When you want to guarantee longer runs with less injuries, add in exercises and movements to help with. These 3 are not even supplemental… they are non negotiable. We want to help you with:

  1. Rhythm
  2. Coordination
  3. Muscular Strength

You might ask yourself, why are these Non-Negotiable? Your aerobic capacity, which is what you train when you go for your runs, has a 50% energy contribution to your running economy. At some point you will plateau and you won’t be able to increase that capacity any further.

So which areas of our energy systems can we tap into to create a lasting benefit, especially for the end of our long runs or races? This system is called the Kinetic Energy System or Reactive Energy system.

What is Kinetic energy and how can we develop it? Kinetic energy differs from Frictional/Heat energy because it’s lossless. Kinetic energy is sustained energy that muscles maintain throughout exercise, think about muscle memory when you’re doing a task with little to no energy.

Capitalizing on your rhythm, coordination, and muscular strength can increase the kinetic energy capabilities of your body (more importantly, your lower body and how it relates to the rest of your body).

Let’s start with Rhythm and Coordination because they almost go hand in hand. Why is rhythm important to my running? If we are not in sync with our movements and let our arms, head, posture, and legs do as they please with every stride… We will end up with wasted Aerobic/Frictional energy. Remember we only have a limited amount of that stuff, why waste it?

Typical exercises and one tip that should be done before every run to emphasize these 2 points should include:


  1. High Knees
  2. A - Skip
  3. B - Skip
  4. Bounding

These exercises are great to start building a rhythm to your running. Emphasizes the continuous “touch and go” movement while coordinating your other moving body parts to your legs.

Here's a Tip:

  • Try to spend as little time on the ground. These exercises should be carried out for that very reason. “Touch and go” should be your mantra.

Muscular Strength is all too commonly avoided by runners, especially our female runners. It's been noted that if you are too muscular, you’ll be slow. But, no one is saying to go and bench press like a powerlifter. Runners SHOULD be in the weight room just as much as a football player is during their offseason. This doesn’t mean to spend all your spare time there but make some time to get in there and  Exercises like deadlifts, back squat, front squat, pull ups, overhead press, rows, and many others should be a staple for us runners.

What do they help with?

  1. Muscular-Tendon Strength (calf muscle - achilles tendon, quadriceps - patellar tendon, hamstring muscles and tendons (3 of them)
  2. Running efficiency - the stronger our muscles, the longer we can run.
  3. Joint strength. Running places high loads on lower body joints, the stronger the supporting muscles are… the more joints can withstand.

There is so much to go into when it comes to increasing running efficiency. These are just small sample sizes of three easily added interventions to increase running efficiency. If we add the pre-run drills in, it will increase our endurance performance for all of us… regardless of what level runners we are.

For any questions regarding this, please feel free to reach me at Dr.mueenghoury@aligntohealth.net.