As you may have noticed, I’ve been talking plenty about marathon training lately (are you tired of hearing about it yet?), but I haven’t had much of a chance to talk about some of the specifics, like my strength training workouts, which are just as essential as any other part of the program.
Remember, strength training is important, not only because it will make you a stronger, faster runner but it will help you to prevent injury, too.
Strength moves like lunges, mountain climbers and abductions offer an opportunity for you to move your joints and muscles through different planes of motion, which helps to counteract the repetitive motion of running.
Before I share my most recent strength workout with you, I’ll quickly recap how week two and week three of my marathon training went.
Last weekend’s 10-miler came pretty easily. The fact that I got to run most of it on the trails near my parent’s house on Long Island helped the first eight miles to fly by, and by the time I reached the last two miles and I was starting to struggle, Mark met up with me and gave me the mental boost I needed to finish it out.
So far, my mid-week runs have been manageable and I’ve been getting them done in the morning before work. But that will certainly change once those miles start increasing. And if I’m being honest, I’m nervous about fitting the longer mid-week workouts into my schedule, especially because after the end of this month I’ll be commuting to work from Long Island for a little while. It’s going to be a challenge, but I’ll deal with that one when I have to deal with it.
As for today’s long run, overall it was pretty enjoyable. I started to struggle again around mile 8, mostly my quads and IT bands were just sore, but ultimately I powered through and felt like I finished pretty strong. Another week of training under my belt and 11 more weeks to go!
Now, let’s talk strength training.
As I was saying before, I haven’t yet shared much about what I’ve been doing for my strength workouts on Wednesdays. For the first two weeks I worked with circuits of bodyweight exercises; single-leg deadlifts, hip abductors, lunges, etc.
This week was similar, but I was able to put a new resistance band training tool to the test, and I found that it made for a really great at-home workout option that helped me to add a bit more intensity to some of the bodyweight exercises I’ve been doing.
The band is called ReXist 360 Training System; essentially it’s a set of elastic bands that you can strap around your legs to create added resistance for all different types of exercises.
Shay Kostabi is the premiere trainer for ReXist 360 (and she just so happens to be based in NYC like me) and when she heard I was training for the New York City Marathon, she thought the bands would be a great supplement to my strength workouts. So, this week I used the bands to take my strength workout to the next level, performing a circuit using Shay’s five favorite strength training moves for runners.
Even if you don’t have the ReXist 360 bands, you can still do all of these moves. You can do them without any resistance, but if it’s available to you, extra resistance is always better. Even something like a power band would work, too.
Check out the moves below, give them a try and let me know what you think!
Also below: a breakdown of the sets and reps that I did for each of the exercises.
-Strength Training Workout for Runners-
Reverse Lunge with Knee Pull: 3 sets of 10 reps, each leg
Prisoner Squat: 3 sets of 20 reps
Wall Climber: 3 sets of 30 seconds (I did these like mountain climbers on the floor to make it a little more difficult)
Upper Back/Lat Pulls: 3 sets of 12 reps
Lateral Lunge with Oblique Twist: 3 sets of 10 reps, each leg