Zanna Van Dijk’s Mid-Run Park Workout


Photograph: Liz Seabrook

When you were a new runner you may have gone for a gentle jog around your local park and noticed some of your fellow runners pausing to do extra exercise. Naturally, you shook your head at such madness and plodded on your way, but after a while perhaps the thought of adding an extra challenge to your runs didn’t seem so crazy after all.

You’re not alone. Adidas ambassador and PT Zanna van Dijk has seen that before. “Park runs can become tedious and stop challenging your body when you’ve repeated them enough times,” she says.

While Van Dijk is perhaps best known for her strength training chops, she released a customised Mi Adidas trainer line this summer, including a monochrome Adizero Adios 3 running shoe, so we asked her for a routine to have in your pocket the next time you’re running and the mood takes you.

“It consists of three exercises – one each for lower body, upper body and core,” Van Dijk explains. “Complete each exercise for 40 seconds, then rest for 20 seconds and move on to the next one. Repeat the circuit four times. It’ll take 12 minutes – short, sweet and sweaty.”

Just make sure to choose your bench wisely – one that’s robust enough to handle being jumped on (even if you should land softly) and not too slippery.

The Workout

1 Box jump

Stand in front of the park bench, bend at the knees, engage your core and swing your arms to gain momentum, then jump and land softly on the bench with both feet, bending at the knees to absorb the impact. Step down gently.

2 Incline press-up

Facing the bench, place both hands on it and rise onto your toes. Lower into a press-up position, ensuring you keep your core engaged and your elbows close to your body to make sure you’re using your triceps. Push back up, keeping a straight line from your head to your toes.

3 Modified V-sit

Sit on the edge of the bench, holding it with your hands by your sides. Lean back and bring your knees up towards your chest – this is the starting position. Extend your legs out until your body forms a wide V shape. Keep a straight back and use your core to pull yourself back to the starting position.

Zanna van Dijk is a qualified personal trainer, blogger, vlogger and co-founder of #girlgains. Van Dijk’s book, Strong, is published by Headline. RRP £16.99, check price and buy on


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