Time to turn on your Rocky mode. In my last post I mentioned that I added jump roping to my training. When I was taking time off at the end of November after my last race, I was thinking how I could be a stronger running going into my 100 miler that was half a year away then. The race will take every ounce I can give and the stronger I am going into it, the better off I will be. Maybe I was fearful or simply being proactive, but I was already feeling the mercy of the distance. I want and need to be in beast shape when it’s go time.
I told my coach, “I will add anything to my training to make me ready for this. Resistance exercises, tire pulling, weight lifting, plyometrics, run twice a day? Anything you think I should add, I’ll do it.” His response surprised me.
But I followed his suggestion and bought one for about $8 at a sports store. He recommended me to jump rope as my warm up for my core and strength routines. Start at 5 x 30 seconds. Build up to 5 x 1 minute. And then 5 minutes straight. Jump with both feet and even work on single leg jumps.
Here are the benefits for jumping rope for runners:
1. It’s a full body workout. Not only does it work the leg muscles, but the arms and shoulders get worked from turning the rope.
2. It improves your posture. If your back isn’t straight when jumping, you’ll trip over the rope. So you have to keep good form, which will transfer to your running form.
3. It increase endurance. It’s a killer cardio workout which will build your endurance as a runner.
4. It increases your speed. You work your fast twitch muscles which is key for running fast times.
5. It increases your stride cadence. The rapid foot movements while jumping teaches the body to be quick and light on the feet.
6. It burns 12-15 calories a minute.
After about a week I could start to tell a difference in my running. I feel that I am lighter and quicker on my feet. My form feels like it’s smoother and more efficient (whether it really is, not sure. But feeling is the best tool to measure). All around I think this has really improved my running.
It did take some getting use to. Really, how long ago was the last time you jumped rope? Not since, elementary school for me probably. I haven’t reached 5 minutes straight yet, but I’m almost there.
Any other jump ropers out there? Any other exercises that you do, that you don’t really hear of people doing?