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Greater strength for improved performance

The Sanitas running coaching participants Nicole Abgottspon and Christoph Banik aren’t just looking to cross the finish line of the Zürcher Silvesterlauf race in December, they want to improve their general fitness, too.

“It’s important that both are fit on completing the training and haven’t sustained any injuries,” stresses coach and marathon legend Viktor Röthlin. “This means their musculoskeletal system must be able to handle the increased burden.” This is why various exercises to improve flexibility, strength, coordination and speed have been incorporated into their training programme. They also regularly receive endurance training ‘homework’ from Viktor Röthlin. Here’s a littler taster of the exercises our candidates are doing for you to try at home:

Lie on your stomach, with your arms and legs stretched out. Lift your arms and legs off the floor, then raise and lower one arm and the opposing leg, repeat with the opposite side. Make sure to point your toes, have the palms of your hands facing each other and your nose facing the ground.

Pull in your belly button and keep your shoulder blades down. Bend over, placing your hands on the floor and walk your hands forward to the push-up position. Walk your hands back towards your feet. Repeat.

Stand with your legs wide apart, with your feet turned out at 45 degree angle. Slowly squat down as far as possible whilst tensing your tummy and keeping your back straight. You should always be able to see the tips of your toes while doing this exercise.

Front plank: lie on your stomach with your lower arms on the floor and legs stretched out. Lift your entire body off the floor until your legs, pelvis and back are in a straight line. Hold this position for as long as you can.

Side plank: lie on your side with your legs straight, place one hand flat on the floor under your shoulder and position your feet sideways on the floor. Lift your pelvis until your legs, pelvis and neck are in line. Hold this position for as long as you can.

Reverse lunges also test your balance. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, with your hands on your hips. Keeping your upper body straight, lunge backwards with your left leg, repeat with your right. Lower your back knee towards the floor. Your front knee should bend to a maximum of 90 degrees, with your knees and ankles perpendicular.

Take your socks off. Pick them up with your toes, hold them in the air and then place them back on the floor. Repeat.