I’ve heard it so many times before: runners, when in training, slack off hard on their strength training. Every time, I would think to myself what slackers. That will never be me – I LOVE lifting! I LOVE the gym! I will never give it up!
Uhh well fast forward to this year, when I no longer live a ten minute walk from the gym, can barely pay for gas in my tank, and work full-time for no pay on top of getting up at 4AM to run way more and way faster than I ever have before. To make matters worse, an unfortunate sequence of events led to me not teaching at Tulane this semester – no longer am I required to be at the gym two days a week (which was a huge step down from my four days of teaching or working at UMass to begin with). I can’t tell you the last time I lifted. I am officially a weak little running wimp.
WHAT THE HELL!?
My instinct is to get annoyed. How could I slack so hard? Lifting always made me feel powerful, strong, confident. It made me look good. It made me run faster! How could I let this slip away from me?
When I think seriously about it though, I had been feeling far less fulfilled in my strength routine as of late. The equipment available to me is pretty out of date, the bros (since I no longer know them all on a first name basis) were really pissing me off, and getting to the gym either forced me to skimp on walk time with Louie or go to sleep later than I wanted to.
With how hard I have been running lately, I guess I can accept my current lack of superhero strength, or at least be less depressed by it. When the semester is over, the temperature and humidity are creeping up, and I’ve run Boston, I will pick up more classes and work on building my strength once again. Until then, I’ll focus on kicking my own ass on the streets so I can kill it at the marathon in April.
On the days that I am feeling especially ambitious (or noodly), there are plenty of exercises that you can add after a run for a little burst of strength. Normally I have the mentality that I’m not working hard unless I’m loaded down with as much weight as I can handle and lift for at least an hour. This, my friends, is because I am insane. Try the following exercises
QUICK At-Home Exercises for After Your Runs:
Planks always great. Squeeze that core, keep your body in a nice straight line!
Push ups total body exercise! Using your core for stability and workin’ those arms.
Wall sits as if your legs weren’t killing you already
Leg lifts feel more intense than crunches, therefore I enjoy them more.
Bridges squeeze that booty!
Any of these or a combo of any of these for 5-10 minutes is definitely worth it. Remind me of this the next time I’m dripping sweat after a run and seriously considering collapsing in a pile without even showering or taking off my shoes.