Strengthen Up

For most people training for a race is a big deal.  It takes a lot of hard-work, dedication, and time. And for most runners when you are training for a race it is really hard to find time to fit other things into your workout. Rest/Cross-train days usually turn into rest days or slow jogging days (that’s cross-training right!?) Runners only see themselves as runners so nothing else is as important as, well, running.  But there is a rude awakening coming to anyone who thinks this way– this rude awakening came for me when I was checked out by a running specialist.

Beautiful Saturday Morning Sunrise

See, before I started running I did mostly aerobic classes and light lifting to stay in shape.  College routine anyone?! Being on the elliptical for 20 minutes and then doing a few arm workouts with 5lb free weights was definitely the norm.  Just enough physical activity to keep my weight gainage from drinking to a minimum! That did not work at all. EEK can anyone say senior 15?! At the outset of becoming a runner, out of college and MUCH more serious about running and fitness I still did not realize the importance of getting into the routine of strengthening the muscles in your body and not JUST running (something every runner does, admit it to yourself!) A few months after my first 10k I had a personal trainer who specializes in training runners check me for muscle imbalances and he found that my lower back was extremely weak–this caused some problems for me. One of the worst things that weakness in my back caused is my right hip to overcompensate for the weakness, which in turn caused me to have HIP PROBLEMS when I ran!

Aerobics Anyone?

Since seeing the trainer and incorporating small strength workouts into my routine almost daily (mostly without weights using my own body weight) I rarely have any hip pain anymore and I run faster, stronger, and longer than ever…I even beat my half marathon time by 20 minutes just 8 months after my first one!

PRing by 20 mins in the Charlotte 1/2 in Nov '11

Try these workouts from Runnersworld.com or follow my Fit is Never a Fad board on Pinterest  for more really unique training ideas!

Until next post, keep on running!

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