It’s good practice to add in some plyometric drills to your workouts. This keeps you moving in a multi-planar fashion and gives you a total body workout, keeping you lose and strong (just like the soccer players).
What are plyometrics?
They are movements with high velocity, nicknamed the “stretch-shortening cycle.” You stretch your muscle before an explosive contraction, such as jumping.
Research even states good jumpers are better 5Kers.
Dr. Jason Karp, a coach and exercise physiologist recommends these drills to boost your overall running ability:
Box jumps: (These are my personal favorite and popular among CrossFit enthusiasts.) From the ground, jump with two feet onto a 1-foot tall box, and then immediately jump into the air and back down to the ground. As you improve, try jumping with one foot at a time.
Bleacher hops: (Great for an addition to track practice.) Stand at the bottom of the bleacher steps on one leg, hop up the steps. Walk back down and hop up again on the other leg.
Single leg hops: (You might see someone doing these at the local gym.) 1) On one leg, hop up and down; 2) hop forward and back; and finally, 3) hop side to side.
Squat jumps: With hands on hips in a squat position, jump straight up as high as you can. Upon landing, lower back into a squat position in one smooth motion and immediately jump up again.