Evolution of “The Vanimal”

During my half marathon training, or any distance running for that matter, I always include some cross training to strengthen my legs and the muscles that help me not suck too bad on race day. I had taken on the Gorilla Marathon Master training and that went well, but I had a couple of weeks left and wanted to do something that was a little less intense than the Gorilla plan, and maybe work on the muscle groups that will help me with running posture, rather than strength.

I came up with the following… which I decided to call The Vanimal. My son hates when I call it this, because he feels as though I am sullying the Van name. Ha.

Vanimal 1.0 (repeat 5X)

  1. 1 min plank
  2. 5 mins jog
  3. 10 pull-ups
  4. 20 Russian twists
  5. 25 push-ups
  6. 100 crunches

That worked pretty well, but the crunches were maybe too easy, but not great for my back/neck. I decided to go with some knees to elbows (K2Es) to replace crunches.

Vanimal 2.0 (repeat 5X)

  1. 1 min plank
  2. 5 mins jog
  3. 10 pull-ups
  4. 20 Russian twists
  5. 25 push-ups
  6. 5 K2Es

This was good, but I wanted to remove the jog to give my legs even more rest. The K2Es have been awesome, I’m not sure there is a better workout for abdominals, especially upper abs. I also discovered deep body weight squats (also know by the less PC term third world squats), which would add some flexibility to an area that is really tough to stretch.

Vanimal 3.0 (repeat 5X)

  1. 1 min plank
  2. 1 min DBW squat
  3. 10 pull-ups
  4. 20 Russian twists
  5. 25 push-ups
  6. 5 knees to elbows

At this point, I think I might change out Russian twists for some hanging pikes and possibly change push-ups to burpees. The quantity is yet to be determined, hanging pikes are brutal – not that long ago, I was unable to even do one.

Funny/Interesting Links…


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