Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Earning the Right to Run

When I was marathon training I would try to make it to the gym as often as I could during the week and then do my long runs on the weekend.  I don't mean to sound like a broken record but I did mention before numerous times how this method left me exhausted.  The reason I was so adamant about going to the gym though was because I wanted to do the strengthening exercises for my legs so that I could put the IT band injury WAY behind me. I had suffered with that injury for 19 months and it was awful.  What I was doing at the gym seemed to help.



There were  only a few weeks when I did not
get to the gym as often as I wanted to and because of this I often adjusted my run on the weekend. 


Sometimes I only made it to the gym one day and if it was a Monday or Tuesday that meant there were 5 days between my last workout and my run.  I couldn't have that so my weekend run would become a short run or would get cancelled altogether. 



I really felt that if I was going to do a long run on the weekend then I had to workout and strength train at LEAST two days during the week.  If I didn't get the strength training in than I had no right to be running.  It almost felt as if I was earning the right to run based on how well my strength training went earlier that week.



2 or more strength training sessions a week = A happy runner

1 or zero strength training sessions a week = No running on the weekend



(of course I know numerous runners who run without consistently strength training and they have never got injured. How DO they do it?)



As February (AKA my month of rest)  has come to an end I am looking forward to training again for upcoming races.  HOWEVER, I don't have the energy nor the time to train like I did before BUT I want to make sure I'm doing enough to keep injury away.  I know it's a delicate balance and I'd like to know how the rest of you handle it.  What is your ratio of Strength training and running?  What do you do to maintain an injury free status while running? -M

33 comments:

  1. So I have a totally different perspective on this post-injury, like you! I'm thinking I'll do 4-5 days of strength training with my PT exercises and 3-4 days of traditional strength training (core, upper body, back, etc.). I'm also enjoying trying out all of the concepts I'm learning in my personal training studies...I figure I need to know the stuff if I'm working with a client! -C

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    1. That's cool that you're learning new things that will help you!

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  2. I think it is important to cross train instead of using running as your only form of cardio. 3 times a week of running has been my sweet spot, except during the Dopey Challenge training plan from Jeff Galloway and there were a few weeks that included 4. Strength training is definitely important and at the moment I am doing 2 times per week. Good luck in finding what works well for you.

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    1. I've definitely been into cross training. I won't even run unless I know i've cross trained enough that week!

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    2. I've definitely been into cross training. I won't even run unless I know i've cross trained enough that week!

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  3. It can be really tough to balance everything, but I try to do a few exercises every day. Then I do 1-2 strength training days per week. I do my strength training at home so I really have no excuse!

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  4. I run about 3 times a week and I do 3 strength training sessions too. It's a balance that works really well for me.

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  5. Its definitely tough to balance everything and to find time to fit all of the exercises in that we know we should be doing. I'm not fitting in as much time for strength training as I'd like to, or know I should be doing, so I'm trying to utilize exercises that work more than one muscle group at a time in order to make the most of my time. I find that running three days a week works best for me, especially in trying to prevent myself from overrunning, and then I try to fit in a day or two of cross training and strength training around the running. Often times though, I have to strength train on a couple of the same days that I run.

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  6. It is really hard to balance everything! My ideal week is 2 strength training sessions, 3 runs, and 1 yoga session. This rarely seems to happen and yoga tends to get dropped first, and then strength training. But I try to make sure I have at least 1 strength training session per week at a minimum.

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  7. I wonder how they don't get injured too! I like how you look at strength training as earning the right to run. My ideal week when I am focused on a race is 2 strength sessions and 5 runs per week. But right now lifting lower body aggravates my IT band. It suuuucks!

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  8. I know everyone has something different that works for their body. I run 3x a week and strength train/cardio 3 times per week with one day of rest. I've realized how important strength training is and also the rest day!

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  9. Everyone is different, but I totally agree that strength training is SOOOO important.

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  10. Injury free....what's that?? lol! It seems I always have something nagging. But I totally understand your point. I've always been one of those that feel like I have to run everyday to define my "runner" status and then I just add in strength training and end up injured due to OVERtraining. So I'm trying to balance running and strength training. I know both are equally important and strength maybe more important. In the middle of a workout shake up right now myself. 3 spring half marathons will tell me if I'm doing the right thing! :-)

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  11. My balance is 3 times a week for strength training, two days for running, and yoga on all days. Sundays have been Pure Barre, but my chiro gave me extra exercises since my hips are still weak and my knees wobble in when I do squats. So I have PT exercises that double as strength training so I can roll them into my 3 days of strength.

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    1. Wow, I think all that would leave me exhausted!!

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    2. Wow, I think all that would leave me exhausted!!

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  12. Zero to four for me - yeah, I've been really bad about doing any kind of strength training! But I'm planning on changing that to doing some hip-strengthening exercises at home because I know I'm tempting fate with not doing anything else but running - I feel like another injury is lurking right around the corner.

    That said, I don't think you need to work yourself into a constant state of exhaustion, though. Of course you'll feel tired after a really long run, but if you're worn out all the time, then maybe you can cut back somewhere?

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    1. Yes, I need to cut back somewhere but no sure where or how much. I'm in this state of mind that if I cut back I will be injured but if I keep going this way I will be exhausted. It's a balancing act for sure!

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  13. I do 2 days of strength training during the week with 2 days of running & a long run on Saturday... I've found the strength training has made a HUGEEEE difference in my runs now. My step daughter has now taken on strength training & couldnt believe the difference it made in injuries for her.
    Good luck figuring out your schedule. I always tell everyone training for a race is so much more then people think... especially when it comes to time.

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  14. I have been on the pattern now of one lower body day and one upper body day aw week. I usually do a short core session where I do some lower back, planks, leg lifts, but not always...Sometimes I just add that into my upper or lower work out.
    Last week I missed legs because I was feeling sick...every week can't be perfect life is too busy. I hope you stay injury free :) I know how old it gets!

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  15. When I've been a runner, I've never had any major injury troubles. Before when I used to run consistantly, I found that 5 days a week was a great amount of days to run. I personally didn't do much strength training, but I often cross trained by adding hiking. Although, I have heard a few runners do both, I just know many tend to overdo it and can't find the right balance and then end up slack on the running.
    It all comes down to your goals, if your goals are a fit balance with no real race goals in sight, then a good mix of the two is probably right up your alley.
    But if your goals are running race oriented, then running is always better than too much of a mix. When you start back up, just decide what your goal area is, and work towards that. Good luck as you get back into it!

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  16. My balance comes with running and yoga. I feel like I need to do at least one dedicated yoga session a week to maintain running flexibility. Even better if I can do more.

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  17. It's such a balance and I am still working to find my sweet spot. I've either done too much and my running has suffered because I was so tired or I've done not enough. Right now I am working to do a little bit after each run which seems to be better for me and one whole day that is focused on strength. That usually means yoga post long run or kettlebells or barre between easier running days.

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  18. It's so hard to balance everything! I don't do much strength training at all, but I ride my horse pretty hard 5 days a week, so I kind of count that as strength training. I've been running much more this year than usual, so I'm thinking I need to do some basic strength training exercises specifically for running to avoid injury

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  19. Best of luck with your training! I'll admit, I'm not really good at the strength training part although i do try to keep a PT leg routine pretty consistent! I usually do that four times per week and run three to four times per week. (Some days are PT and running in the same day.)

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    1. Oh yes and I also take a couple of days off during the week, too! :)

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  20. I do 2-3 days of strength training a week, usually M/F. If I do 3 days, one day will NOT focus on legs although I may include clamshells and planks. I run 2-3 days a week, usually T/Th/Sat. I don't know if there's a magic formula to staying injury free though. I think two days a week is enough if I do the right exercises.

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  21. I strength train once/week, but I do yoga 1-2x/week, and that does involve some body work. I like my routine right now because I added cycling to my week, riding one day per week as well. It helps take some of the load off my feet. My PF just won't go away.

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  22. Injuries - UGH! You really don't wantto push yourself, and when or if you feel pain again, take it easy! Walking is quite over - rated! lol

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  23. When I was running my best I ran 3x/week, yoga 2x, strength 3x bike 1x. Now that I'm in tri training I put some swimming in the mix so 3 runs, 1 bike, 1 yoga 2 strength 1 swim per week. I'm overwhelmed just typing it. So much to juggle.

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  24. I do way shorter strength training sessions, like maybe 15 mins or 20 mins. I do that 3 or 4 times a week - sometimes tacked onto the end of a recovery run, or a shorter run. It gets hard when you're in heavy running training! I also stick to more basic exercises, or moves that incorporate more than one exercise so I can get more work done in a shorter period of time.

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Fairytales and Fitness is a personal blog authored and edited by us, Meranda and Lacey. The thoughts expressed here represent only our own and are not meant to be taken as professional advice. Please note that our thoughts and opinions change from time to time. We consider this a necessary consequence of having an open mind in an ever changing society. Any thoughts and opinions expressed within our out-of-date posts may not be the same, nor even similar, to those we may express today.