A Girl Runs in Brooklyn

The Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins with a Single Step

On Strength Training

on January 15, 2014

Well….today was going to be a swim night but ended up being a Strength Training night.

I’ve been feeling like I have a little cold coming on since yesterday morning. Nothing major I don’t think….scratchy throat, stuffy nose. Been trying to combat it with Emergen-C, Zicam, Flo-Nase, Advil, lots of water, good night’s rest. ANYWAY…. I think I am going to be just fine, but decided it was in my best interest to skip my swim tonight. Already a rainy, damp, chilly day….having a stuffy nose and going swimming in a cold pool just didn’t sound like a great idea. But I did not come home and crash on the couch (tempting as it was)…instead I did a full “return to running” strength routine!

Strength training for runners is really important for injury prevention and recovery. I learned this the hard way a year ago (something about this time a year and getting injured for me, apparently! I guess running in January is overrated anyway) when I developed my first major running related injury, ITBS (Illio-tibial Band Syndrome). ITBS is generally felt as a sharp pain on the outside of the knee. It is often caused by muscle imbalances- in particular weak hips. Having weak hips causes the pelvis to be unstable while running, which leaves you more susceptible to a variety of injuries, ITBS being a common one. Or at least this was the case for me. When I had to take a break from running for several weeks because of it, and the few months after I returned to running, I religiously followed a strengthening regimen targeting the hips. But as the ITBS stopped being a problem, I started to let strength training slide, until I basically never did it. I can’t help but wonder if this contributed to my recent foot injury.

Well, I have decided on a New Years Resolution, and that is not to let strength training slip away again!!! So tonight I went back to my trusty hip routine. Which is a combination of two different hip routines:

Myrtl Hip Girdle Routine

Strength Running ITB Rehab Routine

I do 20 reps of each exercise in both routines, starting with “Myrtl” and moving to “Strength Running.” I do not do the clam shells in Myrtl though because they are done in Strength Running but with a resistance band. (And tonight I did regular squats instead of pistol squats, just was worried the one legged ones were going to be too much for my foot).

I also did ankle and foot exercises that I learned from a physical therapist friend to help strengthen the muscles of my left foot and ankle that have been feeling stiff and weak since the foot was in a boot for 5 weeks.

Also, I discovered this routine today. I tried a few of the exercises from it, a few of them I think I need to work up to as my foot and ankle get a little stronger (he did give modifications so whenever he did I did the modification, and skipped a few), but I think this routine will be PERFECT for getting my muscles ready to run again:

Rapid Muscle Response Workout

So….runners, do you strength train? What are your favorite exercises?

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2 responses to “On Strength Training

  1. Scott D. says:

    I dealt with ITBS my first year of running. It really was a pain. I did physical therapy to work through it (as I was training for the LA Marathon at the time). And I spent a lot of time on a foam roller stretching that thing out (and yelling a lot of profanity in the process. Strength training definitely helped me with that issue.

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