People often ask me about my S&C program and in particular, how I train my legs.
I like to do 3 weight trainings a week and in the rest of the days I like to use LSD or HIIT protocols with running, swimming and cycling.
As for my legs though, I have a little secret.
Thing is, I went to university in the city of Veliko Tărnovo in Bulgaria. It’s a beautiful city, old capital of my country, with many historical sites. The whole city is built around the remains of a huge castle. And while you can really have great time in Veliko Tărnovo, enjoying local hand craft bazaars, live music restaurants, awesome art galleries and etc, you will notice a very simple fact- the only directions in the city are “up the stairs” or “down the stairs”.
As you can imagine, it is quite the challenge going home after a few beers with your friends, especially in the winter, or with a girl, wearing high heels.
So here is my secret- there were a lot of beers and girls in high heels during those 6 years I spent in Veliko Tarnovo. I was running, climbing and crawling those stairs on a daily basis, like a Sherpa in the snowy winters and hot summers.
Now, let’s get back to the topic.
Y U No Run???
Recently, there have been plenty of articles out there, claiming that running is damaging your knees, it is stupid, useless and etc.
I am not really sure how we, as bipedal species, made to spend our life on our two feet, can damage our knees by doing what we are suppose to do anyway- run. Of course, with the recent urban lifestyle there are LOTS of people who just have lost their touch with nature and I cannot help but cringe every time I see them “run” on a treadmill. They actually DO NEED lessons of proper walking and running, before they even put on their running shoes.
In this article, I would like to point out a few ways you can run and have fun, while enjoying all the benefits from the exercise.
First, what are those benefits?
Through running you can increase your leg strength, your balance and coordination, you will improve your main lifts, by strengthening the little muscles, bone and soft tissue integrity.
Now, what kind of running protocols can we use?
I will start with the off track running- beach, mountain, anywhere. Maintain good rhythm and enjoy the nature. The whole 10 km of it!
For the people who don’t have a chance to go outdoors so often, I would suggest stairs run. You can find stairs pretty much everywhere in a city. You could do stairs sprints (10 sets of 1-2 floors with not more than 30 seconds in between is a great way to boost your leg power and adrenaline), you could also do longer distances on stadiums, if you have already built your muscle endurance for that.
If you live near a stadium, there are plenty of protocols you could use. From short sprint bursts (20- 50 meters), up to half length (100- 200 meters), or test your maximum efforts in 1- 2 lapses.
Great thing about stadiums is that usually they have bars and other equipment around the tracks, so you could easily include them into more complicated circuits.
Run for fun!