Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Weight Training as a Runner

I thought I'd share a little bit about my workout from last night today with you all.  I try to do some weight lifting at least once a week.  When I first started running, I never wanted to weight train.  Ever. I always thought it was a waste for a runner and that it wasn't helping so much. But that is so untrue.  There are a lot of ways that weight training can help runners. You can read a little bit about that on this Runners World article.

It honestly wasn't until after I had J that I finally realized the importance of weight training for runners.  My mom started inviting me to go to her morning gym class at Golds Gym.  It was early...like I had to wake up at 5:30 am early. And with a baby that doesn't sleep through the night (because J never slept through the night until she was almost 2), that's crazy early. But, also having a baby I hadn't been able to start working out again because I didn't know how to fit it in with J's daily routine yet. So I said I'd go. And from the first class, I was hooked. Mondays was a pump class where we did very little cardio and a lot of weights, and Friday was RIPPED where we did a lot of cardio and a lot of weights.  When I started adding my running into my routine too, I noticed that my times were quite a bit faster than they had ever been. That's when I realized that my high school coach definitely knew what he was talking about, and he probably knew a lot about everything else he told me. (Here's a little tip that I definitely should have listened to back then: If you have shin splints, they aren't going to go away by wearing flip flops all the time.)

Since I started those classes, I have always tried to add at least one day a week where I focus more on weights than cardio.  After 5 years of that class, my gym pass expired again and I decided not to renew it. It was honestly a hard decision for me because I loved that class! I got to know the people and the instructor and I knew I'd miss it. But I decided I'd be able to save that much money and do that workout on my own.

There are a lot of great options when it comes to working out at home, or on your own.  There are websites like Grokker that have video instructors that you can follow along with. You can find a lot of blogs who offer programs and challenges, like this Heart of a Champion program. Or you can make your own workout. One reason I like making my own workouts is that I can design it for me. I know what I need to work more on, I know what my body needs and is feeling on that day.

Now, I know that for me working out on my own means that I need to have a plan before I get to the gym (in this case, my parent's house) or I will waste a whole lot of time trying to decide what to do instead of actually working out. So I use my phone to make a workout plan. I know I'll have my phone with me whenever I work out because it has my music on it, and when I lift weights I always use music (more on that in a bit).  This was the workout I just did yesterday. I like to make sure I'm putting a good amount of cardio in my weight workouts too. So I usually switch between Tabata, or insanity, or some other kind of cardio routine.

I don't always stick to the exact plan.  A lot of times while I'm going through the workout I'll feel like switching one work out for another or adding an extra thing or two in there. 

As far as reps and sets go...well I'm going to say I always know how many I do. This comes back to the music. When I'm weight training, I count by the phrase in the song.  When the phrase changes I switch from full range to pulsing the weight and holding it isometric. This is why I always have the music on my phone and I like to bring this sweetie of a speaker so I don't have to worry about getting my headphones tangled up.  If you want to get a speaker like this for yourself, go HERE.  Seriously, one of the best speakers ever. It has good sound, is very portable, and the battery lasts forever. 

When I'm done with my workout, I like to make sure to stretch to help prevent soreness or injury. (yet another thing my coach was right about). And then I make sure to get some protein within a half hour of my workout.  I don't like protein drinks very much. I've never been a big fan, but I do like a carnation instant breakfast mixed up in my blender bottle.  I also found a drink at Costco recently called Protein Water that wasn't too bad, and I'm seriously considering buying some. 

How often do you get a weight workout in?

Favorite (non-chalky) protein drink?


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    A lot of our artist will give free classes to bloggers in exchange for a post on their blog. If you are interested, please let me know.
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  2. Such great ideas! I love the thought to write down your plan before going to the gym- or even at home. It's so easy to bounce around and not accomplish what you'd like to! Another Carnation fan- yay! Thanks for the info!