Blog #5, September 18th, 2008
In a lot of ways I’m your typical female; I like to get dressed up, get massages, read fashion magazines, wear makeup and shop for shoes, (who doesn’t need a new pair of shoes to match every outfit?! LOL!) With that said, I was a pretty typical female when it came to weight training, too. I didn’t want to lift too heavy of weights, and I never wanted to lift weights for my legs because I didn’t want to, (gasp) bulk up! My reasoning was simple. Muscle memory. I was under the impression that—because I had big thighs when I was younger due to ice skating, I would get big legs again as an adult if I were to start weight training on my lower body.
Enter, Mike and Dawn Volksdorf from Body Defined Fitness. Dawn is amazing. A trainer, a chef, completely buff, and…perfect! Her husband, Mike, is a guy who I describe as a “bad ass!” I knew I had hit the jackpot for personal trainers. In April I hired Mike as my personal trainer, and told him about the Route 66 Marathon. I knew he would push me, and wouldn’t let me slack…but more importantly he promised me that my legs wouldn’t bulk up, and that my upper body would not resemble a female version of Arnold Schwarzenegger! I was sold!
Rewind 5 years when I trained for my first marathon—the Walt Disney World Marathon in Orlando, Florida. I was ALWAYS sore after my long runs—and short runs for that matter. My calves hated me and my thighs, shoulders and back cursed me! After I crossed the finish line at the marathon, I couldn’t walk for days. In fact, not just my legs but my whole body felt like I had been hit by a Mac truck! (But…I took an ice bath, Coach Paul, and it helped—a lot! I can only imagine what I would have felt like if I didn’t take an ice bath!) J I told my story to Mike; he told me that as I became stronger from lifting, I would notice significant changes in my body—more specifically, I wouldn’t be as sore after my training runs for the Route 66 Marathon. (Let me just tell you, how hard it was to not question Mike when he made me lift heavy weights—all the time, every time. I was so fearful that I was going to bulk up, instead of tone up.) Fast forward 5 months. I can see muscle definition, I am 100 times stronger, and I have not been sore, on any part of my body, after any of my runs; long or short! Thanks Mike!
Below is my training schedule from Mike and from Fleet Feet (regarding the days to run).
Monday: Legs (I can’t lie, I detest leg days, and at first I would puke because it hurt so badly!) I also hit the treadmill after doing legs—this is hard, but once you get going, it is fine.
Tuesday: I usually rest…but sometimes I run a few miles.
Wednesday: Back, chest, abs. Run
Friday: Biceps, triceps, shoulders, abs.
Saturday: Long runs
Sunday: I’m supposed to rest, but I will more than likely run a few miles.
The reason for this blog is to stress the importance of weight training for runners. I always read about it in magazines, but never took it to heart until 5 months ago. Strength-training your legs helps you stay injury-free, and according to New York City musculoskeletal therapist Jim Wharton, “You're asking for trouble when you overtax weaker muscles.” Mike echoes those same sentiments, “Yes, running works your legs, but to run strong and run your best from start to finish, you have to strengthen them. Weight training will also cut off time from your run, I guarantee that.” And he’s right; I cut off 3 minutes from my best 5k, (28:33 to 25:26) any distance farther than that—at that pace—and you’ll definitely need to call a paramedic for me! HAHAHAAAA!
Guys typically strength train more often than women, but ladies, don’t be afraid of lifting weights—it only helps, I promise. It has completely changed how I feel after a run, (although, you might think otherwise when you see me after our long runs on Saturday mornings. Hahahaha. I look tired, but I feel pretty good.) J
Here are the links Mike found that you may be interested in reading.
As always, a big thank you to Fleet Feet, all of the hundreds of runners, Coach Paul, Ben, Brian, Steve and Tim…and especially the “Hawt AsSphalts” of M3B! Your energy, laughter and encouragement are always a recipe for success!
If you have thoughts, questions, or comments, feel free to let ‘er rip! The comment "button" is right below this blog.
See you Saturday. Happy running!! J