Running and Exercise Lately

With no races in the next couple of months, my schedule is wide open for whatever I want to do. One thing I’ve really been missing over the past few years when I’ve been working towards qualifying for Boston, is strength training. Unless I was going to workout twice a day, I just didn’t have time to do both with all the running. Now I can.

Three weeks ago, a week after Boston, I started a strength training program. It’s 12 weeks long, but I’m not necessarily making sure I fit all the sessions into a single Monday-Sunday week. I’m loving it so far. I lift 3-4 times/week in addition to my weekly Orangetheory class.

While the program doesn’t always call for cardio, I still throw in a run here and there. Some days I run three miles, some days 5-6. I’ve been trying to keep one weekly long run of 9-10 miles to keep my base pretty strong. I feel heavy and slooooow. I think that my body is hungover for years of training cycles in rapid succession. It’s also getting use to being challenge by weights again. Hopefully the strength training will help me become a stronger runner and it wouldn’t hurt if I looked a bit more toned.

As I mentioned, I signed up for a half in late September. Josh and I are also going to do a half the last weekend in October. That means I don’t need to start training until July or so. A break from prescribed running workouts is so nice. No paces to hit, to distance I have to run. I’ve forgotten what that’s like. This little breather may be just what I needed to not slog through my half marathon training cycle.

A little bit stronger

Strength training has never been my strong suit. For the past several months, well that is until the month of hell filled with my travel and Josh’s, I’ve been going to Cardio Sculpt at the Longmont Rec. Center. I really enjoy the class, but I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that single class every week is the extent of my weight training.

Sure carrying around a 17lb baby might count for something, not for much though. As part of my plan for a smart and successful marathon training season, strength training is back on my radar. Strengthening your body has a ton of benefits for runners, from injury prevention to endurance building. Not to mention it helps make that flab go to fab. Yes, I really just said that, don’t laugh too hard at me.

There are a few parts of my body that I believe need the most work as of today.

1. My legs. This is an obvious inclusion as my legs are what do the running.

2. My butt. Oh lord, does it need help. It might fit into my jeans but the view from behind when the jeans are off is not pretty. Vanity aside, having a strong glute can really help you avoid injury.

3. My abs. A strong core will help keep runners upright as they fatigue. The more upright you are, the better.

4. My shoulders. you may not realize it, but your arms do a lot of work when you’re running, especially when you’re sprinting. I was shocked after my first marathon how tired my shoulders where. All that arm pumping got to me.

Yes, that is almost my entire body. I’m not going to be able to hit the gym every night for weights, but I can commit to three times a week. After all, I can do squats, lunges, crunches and such at my house. I have no excuse to not do it…starting today.

Man I’m going to be sore tomorrow.