How to Tackle a 10K on the Trail

Quads and Glutes

Straight Leg Lifts This exercise assists in retraining the large quad muscle (the VMO or vastus medialis oblique) to fire correctly. Lie on your back with the working leg straight and the non-exercising leg bent near 90 degrees. Lift the working leg 12 to 18 inches and hold for 5 seconds with the toe pointed toward your head and rotated away from the center of your body. The burn should be felt in the large quad muscle. Perform this exercise for three to five sets of 10 for each leg. As you progress, ankle weights or shoes can be added for more resistance.

Single-Leg Bridge Start by lying on your back with your arms at your sides. With one knee bent at 90 degrees and the other straight, raise your hips off the ground. A straight line should follow from the shoulders, to hip, knee, and ankle of the extended leg. Hold for three seconds, lower, repeat. Work both sides. Try completing one set of 10 and gradually work up to multiple sets of 10 to 20 for each leg.

Hip Abduction Lie on the ground on one side with the arm closest to the ground extended and legs straight. Use the other arm to brace your body. Lift the upper leg in a scissor-like motion. Hold for 3 seconds and lower. Try completing one set of 10 and gradually work up to multiple sets of 10 to 20.

Lunges Looking straight ahead, with hands on hips, take a big step forward, bend the knee and lower your body so the front leg is bent at a 90-degree angle. Then slowly push back up and step back to the original position. Start with six to eight reps on each side.

Ankle and Foot

Alphabet Write the alphabet with your toes.

Ankle Circles Make five slow clockwise then counterclockwise turns with each foot. Repeat five times.

More: 12 Ways to Build Ankle Strength for Top Performance

Towel Pickups Pick up a towel with your toes, drop, and repeat for one minute.

Lower Back

Back Extensions Lie facedown on the floor and place your hands behind your head. Contract your abs and keep them contracted throughout the movement. Squeeze your back to lift your chest a few inches off the floor. Lower and repeat for one to three sets of eight to 12 reps. To increase the difficulty, lift your legs off the floor at the same time you lift your chest.

More: Build Core Strength and Endurance Without Crunches

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