Lately: COLD, Base-Building, & Strength-Training

2013-12-12 10.31.39

The temp at 10:31 AM today. That’s just…..cold.

First, can we talk about how Chicago is currently enduring January-like weather?! We’ve officially entered the season when I constantly check the weather to decide what time of day to run. And unfortunately, I’ve had to do the majority of my running inside lately. I have a hard time getting outside to run in anything colder than “feels like 10 degrees”. And while we haven’t had to deal with that much snowfall yet, footing is still tricky. Until my quad is back to 100% I’m being super cautious and sticking to the treadmill. And I’m going to have to come to grips with the fact that I’ll need to embrace the treadmill this winter in order to get some strong Boston training in.

Second, running is becoming fun again! (Wahoooooo!) I ran 35 miles last week, which means I’ve been able to increase my mileage every week for the past month (20-35 miles per week, along with cross-training). I’m going to level it off this week at 35 miles and include some fartlek action just to keep things interesting and to see how the leg reacts. I have been playing with the pace a bit this week, but haven’t dipped below 7:40 pace in two weeks. I’m working a lot on my form and focusing on smoothing my stride. I’ve always felt like I have a pretty solid stride but the slight difference between the left and the right certainly caught up with me over 100s of miles this year. It’s been nice to regroup. And it’s a huge relief that 35 miles doesn’t feel like a big ol’ sufferfest right now. I think ART sessions each week have made a big difference–I’m not sure I’d be running comfortably without it to be honest. Woop woop for finding a solution!

Third, I’m working on building strength in weak areas. I lost sight of my strength training in late September and I think it played a huge part in the breakdown. (How I could forget about doing that Jillian Michaels’ 6 Week 6 Pack DVD each Wednesday is beyond me!) I’ve always tried to be consistent in my strength and cross-training but sometimes it’s easier than others. (A peak at some of the strength routines I’ve done in the past.)

My PT and I discussed my weaknesses in November and came up with a few routines that should prevent future injury. A sampling for ya!:

Dynamic Warm-up: before every run

Dynamic Warm-Up

Walking Deadlift / Knee Hugs / Quad Walk / Cradle Walk / Groiners / Donkey Kicks / Iron Cross / Scorpion / Lunge Matrix / Leg Swings / Lateral Leg Swings

Most of these are pretty self explanatory. I notice a big difference when I commit to doing a full warm-up (takes less than 8 minutes) than when I decide to skip it.

Hip Strength Routine: 3 x weekly

Hip Strength Routine for Runners

 I use a TheraBand for #s, 1, 4, & 11. If it feels too easy, I swap out that band for one with greater resistance.

Again, some of these seem so simple and easy but when you do it as a whole routine, you walk out of the gym feeling like you have old lady hips (in a good way?). Doing all of this with your own body weight + a medicine ball/kettlebell is a serious workout for muscles that are typically neglected while training.

If you do one set of 15 reps for each exercise, this should take you at least 25-30 minutes.

Core Routine: 3x weekly

Core Strength Routine for Runners

This is Predawn Runner’s Promethius Core Routine for runners. I’ve been using this routine for almost 2 years now. It’s quick, challenging (more so than it seems), and I feel like it gets the job done. Once I feel like I’m easily doing 2-3 sets with each exercise at 1 min, I do 2 sets with each exercise at 1:30 (using the timer on my phone).

Do you strength train? What’s your favorite exercise? 

Is there a difference between the strength training you do during the on/off seasons?


47 thoughts on “Lately: COLD, Base-Building, & Strength-Training

  1. Hillary says:

    1) Lists where I don’t have to actually think are super helpful, so I’m stealing these…. but only if;
    2) I get over the “OMGALLTHETHINGSSSSS” attitude that I caught myself using several times while reading this. The trick is reading the “it will take you like 8 minutes you big idiot” reminders repeatedly, and trying to actually argue that 8 minutes is “too much.” (I literally can’t argue that position, so there’s that.)

    More practical question: How do you remember what to do and how to do them all? Do you do your dynamics inside with easy phone reference? I have used my phone at the gym, but I sometimes felt like an asshat for being the girl who checks her phone in the weight room every 3 minutes because she forgot how to do a bicep curl. I assume you have most of this kind of memorized at this point, but maybe not?

    • Jenny says:

      1) Steal ’em, yo!
      2) It definitely seems scary and whyyyyy and huh? when you first start doing them but by the time you get the routine down a couple of times, it goes by quick! (I promise. If that’s a lie then you can shove a pie in my face.)

      So, I’m kind of old school. Sometimes I literally carry around a sheet of paper with all of these routines listed. (not kidding). …along with my resistance band… lolz. Other times, I just bring my phone and I have them saved as notes there. Really, there’s no avoiding lookin’ like a silly weakling that is clearly lost in the weights section of the gym. 🙂 I know, I’m super helpful.

      • Hillary says:

        In the event that you’re lying (I’m sure you’re not, but I like to be prepared), what kind of pie would you prefer I use? Perhaps something from Bang Bang or Hoosier Mama? Probably something soft? What about a shepherds pie? (plot twist)

        I finally broke down and wrote my arms routine on a notecard and ghetto laminated it (I *know* you know how to do that) to my water bottle. Helpful to a point, but definitely still needed to reference instructions.

        Either way, consider this stolen. Maybe not actually used, but stolen nonetheless.

  2. piratebobcat says:

    I’m a big fan of dynamic warm up. I like the samples you showed here.
    Funny thing, I was at an FC Dallas soccer game recently and I was watching some of the subs getting warmed up to go into the game. Their trainer was putting them through the warm up. I swear he was just making stuff up. I’m sure that’s how many of these moves are invented! Haha

    • Jenny says:

      Well, steal ’em girl! I feel like my running improved when I committed to core 2-3 x a week. And I usually just do the routine right after the run or in front of the tv if I run at night. A silly tv show makes it go by quickly (that, and a pizza baking in the oven haha)

    • Jenny says:

      That’s a good idea. I’ve never done Insanity but a friend of mine said she’s probably going to do that for strength training to prepare for Boston next year. I’ll have to check it out

  3. qcnoel says:

    Thank Da Lord for the treadmill!! I use the Hill option to mix it up. But I’m positive the hill angle makes me land a better stride and therefore, better running posture. And Iv started to include Hamstring Curls to balance my legs. (I may run quad heavy? If that’s a thing???) And the pool. Laps to give the ol’ dogs a break. Keep kicking ass, Jenny!!!

  4. Jenny says:

    Haha, I know right?! As much as I hate it, it really is convenient when you really don’t want to suffer through the cold slush. My treadmill rule is to increase the incline to at least 1-2% to mimic running outside. Form is totally different on a flat surface! I need to figure out how to incorporate some downhill training actually—I’m thinking a parking garage? Boston downhills are tougher than the uphills! Thanks for the support dude!

  5. Katie says:

    these are great! thanks for posting 🙂 I feel like an idiot. what are “vectors”? and also, what is the difference between lateral extension with band and wall lateral leg lifts? :/

    • Jenny says:

      Hey Katie! Ok, vectors. It’s somewhat hard to explain but the exercise is very simple. Stand straight on one leg. With the opposite leg, tap in front of you, to the side, and behind you. You’re basically making a small movement in the weight-holding leg so that you can control your hips in each range of motion. Let me know if that doesn’t make sense! And then, the lateral extension w/ band is standing straight. The band is around your lower legs/ankles and you simple push your leg straight to the side on either leg. The lateral leg lifts are laying down (a lot of people call them Jane Fondas because they feel very 70s :)) Does that help?

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