It has almost become cliché to say that runners should strength train. So then I ask, are you a runner who is strength training consistently (2-3 times a week)? If the answer is “hmmm, no,” you might not fully understand all of the amazing benefits we get from strength training. Let me break it down for you.
This year, I ran my second race and completed my first Tough Mudder - both things that were out of the question a few years ago. I feel stronger, and more confident in what my body is capable of. Most of all, I have energy. I am up at 5:00am to make it to class (a wonder in and of itself, for me!) and feel energized and ready for the day afterwards.
Incorporating consistent strength training into my training as a competitive runner is a relatively new development. Anybody who's talked training with me recently knows how adamant I am about the importance of strength training for runners, but I had to travel a long (and occasionally painful) road to obtain that knowledge.
As I was improving my strength and endurance, their guidance in the classes made me realize that I also needed to work on my form and my focus. Within one month I was participating in up to 5 classes each week. 4 months later I feel like I've gone back to the person I was years ago, when running and exercise made me feel confident, fit, and energized rather than exhausted and unhealthy.
"Runners Love Yoga" instructor Ann Mazur spent last Sunday recovering from the Shamrock Half (where she got a 2-minute PR!) but she'll be back in the studio this Sunday at 3:00 PM.
". . . to get good at our sport of running, it's really all about the cumulative effects of consistent training over time."
In the clip below Ann demonstrates her five favorite stretches to get at the muscles surrounding the hip joint. These exercises are easy to do at home and are a great way to get around the stiffness that can occur after intense periods of exercise.
I was sure that there was another level I could get to if I could dial my nutrition in further. So I decided, in the interest of science, to put myself through a pair of hard workouts on the Woodway; the first I would do having eaten “whatever I wanted” the night before, and the second having followed a day of dietary prescriptions from Ann.
If you've been to one of our classes, you know we aim to improve your strength, stamina, and function while having some fun along the way.
Lately, I've been having a lot of discussions with our clients about how to incorporate Formula classes into their training for upcoming races, so I wanted to summarize my recommendations here.
When last we left our young hero, Ken was jogging around Central Park before the dawn and gearing up to run a 5K in Richmond. He’d been training with Ann for six weeks; according to her it takes three weeks for a true bump in fitness, so he’d banked enough time and training to go up a couple of levels.
It only took a few steps on the Woodway to convince me that it was not your ordinary treadmill. It is nice to be able to do speed work in a controlled and predictable environment . . . I was impressed that the Woodway provides a much gentler impact than any other medium I have run on, including my preferred surface, dirt. That seems particularly beneficial when ramping up the speed.