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Runner's needs

Up mountains; over hills and dales; cross-country. Whatever you do, off-road running is hard work. You must combine the poise, coordination and presence of mind to navigate potentially treacherous terrain.

As a result, it’s not only prudent to have all the right gear in your kit bag, but also to give your body the tools to be competitive during a race. Adam Hickey is a Team GB cross-country runner and running coach, and he has taken the time to give us some insight into how he prepares for a race.

Even though this is a strength and conditioning workout, Adam will use only his bodyweight as the mode of resistance. By keeping the reps high he can increase his lower body strength, while at the same time limiting any bulk that would likely hinder him in a race.


A workout for competitive trail runners, to help them gain a physical edge over the varied terrain of trail running


Running across country can be brutal, so strengthening key areas will improve your chances of success and help stave off injury


Using a collection of bodyweight exercises to strengthen the core, quads, hamstrings and adductors


Sumo squats

Quadriceps, Hamstrings & Glutes

Sumo squats technique

Technique: Start standing with a wide stance (legs should be well outside shoulder-width apart). Holding your hands to your chest, or out in front of you, squat down until your thighs are parallel with the floor. Come back up for one rep.

15 reps // 60 secs rest // 3 sets


TRX Mountain Climbers

Quadriceps & Hamstrings

TRX mountain climber

Technique: Get down on all fours and place your feet in the stirrups of the TRX. Raise yourself into a press-up position to start. Now, as quickly as possible, bring one knee into the opposite side of your chest and repeat with the other leg, as if you were sprinting.

15 reps // 60 secs rest // 3 sets


Walking lunges

Glutes & Quads

Walking lunges technique

Technique: Start in a standing position and take one step forward into a lunge. As you go down, make sure your lead thigh and your rear shin are both parallel with the floor. Keep your neck and back straight, and your chest out proud.

15 reps (per leg) // 60 secs rest // 3 sets


Inch worms

Quadriceps & Hamstrings

Inch worm technique

Technique: Start on all fours and rise up into a pike position (an inverted v shape). With small movements, shuffle your feet towards the centre of your body until you feel the strain in your hips and lower back, then repeat the movement with your hands, until you feel the stretch in your core. That’s one rep.

15 reps // 60 secs rest // 3 sets


Sissy squats

Quadriceps & Hamstrings

Sissy squats technique

Technique: Standing with feet shoulder-width apart, hold your hands in front of you and begin to slowly dip down into a squat.
As you do, extend one leg backwards behind the other, as if you’re curtseying. Come back up for one rep.

15 reps (per leg) // 60 secs rest // 3 sets


Pistol squats

Posterior Chain

Pistol squats technique

Technique: Start by adjusting the TRX handles to roughly chest height. Start with feet shoulder-width apart, holding onto the TRX handles lightly. Squat down as far as you can, extending one leg directly out in front of you as you do. Drive back up through the heel of your planted foot, allowing the TRX to take just a small bit of the load.

15 reps (per leg) // 60 secs rest // 3 sets


Expert – Adam Hickey 

T: @runhickeyrun

FB: AdamHickeySportsCoaching1

Photos: Tom Miles


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