Strength Training Resources I’ve Found Recently

Strength Training Resources I've Found Recently

I admittedly fell off the strength training wagon this spring. I was deliberate and diligent about it in January and February when I was going to the gym a lot. It’s easy to spend a lot of time there when the weather is sucky and you have to go there to use the treadmill anyway. You say, “While I’m here, I might as well get strong.” But once the weather shifted a bit, I spent less time there and only managed to do core routines when I felt like it. Which, let’s be honest was probably just once a week on a Sunday night before the week ended.

I really like the strength work that I’ve done in the past. If you want a quick summary, here you go.

There are so many strength training routines out there – most of them are 80% identical and you kind of have to wing it, combine them, and hope for the best.This cycle, I’m committing to strength training 2 x a week and a core strength routine 3 x a week. Here are a few strength routines that I’ve come across lately that look promising (I’ve done all of them, but only for a week or two!):

I did this routine for the first time this week and all I can say is I’d like to install some handicap bars in my bathroom. I did many of these in PT a few years ago and have been doing clamshells like it’s my job since. The other exercises activated not only the glutes but also hip flexors and core. I bought the mini bands they recommended in the blog post (1 green, 1 blue). Thanks to Kristy for tweeting this resource!

Great_Glute_Mini_Band_Moves___Redefining_Strength

  • The Dozen – I think I’ve had this saved in Evernote for at least a year and a half.

I just didn’t implement it until now. I’ve used this other core routine for many years, but the dozen challenged me. I think I’ll do a mixture of both routines to keep it interesting. I normally set a timer on my phone and do this while watching TV at night or right after a run.

Core_Work_for_Runners_-_The_Dozen___Oiselle_Running_Apparel_for_Women

Hallelujah! I think one of the things that can seem overwhelming about strength training is that it takes up so much time. (It really doesn’t.) If you have already have a hard time squeezing your scheduled runs into your day, it can be daunting to try to do more than that. I’m thinking this 7 minute video done 2-3 x a week would be a good solution.

I keep all of these routines and others that I find tagged as ‘strength training’ in Evernote and pull out my iPad when I get back from a workout. I try to keep hard days hard and easy days easy by only doing strength training that will make me sore on workout days. So, with the above routines, that means doing 1 set of all 10 mini band butt exercises + the Movement 108 video on a workout day and doing core strength  on easy/recovery days.

I thought I’d share! Enjoy!

– J

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Bayshore Half “Race” Recap

“Racing” didn’t really happen at Bayshore. I was hopeful for a PR and sub 1:30 the weeks leading up to the race but it was just one of those days that didn’t go as planned. The last time I ran a really disappoiting half marathon was 2 years ago; I might have been due for another reality check.  Bayshore was a similar experience but in completely different racing conditions. It was 45ish degrees at the start with a slight headwind. Really, perfect racing conditions for a spring race. Give me 40 degrees and sunny and I’m (usually) ready to crush it.

But b mile 5, I knew sub 1:30 wasn’t going to happen. I felt like I had bricks in my shoes and couldn’t find a single rhythm to my running. I tried my best to stay smooth but just didn’t have the right gear and couldn’t switch to a faster one. My goal pace felt like a sprint and my right hamstring started to talk by mile 5-6 (the slight cant to the road might have had something to do with that.)

I’d like to point to specific evidence in my training that explains why 13.1 was a strugglefest. I do remember thinking that the elevation change in the first 1.5 miles was harder than expected. The race directors changed the course since I last ran it (in 2012). The start now runs east toward the bay and has several rolling hills before you reach the flats on the bay. I knew that there was one large hill that I should be prepared for but I didn’t expect the 2-3 rollers after that. Once we reached the flats, I felt good but knew I should settle into more of a rhythm. It just didn’t happen.

The absolute highlight of the day was being able to run the last 6.5 miles with Corey. We both had similar days – after I made a pit stop near mile 6 (I took advantage of a pit stop because I knew my race was over already), I saw her coming and we decided to trot it in together. Well, we trotted. And walked. And bitched. And took a shot of beer at mile 10. [We saw a big sign that said NOT WATER and made a bee line toward it. Because that’s what you do when you run the last 6 miles of a half at your long run easy pace!]

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There wasn’t a race photographer this year, but a local photographer snaps pics during the race and provides free prints at the local running store. Found one of me and Corey — this is clearly during one of our running segments…after a walk break. 🙂

 

I know that I would have been really disappointed and in a sour mood if I finished Bayshore solo. I’m bummed that we both didn’t have the race we trained hard for, but running the last half with Corey was my favorite part. OH! And….Manny beat me! He’ll never let me or Corey live that one down, that’s for sure. Spending the rest of the long holiday weekend in Traverse City with new and old friends was so much fun. As Corey and I trotted to the finish, I remember us talking about how we were totally fine with lackluster races as long as Holly and Elizabeth had the best days. And they did! They’re both heading to Boston and I can’t wait to cheer them on (either from Chicago or in-person! TBD!)

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I took this winter/spring as a break from training for a marathon…and I’m so so so glad I did. I feel more energetic; I have a really strong base going into Chicago training. After two years of training for Boston through tough winters, a step back and a refocusing was just what I needed. I’m sure I’ll fit in a half marathon into my schedule somewhere this summer, but I haven’t decided on anything. I’m enjoying the process of training and ready to jump into a fresh cycle.

Onward!

– J