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When you run, your body functions like a spring. Every time your foot hits the ground, certain tendons and muscles stretch like rubber bands to absorb the energy on impact and then release it back into the ground as they return to their normal length.
With proper conditioning, your legs can capture and reuse more of this “free energy” and thus run more efficiently. Plyometric moves like the box jump are great for increasing stiffness in your legs during impact (a good thing for runners). To do it, stack aerobics steps 6 to 18 inches high (or find a box of similar height). Stand on one leg and jump up onto the step, then immediately back down. Complete 12 jumps, then switch to the other leg to complete the set.
We asked elite runners, coaches, doctors, and more to share their very best advice to help you run farther, faster, longer, and stronger
We asked elite runners, coaches, doctors, and more to share their very best advice to help you run farther, faster, longer, and stronger.