My “Fall Five” and Plyometrics

Today’s Training: 5 mile run- still humid!

Bye Bye Summer…

Right on the heels of all those fabulous rules from yesterday, I now realize we really are in the season of orange.  Pumpkins galore, Honeycrisp apples, leaves.  It’s here.  Wegmans smelled so fantastically Fall-y this morning I wanted to eat it!  And with that comes the comfort of Autumn and Winter.  I am by no means exempt from the deliciousness of all things yummy this time of year- pumpkin coffee, warm apple crisp, hot cocoa, hot apple cider, and donuts.  Oh- and Oktober and Pumpkin beer!!  This season is going to be a test for me:

-After my marathon, I’ll be done training.  The miles will decrease because of that and also because of stupid daylight savings.  That crap really messes w my running schedule!  The farmers should really re-think this whole thing.
-The farm share will be ending, as farm markets will, and with them the fresh food they provide me with (ok, guys, have your daylight savings for all you do for us).
-The comfort of sitting home under a warm blanket with my boys, drinking cocoa, and baking cookies.  Not to mention the holidays.

All of these things should inevitably lead to my demise- but I won’t let them.  I won’t be unhealthy- it’s too much a part of me- but I will loosen the straps a little bit.  I’ll most certainly gain the Fall (or more likely, winter) Five pounds.  I’ll be a little less rigid with the running post-marathon.  I’ll wholy enjoy this time of year with my toddler and husband.  I’ll remember what relax means.  I’ll watch Brax jump in the leaves, take him apple picking, visit the markets and Apple Shed- he can enjoy it all this year!!

I do not have a treadmill, and I don’t belong to a gym- I run outside all year around.  Fall and winter are my favorite seasons to run.  I lovelovelove the cool air of October when I feel I could just run all day, and I really do enjoy the cold snowy breeze of December.  I’m sure I’ve mentioned- winter running con la babe in belly was the only thing that kept  me from feeling queasy in my first trimester.  I bundle right up and out the door I go- slowly so I don’t slip!  But come snowtime, my miles are nowhere near the 40+ mile weeks I’m working now.

One thing I do a lot of, and will probably see more of as the days get shorter and colder to keep in shape, is plyometrics (or more simply, jump training).  It’s a good thing for a runner to do.  It improves both speed and strength- I’d like to attribute it to my faster pace lately.  Some examples from a stick figure I’ll call Glen:

True plyometrics are done very quickly- as to simulate a sprinter.  For a distance runner, simple jumping exercises are far more productive.  I’ll still call them plyometrics.  Tomato, TomAHto.  They are designed to improve muscle resiliancy.  They rapidly stretch a muscle and then just as quickly shorten it, improving its power.  A warning- plyometrics can easily lead to injury, so it’s very important to do them correctly.  Work into them slowly, and avoid them if you have joint problems.  And always warm up before doing them. You know, the “don’t work a cold muscle thing”.  Jump training benefits:

  • Vertical jump performance
  • Leg strength
  • Muscle power
  • Acceleration
  • Balance
  • Overall agility
  • Bone density (especially in younger participants)

I like this video for some ideas of plyometrics specifically for running (please excuse boring narrator man):

Happy jumping!  Happy Fall!


His Running My Running
– Robert Francis

Mid-autumn late autumn
At dayfall in leaf-fall
A runner comes running.

How easy his striding
How light his footfall
His bare legs gleaming

Alone he emerges
Emerges and passes
Alone, sufficient

When Autumn was early
Two runners came running
Striding together

Shoulder to shoulder
Pacing each other
A perfect pairing

Out of leaves falling
Over leaves fallen
A runner comes running

Aware of no watcher
His loneness my loneness
His running my running


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