The Spring Run-Off 8K is one of Toronto’s oldest races, and this year the event will be held virtually, running from April 1 to 30. In anticipation of the upcoming race, Under Armour (the title sponsor of the event) wants to help runners be at their best come the spring. With only seven weeks until the event opens, it’s time to lace up and get out running.

Under Armour’s comprehensive training program includes strength, mobility, recovery and running outlines – everything a runner needs to get them to the start line in one piece. Runners should be running and mobilizing five times a week, strength training twice weekly and emphasizing recovery everyday.

The Race

Over 43 years ago, the Etobicoke Huskies track club started the Spring Run-Off as a fundraiser. Now organized by the Canada Running Series, the 5K and 8K courses draw thousands of runners to test themselves on the hills of High Park every year. This year, of course, will be a bit different, and the runs won’t have a set location or set courses, nor will athletes be able to race against each other in person. Even so, the Spring Run-Off is still apt to be one of the top events of the year. The race always attracts runners from across the country who are excited to start their spring racing season, and this year will be no different in that regard.

Training Plan

Mobility

Under Armour trainers believe that runners should be doing this mobility routine everyday and before every run. The movement  and mobility routine will prepare your body for running by increasing mobility at the ankles, hips and T-spine. Keeping the body in good condition is not only better for performance, but also helps you stay injury-free. These pre-run exercises are developed to work on areas of the body that are pushed to the max while running.

Squat

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Strength

Strength training should be done two times a week. It’s ideally done on Wednesdays and Saturdays (the two days of the program with very little running) but strength can really be worked into a runner’s week wherever it fits best. Do these exercises with as little rest as possible in between them (you want to complete one to three rounds). Take roughly a minute after each set to rehydrate.

Reverse lunge

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Recovery

From the outside looking in, it might seem like strength and mobility are the only two aspects of training that really matter, but that isn’t the case at all. Recovery is extremely important, and if you don’t recover well after your workouts, the rest of your training will suffer. This Under Armour recovery program hits areas of the body that need the most attention after your workouts, and they should be done every day. 

Foam roll groin

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Calendar

This running program is built for beginner and intermediate level runners. Runners will be introduced to tempo runs, hill repeats and long runs, along with an appreciation of the easy day. It’s an eight-week plan, taking runners to mid-April and the middle of the Spring Run-Off virtual window. To sign up for the event, click here

The full training plan can be found here.