No pain… no gain, eh?

The debate between bodybuildingesque training routines some of the people openly scout to prepare for obstacle races and those who choose to focus on essentials (running) is never ending.

What’s clear is that running is a key component that can’t be overlooked. Especially if you want to achieve a bit in this sport.

In previous interview with elite athlete Tanner Farenik we discussed the nonsense of focusing on building strength, but not endurance. This manifests through pain stained faces after the leg days – you know the ones filled with excruciating DOMS.

There is a better way to strengthen the legs without walking like a cowboy for the next few days. This however means taking it easier and leaving ego at a door: thinking big and long term and focusing on being able to run very next day.

Sounds like a win-win routine? It should.

So here’s a routine I throw in 1-2 times a week without destroying muscle fibers or soaking my legs with lactic acid:

  • 5×5 single leg deadlifts with kettlebells. For each leg. I use a bench or step to create some depth since kettlebell might stop the natural range of motion by brushing the floor.

    Demo as part of the video):

  • 4×20 lunges. Count the steps. Weighted (sandbag on one’s shoulders) or bodyweight – depends how much pain you want the next few days.
  • 4×6 single leg plyometric jumps. Use a box, a bench or any other higher ground surface. Focus on form rather than power/speed. As per usual: last rep has to look like the first one.
  • 5×5 single leg/pistol squats. Bodyweight and pretty – if you cannot do it, simple full range of motion squats (ass to the grass) will do the trick
  • 4×8 calf raises.

Kaboom! Quick and simple.

The key here is to take it easy. I do advice to have a separate day of stronger lifts with weighted squats etc. However have a routine that strengthens your legs without DOM, doesn’t matter how addictive it can be.

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