static Stretching

At the end of the session the following static stretches should be performed. These will help lengthen the muscles on the anterior (front) of the body, which are usually extremely tight on runners.

  • Standing quad stretch
  • Kneeling hip flexor stretch
  • Kneeling hip flexor stretch with arms overhead
  • Cat stretch (for abdominals)
  • Seated glute stretch with twist