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Slow Learner

I am such a slow learner when it comes to this fitness thing. It's a shame I have to get hurt for running wisdom to sink in.

I am finally to the point where I love to run. I finish, and I'm already looking forward to the next run. I can't say that about weights. I have always hated lifting weights. Most runners find excuses to avoid lifting--it cuts into already-limited running time, it makes them too achy to complete their long runs, they don't like it, they don't know how...blah, blah, blah...excuses.

Strength training is very important for runners. Elite runners know this. Trainers and coaches know this. Those of us who are impatient and obsessed like to avoid it and focus on the "fun" part--running!

I do strength training twice a week. I almost never get in that third day. I hate working my core and legs, so I don't always work the muscle groups that will help the most with my running. So...here I sit with another injury that is slowing me down. I am training for my first full marathon (May 1, Lincoln, NE!), and the long runs have started getting longer. My body is feeling it.

Fortunately, it doesn't appear to be a serious injury. I think it's just weak muscles. (Hopefully, my chiropractor will agree when I see her tomorrow!) I have pain in my knee, hip and back that goes away and then moves to a different spot after foam rolling, icing or stretching. The more fatigued I got during yesterday's 18 mile run, (my longest yet!) I could tell which muscle groups were weak--the same ones all the experts tell runners they need to strengthen.

I asked one of my trainers (I now have two, plus a friend enjoys the role of "coach") to show me some exercises that would strengthen these muscles. I'll be adding machines and exercises to strengthen my core, lower back and glutes. Have you seen this machine? The machine I'll use for inner/outer thigh and glutes is similiar to this one. (It's quite amazing to me that I've never used this machine in all my years of working with a trainer!)

I used to have the attitude that I didn't need to work my legs. I run! Check out these legs! Do they look like I need weights? I finally learned that it doesn't matter what my legs look like, there are still weak muscles hidden under there that my body depends on for speed and endurance. I'm actually looking forward to weight training this week!


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Feb. 15th, 2010 07:28 pm (UTC)
I started a core workout with a medicine ball on January 1, and it has made a huge difference on my running - pace and stamina. I want to incorporate weight training, but probably not for another month.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )