Earlier this week, Nancy emailed me asking about my routine for strength/core training. Admittedly, it took me a few days to respond because …I don’t have one. Oops?
If you take a look at my 2011 goals or past training logs, you’ll see I want to incorporate more strength/core work. I even do from time to time! But mostly, that’s me going to the gym for 20-30 minutes after a run and picking up weights and pretending to lift and do a few crunches. I used to have a set routine I did 2x/week in college with my team, which was built into practice. I know that routine by heart, but have little desire and motivation to do it on my own!
Lauren summarized why we slack on strength/core training during a marathon pretty well. “When it’s so much simpler (and preferable!) to just go out for a run, it’s easy to start skipping the weights more and more frequently. The increased mileage and need for my legs to be fresh for workouts make it easy to give it up a few months in.”
If I’m running for 1-2 hours a day, you can bet I’m going to be tired. It’s tough for me to fit in the high mileage required to train for a marathon amidst a full-time job and social life. It’s even more tough to add any other sort of exercise on top of that, such as strength training. If I ever double workouts (which happens very rarely for me), you can bet I’ll spend that extra 30 minutes busting out another 4 miles over 30 minutes of strength training.
The thing is, I look and feel better when I strength train more regularly. Even as little as spending 30 minutes 2-3x a week making some small attempt. I feel more toned, lean, and strong. Strength training can only help me become a better runner. Less injury, better gait, stronger core, more powerful stride, etc.
After thinking some more, I realized while I am extremely self-motivated when it comes to running, I need direction when it comes to strength training. For me, there is more mental motivation to achieve mileage & workout goals because they directly equate to/predict my race performance. Not so much with a strength training routine, even if I make progress in how much I can lift or how I feel. So, what I’ve found that works best for me is going to a class at the gym. I need someone to dictate which moves I do and for how long, because I tend to quit much earlier than I should when I lift solo.
So I’m trying (again) to get in a routine while my mileage isn’t very high. On Sunday, I hit up my favorite Total Body Conditioning class at NYSC. Yesterday, I went to the gym and spent a good 45 minutes on a solid core routine I made up myself, actually breaking a sweat (imagine that!) I’m not planning to become some mean, lean, lifting machine, but I do want to work to get into a routine where I find a way to strength train twice a week that works for me. This is the perfect time as I’m not running much so I’ve got a bit of excess energy to get the ball rolling. Plus, I’ll be in a bikini in Miami for New Year’s, so you can bet yourself this is also focused a tad on vanity. I’ll be honest
After being home after about 3 weeks plane and hotel hopping, I headed to Trader Joe’s/Whole Food and majorrrrly stocked up on groceries since my fridge and pantry was pretty pathetic. Some of my top finds!
Help Nancy out! What are your favorite strength training routine/tips? Are you naturally motivated to strength train regularly? Favorite groceries/foods you’re loving lately?