Lisa Hannam
Lisa Hannam

How I’m prepping for a 5k run in the gym

Cardio is hard, people! And if you’re like me, not the most motivated runner, you need reinforcements to boost your training for a run event. My next race: the Shoppers Drug Mart Run for WOMEN, a 5K/10K run/walk. Because it supports local women’s mental health programs, I’m keen on participating again this year. And after meeting with Olympic coach and Canada Athletics head coach Jeff Huntoon at a Nike Canada event that was bridging together the Nike+ Run Club with Nike Training Club, I learned that I can enhance my running in the gym, without stepping foot on a treadmill. Here’s how he says to do it:

“This workout is meant to take you beyond your comfort zone and to change things up. I’m not a fan of only training with long runs. This offers a different range of motion and dynamics. And another beauty in having diversity in your workouts, you can get through plateaus and break barriers.” – Jeff Huntoon, Canada Athletics head coach

The Run Workout:
Do each move for 30 seconds. For moves that focus on one side of the body, like crossover step-ups, do 15 seconds then switch sides for the remainder of the count. Do two to three full rounds to complete the workout.

Weighted Crossover Stepups

Crossover step-ups
Use heavy weights for this one. You’ll want to strengthen your legs for race day and this is how you’ll do it. Keep your hips facing forward as you use your outer leg to crossover to step up onto the bench. Reverse the move to step back down. After 15 seconds, switch sides.

Side Hurdles

Side hurdles
Set the hurdles about a foot apart. Bring your knees up high as you skip one leg at a time over the hurdles quickly. Keep your hips facing forward. It’s easy to twist or lean to the side, but don’t do it. Once you get to the end, stay facing the same way and lead with the other leg as you skip back with high knees. Do this as many times as you can in 30 seconds.

TRX Mountain Climbers

TRX mountain climbers
Start off in a plank, so that your head, shoulders, hips and feet in the TRX straps form a straight line. Alternate legs in bringing one knee up to your chest at a time. Do this for 30 seconds. (No access to a TRX? No problem. Just do mountain climbers on the floor.)

Weighted Squats

Squats with rotating shoulder presses
Choose a dumbbell you can comfortably push up and over your head. With the weight of your body on your heels, sit low and bring the weight to one side. As you stand up, press the weight up in the air. When you return to the squat, lower the weight to the other shoulder. Alternate sides as you squat through the 30 seconds.

Plank Shoulder Taps

Shoulder tap planks
Get into the plank position (the top part of a pushup). Make sure your core is engaged by pulling your belly button into your spine. The more narrow your feet are, the harder this will be. Tap one shoulder at a time, alternating sides, for 30 seconds.


Medicine ball wall tosses
Holding the ball with both hands at one shoulder, push the ball away from your body so it hits the wall. You’ll naturally twist your upper body, engaging the core. Catch the ball and repeat. After 15 seconds, toss the ball from the other side of your body.

Want to join me at the Run For WOMEN? Register now!


Also, thanks to my trainer Paula Sinclair, who helps me train every year for my running events, too.