For the month of November, I decided to focus on my strength training.
There were a variety of reasons why I wanted to do this.
With no running goals or events on the horizon, I need a change.
Strength training is a vital component of being a strong runner. Sure you don’t have to do it, but if you want to see improvements in your running game and prevent injury then hitting the weights is a must.
With the month now up, this is what I learned or discovered.
Trust the plan
It’s easy to second guess a plan that your coach has given you. However, you need to trust in the plan and the process.
It’s ok to skip a workout. If it doesn’t happen, don’t just do a double workout or a double day. Just move on to the next workout and move on.
Don’t skip the warm-up
It’s easy to just head to the gym and go straight to the machines or weights without doing a warm-up. Don’t be that person.
Take the time to do a warm-up. Spend 10 minutes on the bike or rower to get your heart rate up, then do your dynamic stretches. Not only will your body thank you, but you will also be able to lift heavier and longer and performed better.
Instead of going straight to the bar or free weights and smashing out your activity. Perform 1-4 warm-up sets for that exercise.
This will help prepare you for your work set.
Don’t skip the cool-down
Just like the warm-up, the cool-down is just as important.
Whether you do, static stretching, yoga, or foam rolling, these things will not only aid muscle recovery but also help to prevent injury.
Spend at least 10 minutes after your workout to focus on your cool-down routine.
You don’t have to spend an entire hour doing plyometrics to see gains.
If your primary focus is cardio then HIIT workouts are great.
Spending roughly 10 minutes on explosive movements like box jumps, broad jumps or split squats, will not only help improve your running but will improve your weight training as well.
One thing for sure, I will continue with my plyometrics, as it has been the highlight of my plan.
There were doubts about increasing the weight training from two to three sessions.
The primary concern would be fatigue and inadequate rest.
Thursdays ended up being the hardest session of my week. I was mentally and physically fatigued.
By keeping a training log, I was able to determine a change in hormone levels prior to getting my period.
If you aren’t tracking your menstrual cycle, I highly recommend you do. Apps like the WILD app help you to monitor your symptoms and will give you recommendations on when you can perform at your best, or when it’s best to back off.
With no races or events on the horizon, I will continue with three strength sessions, but I also think I will allow more rest days, even if it’s every 2-weeks.