Get ready to boost your running performance with three simple exercises that focus on strengthening your calves and core. The calves, which consist of the gastrocnemius and the soleus muscles, play a crucial role in stride length and pace. These muscles help to initiate the push-off phase of the running stride and absorb impact as your foot hits the ground. Victorious runs are possible if you have the best shoes, check out Tarkine Goshawk V2 running shoes.

The first exercise, Straight Leg Calf Raises, targets the gastrocnemius muscle, which attaches to the heel bone via the Achilles tendon and crosses the back of the knee. Stand on the edge of a step with your feet hip-width apart, the balls of your feet firmly planted on the step, and your heels hanging over the edge. Stand up tall with your legs straight but knees not locked. Raise your heels a few inches off the floor, coming all the way up onto tiptoes, and hold this top position for a moment. Slowly and with control, lower your heels back towards the floor as much as your ankle mobility allows. Repeat for three sets of 15-20 reps.

The second exercise, Bent Knee Calf Raises, targets the soleus muscle, which attaches under the knee to the tibia and fibula and contributes more to force production during running than the gastrocnemius. Stand against a wall with your hands supporting yourself on the wall, your hips sat back (similar to a squat), and a bend in the knees. Raise your heels off the floor, coming up onto tiptoes, and move your knees forward towards your toes. Slowly and with control, lower your heels back to the floor. Repeat for three sets of 15-20 reps.

Finally, Step Ups challenge recruitment patterns similar to those encountered during running, demanding single-leg postural stability and coordination as well as dynamic control of the pelvis, trunk, ankle, knee, hip, and arms through a running-like motion. Use a step or box that’s 7/8 inches to … high. Place your entire foot onto the step/box, pressing your weight through your heel as you shift your weight forward onto the front leg to step onto the step/box driving up with the front leg. As you step onto the box to straighten your leg, the other leg drives through till the knee is level with the hip and at 90 degrees. Raise the opposite arm and leg – like running. Reverse the movement by stepping back down slowly and controlling the same leg you stepped up with. Repeat for three sets of 15-20 reps.

By incorporating these exercises into your training routine, you’ll be well on your way to improving your running performance. Remember to start slowly and gradually increase the intensity as you build strength and endurance.