Good runners integrate jumps in their training. Are they of any use for amateurs and if yes, what is there to be borne in mind?
Jumps make sense for every runner, because they strengthen your body and they lead to improved coordination and running economy. Jumps consist of a powerful push-off from the ground and a long flight phase. But note: they are not quite as easy and dynamic as they seem. If they aren’t prepared adequately, they possibly destroy more than they help. When doing jumps, tendons, ligaments and muscles are exposed to extraordinary strong percussions. A well-prepared body is therefore an important precondition! Hence, you should strengthen your body, especially your core, and you should train the muscles used for running specifically. For jumps, start with the basics and only gradually increase the amount and the intensity.
Adequate starting points are minor jumps, high knee skips or rope skipping. 15 minutes are enough for such an introductory programme. Attention: Increasing stress on your musculoskeletal system should always be preceded by a thorough warm-up of at least 10 minutes. Integrate jumps into an ordinary running training. You could for example do jumps at the beginning of your session, and then continue with your planned run. The jumps can be deliberately extended in intensity. However, efficient jumps require a good technique. If possible, practice your jumps in a group where there is a coach present to observe you, in order to avoid malposition.
This post is also available in DE.