I know plenty of runners who are able to run 5-6 days a week and put in a lot of mileage without getting injured. I am not so fortunate. Typically I do well in the first part of my half marathon trainings, but tend to have overuse injuries by week 8. A good way to increase your strength is to incorporate plyometric workouts.
Plyometric workouts are great for runners because they utilize fast twitch muscles. Plyometric workouts are explosive movements that will help to increase your strength, speed, and energy efficiency. It is recommended that you have been doing some sort of strength training before you jump right into a heavy plyometrics routine to reduce the risk of injury. One day a week is a good place to start.
When you run longer distances, you mainly use slow twitch muscle fibers. Plyometrics teaches your body to also utilize your fast twitch muscle fibers. In doing so, you will be able to increase your cadence (or steps per minute), which equates to a faster pace. Overall, you will be more efficient and have a more powerful toe off. Here are some plyometric exercises that you can do.
Let me know what you think. These are some great workouts and you can do them with almost no equipment. Get started today and you will be breaking your PR’s (personal records) before you know it.