Since I have mentioned strength training a couple of times recently I have had a couple people ask me what exactly I do for strength training. I thought I would put together a blog post on the strength training I have been doing the past couple of years.
I first incorporated strength training into my routine a couple of years ago when Instarted training with a coach. Unfortunately continuing to train with a coach does not fit into my budget right now so I had to go back to training on my own. However, the two years I did train with a coach introduced me to the benefits of strength training and exercises I could incorporate into my training.
For me strength training has included exercises with weights, resistance bands and a stability ball. It has helped me build strength in my legs, core and upper body. From planks, to dead lifts to back lunges I have gone from someone who did not include strength training to having it be a regular part of my training.
In my basement where I head twice per week to go through my routine you’ll now find dumbbells, a medicine ball, a stability ball and a series of resistance bands needed to complete the various exercises in my program. It is something I have come to consider an important element of my training.
If you are interested in more information about strength training for runners here is a blog post by more former coach Mathieu. If you are interested in adding strength training to your routine here is a list of exercises you can try.
Do you include regular strength training as part of your routine?
I had planned getting in a run today but that was to be after I took care of my other plans for the day which was helping build a garden in our community. This was a project that my wife who has become quite the avid gardener over the past few years has been actively involved with this project for a while now. Today was construction day and I decided to take the day off work to help build the garden.
As mentioned already this week, we are in the midst of a heat wave here and today was another hot one although with plenty of water and breaks when needed it wasn’t such a bad day. I spent much of the day hauling bags of soil and mulch and spreading them out wherever needed around the garden.
To give you an idea of what I am talking about here is a shot of the finished product…
I am not sure if this constitutes cross training but it certainly was a good workout and it worked muscles that running does not. Regardless of whether I can qualify this as cross training it was definitely a worthwhile effort.
Back to running tomorrow.
I am not sure how it affects or compliments my running but once the snow starts falling here downhill skiing is the other activity I enjoy participating in as often as I can.
Last night was my first opportunity to get out this year. After an easy run home of just under 9 km I made a quick turnaround to get ready to go skiing. My run home took me 45 minutes and I followed that up with two hours of skiing.
Out of curiosity I did a search online to see how skiing might affect my running. According to this article skiing is not a good form of cross training to combine with marathon training. From the sounds of it the same goes for playing soccer in the summer.
Based on that it sounds like it was a good thing I went skiing on a day that I ran instead of a planned rest day. I think when I do go skiing again I will try and plan a run on the same day so as not to use up a rest day that I’ll need to recover from the running and skiing.
Do you enjoy participating in activities that don’t necessarily compliment your marathon training?
Today was a scheduled day of rest for me. It comes at a good time as the new #runchat challenge announced today is a cross training challenge. For that reason I am going to write about tonight’s cross training.
To start off the day I initially planned to get in an easy bike ride this morning. This is something I have been doing on my rest days for the past two weeks. However, I was too tired when the alarm first went off this morning so I decided to get more sleep.
As a result, my cross training this evening involved a series of stretching. My current stretching routine involves going through the “10 best yoga poses for runners”. I found these exercises online earlier this year and have been using them regularly since. The exercises have certainly helped improved the flexibility in my legs.
The second series of exercises I used tonight was this series of pilates moves for runners which my wife found for me in an article on the Runners World website. Tonight I took the time to go through each one after I did the previously mentioned yoga stretches.
To top it off tonight, I got out the foam roller and rolled my legs to finish off my stretching for the evening. My quads and it bands seemed to need it the most tonight.
What forms of cross training do you incorporate into your training?
Since it was Thanksgiving here today I had the day off work. Instead of a run I ended up going for a family bike ride with my wife and daughter in order to take advantage of the almost summer-like weather we received this weekend.
While my schedule called for an easy 6 mile run after yesterday’s 20 mile run this was a much more enjoyable way to spend the day off work.
We set out with no plan in mind other than to stop somewhere along the way to have a picnic. After stopping to see friends playing their annual Thanksgiving football game we headed for a picnic spot followed by a stop downtown for ice cream before we headed home.
In the end we ended up with a 14.5 km ride. I am not sure yet if I should count this as cross training or use it to replace one of my easy runs this week, I am looking for opinions on Twitter right now.
Regardless of how I fit this into this week’s training schedule I could not have picked a better way to spend the day.