Alex Dowsett: running and haemophilia

Before retiring from cycling last year, Alex Dowsett was the only known elite sportsperson with haemophilia to compete in an able-bodied field. He's now setting his sights on the London Marathon to raise money for his charity, Little Bleeders (, and shares some inspiring lessons from his remarkable career.

Co-hosts Rick and Ben also share the expert approved seven strength moves all runners need to do (see below for details)

Dr Richard Blagrove is one of the foremost experts in strength and conditioning, having worked with some of the UK’s top runners at St Mary’s and Loughborough universities. So when Blagrove was asked, on Matthew Boyd's The Adaptive Zone podcast, what the seven best strength exercises are for runners, his answers are worth noting down. Here’s what he said:

1.   A squat-type movement, such as a front squat or back squat.

2.   A hinge-hip movement pattern, such as a Romanian deadlift or a deadlift from the ground.

3.   A stepping movement pattern, such as a barbell or dumbbell step-up (try holding the dumbbell only in one hand to challenge your trunk).

4.   A lunge pattern, such as a split squat

5.   Loaded single leg calf-raise or a calf-press hold on a leg press.

6.   Pull-ups on a bar

7.   Standard press-ups

For a gold star, add in some deadbug exercises, which will recruit your hip flexors a little bit more. 

Do these exercises twice a week to see the benefits. If you struggle to fit in two whole workouts, consider doing 10-15 minutes a day, with the aim of accumulating the same amount of work per week as two full sessions.

In terms of reps, for novices, Blagrove recommends 10-12. As you become more trained, you can vary the repetition ranges. For instance, you could try a more maximal block, where you go as low as 3 reps. And then work a bit more in the middle ground, between 5-10 reps.

By the end of each exercise, aim to be on a perceived exertion level of about 8 out of 10. ‘That will tell me they’ve got maybe two or three repetitions in reserve, which is about right,’ said Blagrove. ‘You’re working hard but not to complete failure.’

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