The Wildlife Conservation Society has partnered with the New York Aquarium to create the Run for the Wild 5K Run and Walk on October 9th. This race is a wonderful cause that will help protect the majestic sea turtle population and other animals around the world in need of your support. The race will take place on the renowned boardwalk of Coney Island. Registration is currently open to all participants or for those who would like to support a runner. When you register as a runner, you will receive all-day access to the aquarium and two free passes to any ride at Luna Park. Moreover, there will be plenty of other perks for all runners! Oh, and not to worry if you are a beginner runner but still would like to sign up to participate in the race, because you may walk the entire 5K.
Below are some strength and cardiovascular movements to help train for this 5K that is a little over a month away. This is an excellent event to improve your cardiovascular ability while strengthening your lower body.
Happy running to all and thank you for supporting the sea turtles!
1. Step Up with Knee Up on Plyometric Box – This is an effective exercise since it strengthens each leg unilaterally on an incline and simultaneously engages the core for balance. To start, place a stable box or exercise stool of about one foot in height in front of you. With your arms crossed and flat against your chest, step up onto the box gently with one foot. Your other leg will then perform a “knee up” gesture which is the act of flexing your knee to go higher than hip level. To finish the exercise, step back down to the starting position. Some things to remember: be gentle on your joints when stepping up onto the box, keep optimal posture throughout the exercise, and keep your hands crossed on your chest so you aren’t tempted to utilize any momentum with your upper body. Perform 4 sets total, 2 sets of 24 repetitions for a concrete goal.
2. Interval Jumping Jacks – Most runners do not realize that using their own body weight when performing intervals can be extremely beneficial. Interval training using your own body weight is a valuable method to develop more speed and progress for any runner’s sprinting ability. To begin, execute Standard Jumping Jacks for a 2-minute total duration consisting of 1 minute and 30 seconds at a pace of 55% of your aerobic energy, and then blasting the final 30 seconds utilizing 85% of your maximum effort in a controlled fashion. To reiterate from earlier, the first 1:30 should be at an even, easy pace; whereas the last: 30 should feel intense by really elevating your heart rate! Beginners should attempt 2 rounds, while the more advanced individual should shoot for 4 rounds. Remember to keep your legs/knees locked for more muscle recruitment in the glutes, hamstrings, and calves.
3. Romanian Split Lunge – This exercise will provide a deep stretch for your hip flexors and quadriceps while strengthening the glutes. It works your glutes intensely, and stronger glutes are critical for proper function for any runner. To start, prop the toes of one foot onto a flat surface that is about one foot in height and placed about two feet behind you (therefore creating a 120-degree angle in your leg). While keeping your bent leg & toes secure, stabilize your standing leg on the ground for support. Place your hands crossed and flat against your chest. Next, slowly lower your torso and lunge downward, bending your back knee as low to the ground as possible. Pause at the bottom of the lunge for a solid second while keeping optimal posture without leaning forward. Then, rise up from the lunge to the starting position to complete the exercise. To make this more of a challenge, try to have your bent knee touch the ground gently with each lunge. On the other hand, if your balance is not quite there, use a pole or the wall to help with stabilization. Executing 4 sets total of 2 sets on each side performing 12 repetitions should be a great goal.
4. Plank with Alternating Leg – This is a challenging movement that will get your lower body involved while building a stronger core in the process. Begin by getting into the prone plank position with your heels up and your elbows bent with your forearms stabilized on the floor. Next, bring one leg up about one-two inches above the floor and hold for 10 seconds. Keep your leg and knee that are in the air locked to recruit more muscle fibers in your glute and hamstring. Lower the leg and switch to the other, again holding for 10 seconds. Repeat, alternating legs for 3 complete rounds totaling 30 seconds per side. Perform these 3 rounds twice for a successful challenge.
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