I have a friend who always tells me….
“I’m glad you don’t look like a runner” the first time that surprised me ’cause I’ve had perfect strangers assume I am.
What she meant was that I don’t fit the typical profile… if there is such a thing as one… (see my Runners World page on that topic)
Well, first of all, blowing me out of the running for any “normal runner” profile is the fact I’m 6’0 tall. I’m definitely an easy target and I’m often paced off of… or targeted to overtake ha
Yes, my legs are long and my stride is one to some of my much smaller counter parts two strides, I’ve had to deal with the fact I’ve got a lot more…. body… to move along and my pace might not ever be that of my smaller, whippet thin running companions. I’m just stupid happy to be in the club…..
Besides, those obvious things, I pack a decent amount of muscle and that is what my friend means. She likes that I have muscles…. more than the average person/runner …..I kinda like it too 😉
As mentioned in another post, a few years ago, I started doing strength training on days I couldn’t run because of really bad weather ( I hated the treadmill and found it to be sooo boring) so I started doing my own “routine” I’d do some boxing and some weights. Nothing crazy, but enough to give me a decent workout. I’d do it a couple times a week.
Well, it kinda stuck.
Over time I tried to actively incorporate that into what I do. In the beginning I was a kinda ….uninformed.. runner. I am pretty much self taught, read voraciously, and do a trial and error thing.. if it works for me I keep it… if it doesn’t I toss it out. I shamelessly talk to people who are more experienced and knowledgeable. It’s how I’ve learned.
So imagine my total delight, when I started seeing articles and suggestions that runners needed to do more than “just” run. That strength training/cross training was beneficial on so many levels. I was ahead of the game!
Overall body strength for those last, long hard miles.
Not to mention, it’s good to work all muscles in your body not just running muscles.
I think my body responds well to some weight training, I don’t go all crazy with it. And genetically, I might have something going on that helps. But I do know I am more aware than ever of how all my body works together running and how I am aware of the strength coming from other areas and not just my legs/glutes.
Of course, being strong and having muscles helps greatly in my daily active life too =) and let’s not forget… summer and tank season 😛
So what do I do ?
It’s all stuff I have at home. I have weights of all sizes which I use for upper body ( I really do prefer them over machines as I feel like it’s a little harder and makes me invest more of myself) I spend some time on that as well as core/ab stuff too. Squats of all kinds are my newest fav move….weighted and not weighted. I also use a jump rope and love explosive move exercises like jump squats….. which are not recommended to do a high volume of and then go wear heels 😛
and yeah, I end with a plank. I’m up to 3 minutes which makes me feel
super bad ass crazy sweaty and breathing harder than an old horse out to pasture when I finish.
The most recent thing I’ve picked up working on is a single leg deadlift.
BOOM. There’s a move that singlehandedly kills your ass haha.
Seriously, it totally isolates one hip/glute area, develops balance (yikes) I do think I need a lighter kettlebell than my 35lb one to do this move with. I’ll keep you posted on my progress with this. It’s one of the harder things I’ve tried.
Basically, if I have only 30 minutes I cram it with constant movement…. if I have more time… I put more in. I prefer 45- to an hour if I can.
Ah……… all for the progress of becoming a better, stronger runner 😉
If you run do you strength train? Cross train? Tell me what you’re up to incase I wanna try that too 😉