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Thursday, October 10, 2013

Getting Motivated for Strength Training

So getting up 4AM and running is not hard for me.  I am pretty consistent and I feel goo d afterwards.  Even today with a tight calf, I still could get into it.  I called it quits at 2 miles because I did not want to injure it because I need to do a long run this weekend.  Soldier's Half is fast approaching. I need a few more double digit training runs.  I joined this health and fitness challenge at work, since I am on the wellness committee and we are sponsoring it.  I had to pick a goal.  I could have said "I am going to start running or I am going to run a half marathon, but I thought we should choose a real goal something we really need to improve.  I chose I am a runner who needs to incorporate more strength training. 

This leads me to my blog post.  I such at strength training.  I am inconsistent; I get bored.  I totally lack my laser like focus in this area.  Hubby even redesigned our extra room to give us a perfect area for strength training.  I have not used it yet.  I have been doing my planks and I incorporated some push ups yesterday.  Is there a good program that I can fit in with my running?  How does everyone fit in strength training?  I read about my friends doing it all the time but I don't seem to be able to get it done.  So that is my confession and plea to hold me accountable. I suck at strength training and I told everyone at work I was going to get better?

How do you stay motivated to strength train? 


  1. I have lots of thoughts on this! Mainly, because not giving my strength training enough attention has put me in long-term PT twice, which meant weeks of no running and many many hundreds of dollars down the drain. If avoiding that situation isn't motivating, I don't know what is ;)

    First I think that ANYTHING is better than nothing, and most people do better with a concrete schedule. Ie, "I am going to do strength work for 10 minutes, 3x per week, on these days at these times." I think for most people, the "I'll just do it whenever I have time / think about it / get around to it" seems be the same as doing it never or almost never.

    Second I say start with something manageable (like 10 minutes 3x a week) & don't worry about doing the "perfect" workout or the "right" exercises -- just get in the habit of doing *something* for 10 minutes at a time or 15 or whatever works for you. Push-ups & planks are great. The Pilates clam shell circuit is perfect for runners. (Almost anything from Pilates is great for runners, actually.) Double or single leg bridges, single-leg quarter squats, unweighted squats, different varieties of crunches, and donkey kicks are all good ones that you can do pretty much anywhere. Pick a few you want to try out, set a timer for x minutes, & just try stuff til time is up.

    As you get into the habit of doing it consistently, you can make your workouts longer or do them more often (some people like 10 minutes every day; some people like half an hour 2-3 times per week) depending on what works for you. One simple (because let's be honest, the simpler you make it, the more likely you are to do it) way to decide what to do is to just try to hit each major group of running muscles (hips, glutes, hamstrings, abs) a couple of times a week. Even doing that much is a HUGE improvement over nothing!

    Knowing *exactly* what *you* personally need to do is tricky because we all have different strengths & weaknesses & issues, but I've really enjoyed the RunnersConnect program, which is research-based & includes several different "prescriptions" that you can tailor depending on your goals. I think it's like $40 for the whole thing.

    Argh, that was long, but I hope it's helpful!! Good luck!! Keep yourself out of PT!!

    1. Angela, Thanks this was really helpful. I used to do a lot of strength training before I started running. I do know my abilities. I used to struggle to do cardio now I fell in love with running. I seem to have a problem with balance! Ha ha ha. These are great ideas. I am determined to do better at this.

  2. Kathy,
    Have you tried kettle balls? I found a few 15 minute routines online that were really easy to really challenging; but what I like about it is that it doesn't feel like strength training or lifting weights. It's fun and you're constantly moving and working more than one area at once. Start with just two 10 or 15 minute workouts a week and build up from there. Angela is right anything is better than nothing. You sound like a pretty regimented person so I dont think you'll have a problem sticking to a workout plan, you just need the motivation to start. How bout this....building strength will make you faster ;)

    1. This is a great suggestion. A couple of years ago I had a personal trainer to jump start my fitness routine and teach me proper technique. I loved our kettle bell workouts. It really did not feel as monotonous as traditional weight training and I felt it all over my body! Thanks.

  3. A personal trainer is an excellent way to make a workout into a habit. I go to a gym and the trainers beat me up for a half hour. More correctly, they make me beat myself up for a half hour. They know my body and my goals, and adjust the exercises appropriately. I still don't exactly look forward to those workouts, but I know they are necessary for my all-around fitness - so I go.