Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Importance of Strength Training for Runners (and everyone, really)

This week has been crazy.  In a good way, but crazy.

I started teaching this week, so I knew I'd have to switch up some of my runs so that I could get everything in.  Here's kind of an update on how things looked.

Saturday: ran my 60min tempo that I was supposed to do Tuesday
Sunday: 2hour bike...didn't do the 5 mile run after as we did wine tasting. Yeah, I realize that doesn't make sense at all, but we needed to decide on our wine for our wedding.
Monday: 8miles in the morning, 3miles in the evening + strength, tried on my WEDDING DRESS!
Tuesday: 10miles in the morning before New Teacher Orientation
Wednesday: 2x3miles at Marathon Pace before Institute Day
Thursday: 8miles before the First Day of School, 2miles and strength after
Friday: planned 6miles, 4x200 barefoot strides

My surprise breakfast, Orchid, sweets and incredible card from Ryan for my 1st day of school:)

I still was able to get in my two quality marathon based workouts, but honestly teaching is just SO much more important to me.  I've been wanting a job like what I have for my whole life (well, since I was in 3rd grade, when I decided I wanted to be a teacher).  It is seriously the best job ever.  The school is a junior high and has 7th and 8th graders.  The students are divided into core teams (Language Arts, Science and Social Studies) AND there's a Math team only.  Yeah.  Can you imagine the expression on my face writing this?  A team devoted just to Math.  With teachers that love writing math lessons just as much (if not more) than I do.  I'm in Heaven.  AND, my teammates are awesome.  Well, really everyone that I've met is awesome.  I'm the luckiest girl ever.

So training has kind of taken a bit of a backseat.

My mentor brags about my running (she just started running too!!!), so that's even more motivation for me to get my butt up at 4am to get my run in.  Wednesday's workout was done in the morning primarily because I wanted to get it in as I had no idea how long our Institute Day might be.  I did NOT want to wake up, but decided I'd be more likely to hit good times in the morning than after being in meetings all day, so out I went.

2x3miles at MP recap.
Goal: MP, so 6:18-6:22 pace for 3 miles
Actual: 627, 613, 613/613, 614, 614.  Yikes!
Let's just say I was even happier when I ran this morning with NO soreness.  Yep, none at all.  Crazy, right?

I've been keeping on top of my strength training too as I know (from Earl's guidance) that if I stray just a bit, injury could easily creep up on me.

Strength training is one of the first things, if not the first, that most people drop when they get really busy.  I wish I could stress how important it is to just plan your day better or skip something else rather than skipping strength.  Running uses SO many muscles that having a good strength strength training routine really does prevent injuries.  I don't mean doing squats with a bar of 50lbs on each end.  Just body weight stuff (although if you can do more, do!).  Two or three times a week.  Squats, lunges, calf raises, lateral lunges, hamstring curls and hip lifts.  It literally takes 20-30minutes tops (depending on how many sets you do).

Alright, I'll get off of my soap box.  I'm very lucky that I have people like Earl in my life that make me aware of things (i.e.: do your strength training!!), so I try to pass on the good advice I get via this blog.  Hopefully this opens some eyes and can help prevent some injuries.

I'm still looking into ways to get to Des Moines to race HyVee, so hopefully I'll have a real race recap soon.  Megabus is an option, but if you've been on one before, you are probably scrunching your nose just as much as I am writing this.  Stay tuned...

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