Here are some exercises that you can do to help make running easier. Doing these will strengthen the muscles specific to running, and help make each run a little easier.
1. Squats. There was a study done in 2008, and they found that doing squats 3 times per week improved running economy and time to exhaustion without any change in body weight. So, essentially, you can run longer without getting tired if you do squats 3 times per week.
2. Bridge. This is where you lay on your back, with your feet on the ground and lift your butt off the ground. Start with 30 seconds at a time, and do 3 sets. As this gets easier, start lifting body parts off the ground, like a leg or arms. You can also increase your time.
3. Planks. Planks help strengthen your core so that you can keep a straight upright posture when you run. It’s common for runners, especially when they tire, to bend forward at the waist. Doing so means you have to work harder to overcome gravity, and it causes your back and upper-leg muscles to overcompensate in an effort to keep you more erect. So you’re exerting more energy and running slower. Do 3 sets of 30 seconds, as you get stronger you can increase your time to one minute.
4. Superman. This move targets your entire back, an essential part of your core. Lie on your stomach with your arms and legs extended so you look like Superman flying through the air. Lift your right arm with the left leg, then alternate sides. A crucial part of running is having good posture. This strengthens your back, and keeps you upright the whole time you run.
5. Stretching your Achilles and Hamstrings. This is what you want to do at the end of a run. This will help lengthen those ligaments, and keep from feeling tight while you run. This is especially important if you wear heels.
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