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Looking to Mix Up Your Workout? Balega Impi Team Workout Ideas for Spring Training - Part 2

This is part two of a two-part spring training workout series. If you missed part one, which featured workouts such as the Hill Pyramid, ladder workout and the GPS Art Long Run, check out part one here. For those of you looking for more workout ideas, we’ve asked our Impi team ambassadors for more suggestions of their unique workout and training ideas. We hope these suggestions provided by the team motivate and/or spark new, creative ways to train this spring.

 

India Running

India Cook is from Marietta, Georgia and her favorite workout is the easy long run.

India Cook is an avid Atlanta-based runner, YouTube vlogger, The Run Duo podcast host, RRCA certified run coach and advocate for all paces and body types. She loves running and racing, but also has a passion for encouraging and guiding runners and those who aspire to become runners. India coaches independently and is also a run coach with a non-profit organization A.R.C., Active Resolute Connected. This organization empowers women through running and helps to break mental and physical barriers. To date, India has completed two full marathons, 16 half marathons, and countless 5k and 10k races.

I really enjoy doing an easy, long run. That can be a 6 to 8 miles run at an easy pace of 12-13 minutes a mile. It should be an easy and conversational pace. This workout tests my limit and allows me to test my endurance. It allows me to be able to just let my body go without any pressure on pace or splits. If I’m training for a half marathon, I usually do an easy long run during week 6 or so. 

Favorite Gear? Two of my favorite pieces of gear that I can’t run without are my Garmin watch and my sports bra. Also, my favorite sock is the Balega Hidden Contour, they have just the right cushion and compression without being too thin.

 

 

Amy Running

Amy Carrion resides in Los Angeles, California with her husband, fellow Impi Alex, and her favorite workout is the pyramid.

Amy Carrion, ultra and marathon distance runner, was born in Sydney, Australia and lives in Los Angeles, California with her husband, baby girl and Husky. She works as a nutritionist and in the corporate advertising world. She loves to spend her weekends exploring the outdoors, trail running and hiking the incredible mountains of California.

To improve speed, I think track work is the most effective - I like to do what I call a pyramid.

  • 4 x 400s at 5K pace
  • 2 mins of easy jogging/walking
  • 4 x 800s at 10k pace
  • 2 mins of easy jogging/walking
  • 4 x 1200 at marathon pace
  • 2 mins of easy jogging/walking
  • 4 x 800s at 10k pace
  • 2 mins of easy jogging/walking
  • 4 x 400s at 5K pace
  • 10 min warm up and cool down

The goal of this type of workout is to improve speed for marathon distance races. I would recommend doing this workout at the peak of your training, around weeks 8-10 of a 16-week training plan. When I did this as part of my marathon training, I ran one of the best marathons I had run in NYC. The speed work definitely helped me keep a great pace and get a PR of 3:23:01.

Favorite Gear? Balega Hidden Comfort socks - no matter how hard you push the pace or how hard your foot hits the ground, these socks keep you from getting any blisters, keep your feet comfortable and protected!

 

 

Jennifer Running

Jennifer Macias Morris is from Spokane, Washington, and her favorite workout is a combo of a mile warm up, drills and strides.

Jennifer Macias Morris has been running for over half her lifetime and is a 1st grader teacher in a Spanish Immersion program in Spokane, WA. She is a high school two-time state champion in track and got a full ride scholarship to run at Oregon State University. Jennifer runs all types of distances but has been focused on the half marathon.

This workout is special to me because it covers various distances and it can be done on the road or on the track. The intended goal is to think about effort exerted via the various intervals instead of thinking about time. For the workout, see below:

  • 1 x Mile at Half Marathon effort with 90 sec. recovery
  • 5 min ‘steady’
  • 2 x .5 Mile at Half Marathon effort with 90 sec. recovery
  • 5 min ‘steady’
  • 4 x .25 Mile at Half Marathon effort with 60 sec. rest
  • 1.5 mile warm down

I typically do this work out a week or two before half marathons to help me focus on the upcoming race.

Favorite Gear? When it comes to workouts my favorite piece of gear to wear is my Balega socks, specifically the UltraGlide socks as they are light, form fitting, and provide great support.

 

 

Lauren DeMarco resides in Colorado Springs, Colorado and her favorite workout right now is mobility work.

Lauren DeMarco is a marathon runner and triathlete. She recently moved to Colorado Springs, CO for work and has fallen right into one of the greatest, most active communities in the country. The community she’s immersed herself in is so motivating and supportive whether she has a race coming up or is injured. Being an endurance athlete has taught her many life skills and has even given her the mental toughness she needs in sport and in the real world. Lauren is constantly seeking out challenges to not only see how far she can push herself, but how many people she can inspire to go out and do epic sh*t as well because life is too short to spend your time on the couch!

 

Lately I have been focusing on self-care and becoming stronger before I hit the road to hit my long runs. My new favorite workout has been a lot of booty work (super cliche) but since being diagnosed with Achilles’ tendonitis and having an imbalance in my muscles, my doctor and personal trainer (MOGO Training) all agreed I need to strengthen my glutes, hamstrings, and even quads since I am so calf dominate. Now before any run or gym session, I take ample time to warm-up and work on mobilization. 

Lauren working out

  • Spend 5 min rolling out (targeting my calves specifically)
  • Grab a small thick band and place it around my ankles bringing one foot slightly back and out to the side holding it out for 30 seconds followed by 15 reps of trying to lift my leg out to the right [switch and do the same thing on the other side]
  • Move the band up above my knees and with one-foot grounded lift the other one up and open the gate and hold it up and out for 30 seconds followed by 15 reps of again lifting it up with little pulses [switch and do the same thing on the other side]
  • With the band still around my thighs (above my knees) I do band walks slow and steady focusing on keeping good form [10 side steps per leg/direction]
  • Still band walking but now band is below my knees [10 side steps per leg/direction]
  • Last band walk is around my feet (NOT my ankles) [10 side steps per leg/direction] - last band exercise I sit down and place the band on my thighs again for hip thrusts - super slow and controlled I thrust up towards the sky open my knees outward (pause for a second) and then back down to the ground - I like to call these “up-out-& downs” helps since I’m not the most coordinated person [slow-controlled-steady for 20 reps]
  • Now, ditching the band, I sit in butterfly position and push/lift my pelvic muscles upwards (called the frog pump) [slow-controlled-steady for 20 reps]
  • I then roll onto my side for clams making sure my body is fully on its side I slowly lift and open the top leg (not too high to where the body is rotating - still want to be on my side) [10 slow reps per side]
  • Next, I do a Swiss ball Squeeze where I take a big Swiss ball, squat down, and place the ball in between my knees.While keeping a neutral pelvis, I squeeze my knees together as hard as I can, trying to crush the ball. After 20 repetitions, this gets my adductors firing and loosens up my hips. If I don’t have a Swiss ball, I’ll do a side plank w/ my top leg on the ground only. I'll pulse the bottom leg up 20 times to get the 1-2 kick on my adductors that way.
  • Finally, I grab a cushioned square mat and remove my shoes and stand with one foot centered on the mat and the other tapping around in a full 360, working on my ankle stability [I pretend my foot is tapping on each number of the clock for 12 taps around and I usually do this in 3 full cycles per leg to work on my ankle mobility]

***warmed up and ready to go! ***

 

This workout is very special to me because working on recovery and strengthening of my muscles (all around) will in turn make me a faster AND stronger runner. I also think being a runner I get ahead of myself and run 7 days a week without the recovery portion and in turn if I want to continue running, I have to slow down and fine tune other aspects of my personal health in order to better my running in the long run.

 

The intended goal of the workout is to: 1) Mobilize, stabilize and strengthen my ankles and hips 2) Maximize the efficiency of my kinetic chain. 3) Reduce & treat overuse - injuries. And 4) Improve running power through more effective running mechanics.

 

Favorite Gear? I have really learned to love the mini band - specifically one from Universal Bands that my trainer has me use – it’s made of a thick good quality and sturdy material and is now a staple in my gym bag. I also absolutely love Balega’s Blister Resist socks for all of my workouts.

 

 

IJustin selfi

Justin Gillette is from Goshen, Indiana and his favorite workout is the hill repeats.

Justin is a father of four and has currently won 114 marathons. He is working towards a goal of finishing a marathon in all 50 States. 

Our Monday Night Hill YEAH! hill repeat group is my favorite workout. Most weeks I try to run 10-12 miles prior to the 30 minutes of up and down the hill. This prepares me for hills late in a marathon. Hills make you stronger physically and mentally, come race day that pays off.

I like this workout so much because the hill does not discriminate for age or ability, it is a hard workout for everyone. We get children, special needs athletes, and elderly coming out for the workout. Rare is the opportunity to get a quality hard work out in with a mixed group of people. This creates unique bonds. During the summer we average over 40 athletes per Hill YEAH! run.

  1. When in a training cycle do you do it? We do the Hill YEAH! runs from March thru October. If athletes are tapering for a race, then they can back off the intensity. Hills are also a good first workout back from running a marathon. Often, I will race a marathon on a weekend and be at Hill YEAH! on a Monday trying to keep up with the others.

Favorite Gear? My go-to running gear for Hill YEAH! Training runs are my Balega Enduro socks. They last forever and provide a good balance of comfort, cushioning, and blister resistance. For races I switch over to the thinner Ultralight running socks. This is a lighter and faster feeling sock, which mentally prepares me for running a race as hard as possible. Sun fatigue and skin damage can be really hard on endurance athletes, so I always wear a hat and sunglasses on my runs. Not having the sun beating down on my head, face, and neck plus protecting my eyes from needing to squint or an unwelcome bug really seems to make a difference in how fatiguing a run is.

 

 

Kristen running

Kristen Hislop is from Half Moon, New York and her favorite workout is the ladder track workout.

Kristen is a run/triathlon coach who has been running for more than 40 years. She loves doing research and bringing that to her clients. Kristen’s motto for Hislop Coaching is “Do Believe Achieve.” You've got to get out there and start. From there, she teaches people to believe in themselves and their ability. Achieving goals follows.

 

I love a ladder track workout. 200, 400, 800, 1200, 1600, 1200, 800, 400, 200. On the way up it is 5K pace for the 200 - 1200. 1600 is 3K pace and then you get quicker as you descend to an all-out 200.

 

Recovery changes over the season. Early season you are taking at least a 400 walking/light run recovery. Towards peak race it gets shorter on the way up but maintains recovery on the way down as you get faster. This workout is a great way to see endurance improvements as well as speed changes. To add a distance and mental challenge I also invert the ladder - start with 1600 to 200 and back to 1600. This is a much tougher mental challenge. I also love it because of the variety in distances.

 

I find this workout is great for people starting on the track. It gives them a variety of distances and the chance to change paces. Based on where someone is in their run journey, they might do it the first time at 10k pace. The goal is to hone in on pacing and work the mental game.

 

Favorite Gear? I am a true gear junkie. I love testing new gear and technologies. For this workout I would probably reach for my xtrainerz from AfterShokz. I can listen to some motivating music, but also hear everyone else on the track. My go to Balega sock for this workout is the Ultralight No Show. I love the extra-deep heel pocket that protects the sock from slipping into my shoe and protects my heel from blisters. My feet always feel happy when I put these socks on! Cool, comfortable and fast.