ST? Who Me?


This was the original title for this post. (I write them sometimes months in advance):

Thanks to Judy for providing me with more information on what I already believed (You can read the article if you are interested.)

And yes, I still believe that ST is NOT necessary to improve your running..

But, it seemed hypocritical to post about it since I have been using the machines at the gym 3x a week for the past month.

So I am going to instead post the positive and negatives of my gym experience.

It may be totally individual to me, though.

Here’s some specifics:

  • I do not work out at home.
  • At the gym, I have not used the bike, treadmill, any weights, the pool or run on the indoor track.
  • Nor have I taken any classes.
  • My membership is free until June 4, 2022.

I drink coffee, get in the car, and arrive at the gym usually by 6:30 am.  I use almost all the machines and then drive home, have breakfast and start my work day by 8 am.

Pros:

  • A positive way to start the day.
  • A short drive from my home.
  • I work from home so I don’t have to change my clothes after.
  • I can go at any time of day.
  • There are a big variety of machines that work different muscles.
  • I can work as hard as I choose.
  • I can choose which muscle groups to work on.
  • No computer screens.
  • Quiet time. No talking by others 

Cons:

  • If I am up early, I’d rather be outside running.
  • It is time consuming wiping down the machines after each use.
  • Sometimes you have to wait until a machine is available.
  • You have to remember the individual settings on each machine.
  • It is crowded at certain times of day.
  • There is a fine line between over doing and not working hard enough.
  • Gym doesn’t open until 8 am on Saturdays and is closed on Sundays (due to COVID).

I know that this is only ONE option to working out.

Many runners work out at home.  But I don’t own any equipment.

And I may be weird but I do not like REMOTE instruction…  YouTube videos, Peleton etc. I stare at a computer screen all day and the last thing I want to do is watch someone doing yoga or leading a workout. My favorite use for Peleton was for the outdoor runs…

My gym plans for the future?

I don’t think it is worth it for me to join the Y. My FREE local gym is still closed (since the pandemic) but I would love to see it open up again!! And I would go regularly, I think.

But back to my original post:

So if you don’t strength train, what things could you do to that may improve your running?

  • Run more.

Consistency is key to better running.  If you are tired or sore, instead of skipping a run, just slow it down. (Remember if you walk, you are still a runner.)

  • Run longer.

Running 4-5 miles every weekend will not give you speed or endurance.  You don’t have to increase it a lot (10% is recommended). If the increased mileage makes you sore or tired, go back and forth (increase then go back down, then increase again.)

  • Lose weight.

Extra pounds can have a negative impact on your health and on your running especially on your joints (and knees).  You don’t have to go on an extreme diet but just be more mindful about what you eat and how active you are.

  • Do Drills/Running Workouts

You know what I mean: tempo runs, hill repeats, fartleks, progression runs, intervals, etc.  They will seem challenging but may improve your running.

  • Race.

The crowd support, race adrenaline, competition, etc. that can only happen in a race may improve your running.

Happy Running! Do you do a lot of strength training? Do you go to a gym? Has it improved your running? Please share.

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So it’s Tuesday and I am linking up  with Zenaida and Kim (Kooky Runner) for Tuesday Topics.


I’m also linking up here:

with co-hosts Coach Debbie RunsConfessions of a Mother RunnerMile by MileRuns with Pugs, and Laura Norris Running.

24 thoughts on “ST? Who Me?

  1. Ha, Darlene does strength training after all! 🙂

    I find gyms very boring – except Crossfit, I think I would enjoy that.
    I don’t have any equipment other than a mat, a booty band and a small selection of weights.
    I understand your distaste for videos, however, I like using Pamela Reif videos (a German fitness idol). They’re for free, she doesn’t talk and they are mostly only 10-15 minutes long. Sometimes I lack the motivation, but Kai does them with me and that helps.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting topic, and I like how you’re going against the trend here. There will be a lot of people who disagree with you! It seems like most runners who strength train say it helps them. It’s hard for me to say personally. I know I’m “supposed” to do it, so I do it, but I still get injured, so…hmm. I definitely agree that running more will make you a better runner, and doing drills. And I’ll agree that if your form is great, you can probably run injury-free with no strength training. The only thing I would add is that as we get older, there are reasons to strength train that have nothing to do with running. So I guess i’ll keep at it… sigh. I would definitely rather be out there running!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I do agree that strength training is probably a good thing. I’m just not sure that it helps my running enough to make time for it right now.

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  3. I don’t think it actually really matters whether or not ST helps your running. I do know that it helps your life! And that as you get older, if you don’t do some form of muscle strengthening (bodyweight can be pretty darn hard!), you’re losing muscle. It’s not a good thing.

    Machines can be boring. Classes are more fun. Working with a trainer can also make it more fun.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. As you know, I also love my strength training. I do think it helps to make me a stronger runner all around. I also think it helps me age slower and stay stronger as I do. Having more muscle mass as we age has so many health benefits!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I work out at home but I don’t follow an instructor (I have a strength plan that is in an app, so if I need to watch a quick video I can but otherwise I do the exercises on my own). I don’t like following along to virtual workouts either. Strength training has been a game changer for me because I used to get injured very often.

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  6. I love strength training now, but it took me a long time to embrace it. I’ve done it both ways…on my own and with instruction (P90X and now Peloton), but I detest the gym scene. UGH. I much prefer doing it at home.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I think you know how I feel about strength training, Darlene! I’ve been running for a very long time and in my early 50s, I started experiencing a lot of injuries. I sought out the help of a running coach, who wanted to overhaul my form and make me do lots of running drills. That didn’t appeal to me at all, so I got a ‘second opinion’ from my friend, who owned the CF gym. She hooked me up with my strength coach, who made me stronger and voila, my injury cycle ended. She also coached me to my PR marathon. There’s no doubt in my mind that strength training helps runners, especially older runners. I think it’s important to work with a coach who can personalize your training instead of using all the machines at the gym. I’m sorry that you haven’t found it to be helpful. Running will always be #1 for me, but I know that I have to supplement it with activities that keep me strong.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am in awe what you can do strength-wise. It seems to work for you and you enjoy it.

      And yes, running is my crack. Machines right now are better thannothing.

      Like

  8. While I do like my at home workouts with Peloton, I do enjoy going to Orangetheory because of the in-person instruction, and I also feel like I push myself a little harder in those classes.

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  9. I’m happy to see that you’ve been using the weight machines at the gym for these last few months and hope that your free gym opens back up soon since your temporary gym membership ends this week.

    As you know, I’m a huge fan of strength training and feel it’s an important part of our overall fitness routine. As we age we lose lean muscle mass starting as young as our mid-20’s. Strength training helps rebuild that muscle loss which helps us retain strength, keeps our metabolism going strong, and lowers our risk of injury. I’m convinced that regular strength training allowed me to run multiple marathons a year for years with minimal injuries – just wish I’d focused on my core as much back then as I do now.

    Liked by 1 person

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