6 Strength Training Workouts for Runners

As an injured runner, I know that strength training is a must, and as I plan to start running again, I did some research on strength training for runners. I am getting ready to get strong.6 Strength Training Workouts for Runners - mostlyfitmom.com

What I’ve been learning is that my injuries are likely related to hip instability. Nearly every strength workout for runners that I’ve seen focuses on strengthening the glutes and core, and this ties into hip stability in that strengthening these areas improves your hip stability and reduces your risk for injury.

The current issue of Runner’s World has a four-stage progression aimed at improving hip stability. It’s so simple that it only makes sense that I follow it. I couldn’t find any links to it online otherwise I would share, but I did find some other pretty awesome links that include info and exercises aimed at keeping us runners healthy and injury free.

Love the Another Mother Runner website? Get Ripped Like a Mother.

I couldn’t find the hip stability workout from the current Runner’s World magazine, but I did find their 10 Essential Strength Exercises for Runners.

Coach Jenny Hadfield has a super simple (read: doable) strength workout in The Minimalist Guide to Strength Training for Runners. In my world, simple = awesome.

Women’s Health Mag also has a list of 7 Strength Moves for Runners. Get the sense that runners are into less is more when it comes to strength training?

This article from Greatist has links to multiple workouts and also explains Why All Runners Should Strength Train.

Looking for a body-weight workout that’s challenging? Check out Prevention’s 12 Essential Exercises Every Runner Should Do.


Lucky 13: A 13 Week 10k Training Plan for Beginners

Lucky 13: A 13 Week 10k Training Plan for BeginnersIt’s time to start running again. In January, I hit the road a couple of times, but it was so frigid that my shoes turned into hard blocks and my plantar fasciitis flared up. After that, instead of walking/running, I stuck to the stationary bike and yoga and also started adding in some strength training.

I have been thinking about running, though, and really want to get back to running for more than a minute at a time. The tricky part is that running takes effort and consistency, which is something I’ve been practicing but that I’ve always struggled with. A little motivation in the form of a race can be that kick in the pants needed to put on those runners with regularity, so this morning I signed up for a 10k here in Saskatoon on Mother’s Day. That gives me about 12 weeks to build up my distance without ramping up too quickly.

My source for a training plan was the runDisney website. I successfully used one of the Jeff Galloway-designed plans to prepare for the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler back in 2013, so the runDisney website was my first stop. I took a look at the website’s 10k plans and adapted what they had to my needs. The Galloway plan looks the same for all of the 10k races that runDisney has in their roster, which are the Walt Disney World 10k, Star Wars 10k, Disney Princess 10k, Disneyland 10k. Jeff Galloway advocates a run-walk-run approach, which works well for me since I’m easing back into running and want to avoid injury. Check out the runDisney website and Jeff Galloway’s website, which are far more informative if you’re looking for more information on training programs. I am not a running expert at all.

The plans on the runDisney site are date-specific and are laid out for Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday runs, which is great if you’re running one of the Disney races (and I would sure love to be!), but I wanted something customized to my schedule so that it felt more formal and I will feel more committed to nailing those workouts.

After deciding which race to run (the 2015 Saskatoon Transplant Trot), I opened up a spreadsheet, plugged in the dates from now until the middle of May and created my own 10k plan, a shorter version of the plan I found online. In addition to the times and distances listed in the plan, I’ll be adding in a five minute warmup and five minute cooldown for every workout. Note that the Jeff Galloway plan advises a ten minute warmup before and ten minute cooldown after every workout. I’m okay with adding an additional ten minutes to the times in the plan, but an extra twenty minutes seems like a lot.

Below is the chart I developed for my May 10th 10k. If it’s useful to you, then that’s fantastic. Like I said, I’m not a running expert, so please refer to the websites I’ve mentioned above for more information.

Lucky 13 10k Training PlanAre there any running websites that you regularly turn to for info or training plans?

The End of My 39th Year

I turn 39 this month, which means that I’m heading into my 40th year. I have that voice in my head telling me that I haven’t accomplished enough, that I should be farther ahead than I am, but I am deliberately not listening to it. I’m not saying that there aren’t things that I want to accomplish in my 40th year of life and beyond, but I am where I am, and that’s okay.

I’m sure I seem to have life sorted, but I don’t. My husband and I are both building businesses, which means that we’ve pretty much used up all of our available credit. We haven’t been doing a good job of budgeting (working on it) and I’ve been avoiding taking a hard look at the numbers in my business (working on that, too). I recently asked my mom for a loan for my business because the bank wasn’t a great option (we have assets but not steady incomes, so they weren’t going to be eager to loan us money), and while I am still dealing with the shame and embarrassment of having to borrow money from my mom at my age, I am dealing with it.

On the other hand, I have a whole lot to be grateful for:

  • my kids, who are mostly sweet and loving and funny (though sometimes I want to strangle them)
  • I have a home, food, and everything I need
  • my parents are in a position to lend me money when I need help and are willing to help
  • my husband works hard and helps out around the house way more than any other man I know
  • I am making friends
  • I’ve started doing yoga regularly, which I am proud of because it was one of my goals for this year
  • I am working with a life coach and it is making such a difference in my life
  • I have a massage booked for tomorrow, which means that I can get some relief from the tightness of my chest and back muscles that’s been plaguing me since my cold/bronchitis started mid-October (coughing is a b*tch on the thoracic musculature)
  • I am finally feeling better and getting over my bronchitis, which means my energy levels are increasing again
  • I have the day off from work tomorrow so that I can run some errands and practice self care
  • Christmas is coming!
  • I’ve been easing back into exercise and I feel good about that
  • I got to watch The Walking Dead without distractions tonight

As I countdown to my 39th birthday, I am thinking about what I want my life to look like. Of course, I am working with a life coach, so this is something I’ve been thinking about a lot already. I’ve started making changes: going out of my way to talk to people and build relationships; joining a women’s cross country skiing group to develop relationships, work on my fitness, and enjoy winter for a change; decluttering my house; practicing yoga on a more regular basis; developing an attitude of gratitude. I have been considering committing to a race sometime next year – a local one so that it’s easier on the budget – because I would like to get back to running and setting a bigger goal, like a half marathon, is often very motivating for me. At the same time, if I commit to such a big goal, I also have to give myself permission to listen to my body and take care of it with a healthy diet, yoga, sleep, and strengthening so that I don’t end up with a(nother) long-term injury. As I read somewhere, possibly Runner’s World, if a race entry of 50 bucks gets you running and healthier, it’s worth it, even if you don’t make it to the race. I couldn’t agree more.

Beginning Runner Plans: A Comparison of What’s Out There

Beginning Runner Plans - mostlyfitmom.comSpring has finally arrived here in Saskatchewan after what was (and definitely felt like) a long winter. Sadly, my running efforts so far have been weak. I allowed the weather to be an excuse not to run, and then had a legitimate reason not to run when I was dealing with traveller’s diarrhea for two weeks (gross and uncomfortable).

Now that I’m pretty much recovered from a gastrointestinal perspective, I’m ready to start running. I looked at joining a local “Learn to Run” group to increase my accountability, but nothing is starting in the near future, so I’m turning to online resources for a beginning running program. To be honest, I’ve started over running so many times, I could probably sit down and draft a reasonable plan on my own, but sometimes it’s nice not to have to do much thinking.

Without further ado, here’s a round-up of the best resources I found online.

1) Couch-to-5K

The Couch-to-5k plan has been around for years and now has an app (available on iTunes) to get you from a non-runner status to running a 5k in nine weeks. It provides a gradual increase in running time from week to week, which is good for letting your body tissues adapt to the stresses of running. I have never tried this plan, but having an app that I can download to my phone is appealing in terms of increasing motivation. It’s like having someone coaching you while you run.

Find the Couch-to-5k plan here.

2) Women’s Health Beginning Runner Program

This is is basic, but pretty consistent with other plans I’ve seen. It’s been designed by Jenny Hadfield, who writes for Runner’s World, and looks reasonable. The plan is slightly more flexible that the Couch-to-5k plan and allows you to choose whether you want to run three or four times per week. This plan builds up from running two minutes at a time to five minutes at a time over four weeks, and then provides guidelines on how to build your total running time from there. The other plus is that it includes a couple of days of cross-training so that you’re not just running. The downside is that it doesn’t have a table that you can print out and check off as you go along.

Find the Women’s Health Beginning Runner Plan here.

3) The Runner’s World 8-Week Beginner’s Program

I love Runner’s World magazine and look forward to its arrival in my mailbox monthly. Naturally, they’ve got an online running plan for beginners. I have to say that I’m not in love with this plan and I’ll tell you why: I think it adds too much running time too early. I don’t find running easy and I struggle through every cardio session I do, so to go from one minute of running at a time during the first week to four minutes of running in one shot during the second week seems daunting. I would feel like I’m going to puke up a lung. However, if you have a stronger cardio base, this plan offers a little more variety over the course of the plan and might be a good choice.

Find the Runner’s World 8-Week Beginner’s Plan here.

4) Skinny Ms. Running Program for Absolute Beginners

I love that this comes as a downloadable chart! The plan takes you from walking to running, which is nice. It also includes strength training, which I think is important. What doesn’t work for me is that, over the course of two weeks, you build up from running one minute at a time to running eight minutes at a time. Sorry, my cardio base sucks and that’s not going to work for me.

Find the Skinny Ms. plan here.

5) Super Skinny Me 10 Week Plan

I like this plan. It’s flexible, providing you with guidelines to run three to five times per week, and the running builds up gradually over the course of the ten weeks, ending with twenty minutes of running by the end. The chart isn’t so much a daily calendar as the instructions for the week, but it’s easy to understand.

Find the Super Skinny Me plan here.

Is there a beginning runner plan that you like or have used in the past?

Running Again, and a Few Links

I’ve started running again. Had a left knee/ITB-related twinge today, but it’s feeling good now. The plantar fasciitis in my right foot is not completely healed, but the running isn’t irritating it, so I will continue on. I’m up to 4 min running, 1 min walking. My daughter, who seems ridiculously smart for an 8-year-old, asked me the other day if I could say a sentence when I was running. I admitted that I couldn’t always, and she said, “Then you’re running too fast.” I have no idea where she got this from, but she is one smart cookie. Keeping that in mind, I ran as slowly as I possibly could Monday (I’m not sure it was actually running, that’s how slowly I ran) and periodically talked to myself to make sure I could “say a sentence.” I had a run in my schedule today, but my hips are still feeling sore from Monday’s run, so I decided to pay attention to my body and do some yoga instead. I can get a run in tomorrow, after an extra day’s rest.In addition to running, here are a few things that have caught my interest this week:

Simple Living Simplified: 10 Things You Can Do Today to Simplify Your Life

The start of a series on emergency preparedness from A Bowl Full of Lemons

A set of photos that I bought from Carolyn Cochrane on Etsy I surprised myself by receiving them in the mail, buying frames, and hanging them all in one day.

photo 1

Songs for a wedding playlist that I volunteered to help put together for my brother’s wedding next month

What songs do you love to hear at a wedding reception?


Looking for Motivation

Resolutions for 2014I’ve been thinking about running lately, because one of my goals/resolutions for the year is to start running again by April 1st. I have a couple of injuries holding me back at the moment (right foot plantar fasciitis, left IT band injury that has been there for years but has been bothering me lately) and obviously I need to rehab those before I can really start running. I’ve done physio, but it was pretty expensive, inconvenient, and didn’t fully deal with my injuries. I’ve decided it’s time to take a self-help approach and started reading The Running Injury Recovery Program by Bruce R. Wilk. I’m making my way through it, but the idea is that you assess and treat yourself, so we’ll see how it goes.

Although I’m not running yet, I have been thinking about training for a specific event later this year, because nothing motivates me as much as the idea of traveling does. I’ve been looking at a few women’s races, as well as The Tower of Terror 10-Miler at Disney World (which I did last year) and the Rock’n’Roll Vancouver 10k. I thought I’d share a few links that I came across.

Women’s race series websites:

Zooma Women’s Race Series

Women’s Running Series

Run for Women

Divas Half Marathon and 5k Series

See Jane Run Women’s Half Marathon and 5K

Mermaid Series

A list of women’s races for the year from Another Mother Runner

Other races ideas:

Rock’n’Roll Vancouver 10K

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler

As with last year, I figure that even if I can’t run a race, I can still walk one.

Do you like to travel?


Tower of Terror Training: Sucking Wind

As I mentioned in my last post, my husband and I signed up for the Tower of Terror 10-Miler October 5th. Now, I haven’t been doing much running lately, but I’m really looking forward to getting back to it. I’m going to try and keep things easy and not push myself too much, as I don’t want to end up injured. That being said, my cardiovascular system has been given a lot of slack over the past year and a half, so getting back into running is definitely challenging.

The Tower of Terror training plan that I’ll be following doesn’t officially start until June 4th, but I figured it would be good to get my feet and body moving beforehand. Yesterday was a beautiful, if windy, day here in Saskatoon and since I had an extended lunch due to a patient canceling, I threw on my running gear and headed out.

The training plan recommends a 13-15 minute warm-up and then a 30 minute run every Tuesday and Thursday, so that’s what I did. A few weeks ago, I went from running 1 min/walking 1 min to running 3 min/walking 3 min. I figured run/walking 2min/2min would be okay. Um…not so much. It was SO HARD! My heart rate through the running intervals was through the roof and there may have been excessive gasping, too. I’ve been here before, though, so I know that it will get better. My legs felt tired but okay afterward. Really, my heart and lungs seemed to take the brunt of the workout. I plan to run again tomorrow and I know that it will feel (at least a little bit) easier than yesterday’s run/walk.

I’ve also been contemplating whether or not to put together some sort of costume for this race. It is Disney, after all. If you have any suggestions, through them my way!