Why I Strength Train (and you should too)

If you saw my tweet last Sunday you already know that my brother celebrated a running milestone. He ran 12 miles without walking. And he did it well under 2 hours with me chatting his ear off. That’s huge! So very proud of him. We are just a few weeks away from hitting his PDR (personal distance record) and before we know it he will be running 26.2 miles. You know just a few years ago he was running a 12:30 pace..but I’ll let him share his story with you as soon as he is ready.



Strength Training

I haven’t talked about strength training in a while. Truth is that I had to reduce my lifting/squatting/get strong days during my Ojai training cycle due to time constraints. Now that I have a little downtime before Boston madness begins it’s back to focusing on getting and remaining strong.


Strength training is one of the single most important aspects of my marathon (and any other distance) training. I injure easily and, as many of you know, I had several frustrating training cycles. I learned to depend on strength workouts to keep my body strong and ready to run. The result? I’ve remained injury free and have seen improved finish times.

Today I want to share a workout (or two) and encourage you to give it a try. Building a stronger core (and booty) will help support the muscles you use to propel you off of the ground. If you incorporate strength training into your weekly workout plan you will become a more efficient runner. Want to get faster? Strength train. Want to remain injury free? Get strong.

A few years ago I posted about my medicine ball and core workout. Now let’s get into a few circuits.

Workout #1 Total Body Workout : 3 rounds with 10 seconds of rest in between each exercise:

Jumping Jacks (1 min)

Squats (1 min)

Push ups (1 min)

Bicycle Crunches (1 min)

Mountain Climbers (1 min)

Hip Raises (1 min)

Plank (1 min)

Weighted Twist (I use a medicine ball or kettle bell) (1 min)

Donkey Kicks (1 min)

The above circuit can be done using only body weight. In lieu of a weighted twist you can sit on the floor in a c-position and do rotating knee touches. Your obliques will thank you!

 Workout #2 Glutes (Remember operation get my booty better?) This takes me 20 minutes or so and is courtesy of WHM.

Click here to review a glute circuit I use.

I continue to practice yoga (love!) and have also started to incorporate insanity workouts in my routine. I actually like them a lot more than I thought I would.  A spot in my garage is being turned into a little home gym/workout space since I am heading back to work next week. Yup, BCOD workouts (not just runs) will be happening. I will also be back to tweeting about office workouts! Yup, the office push up, lunge and desk dip challenges will be back in full effect.

As I come across workouts I like I usually put together a routine and can share here if it wil help some of you out. I also like to take workout from WHM/MH and load them onto my iPod and take them to the gym with me. This is a great option for those of you who are like me and need a set workout.


Do you strength train? Why or why not?

~ I used to be intimidated but after I switched gyms a few years ago my fear went away 🙂

10 thoughts on “Why I Strength Train (and you should too)

  1. I try to make it to my gym; however, it’s getting harder and harder the older (read: more active) my two daughters get. I am an after work workout-er; however, their after school/work training schedules for XC and soccer make me think I seriously need to consider becoming a BCOD workout-er. My husband leaves the house most days before we’re even awake; which means I would have to go to the gym super duper early so as not to leave the kids alone … maybe I should check out your at-home workout links! 🙂

  2. I used to strength train twice a week and I was super diligent about it, and then came Boise 70.3 and I’ve just slowed down since then. I’ve been in a funk since that race & I’m having a hard time finding a routine again. I need to find that routine though & get back to strength training. I’ve seen it benefit my athletic skills in the past.

  3. So important! I do some strength and core work in my living room after my runs. Yoga has also been helping to keep me stay injury free along with my monthly massages w/ my therapist 🙂

  4. Dang, brother is kicking some major booty! Speaking of booty, I did squats on the smith machine for the first time yesterday. Love me some strength training days 🙂

  5. With my mileage increasing with my fall marathon training, strength training seems to take a back seat. I run before work and then when I come home I feel like I need to be as present as possible for the kids because I have working mommy guilt constantly! I try to do upper body/core in the middle of the evening craziness. Bicep curls then stir the noodles….multitasking at its finest!! I need to do more but I’m just having a hard time fitting it all in. I must get better at this!!

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