It’s downright balmy here in DC today, which I could not be happier about. I have been over winter since February, so I’m thrilled to see warm weather finally making an appearance (my toes are also finally making an appearance… three cheers for sandals!). When I showed up at the gym to warm up this morning, I saw my trainer was already outside in the courtyard with a client. I was stoked to have my first outdoor session!
Today’s workout featured something that was new-to-me… BATTLE ROPES.
These are definitely a lot harder than I thought they were, especially when combined with all the other upper body work we did this morning. I was BEAT by the end of our session.
During / after my workout, I was thinking about different exercises that I love or hate. I don’t know about you, but I make myself do the exercises I hate the most because I figure that must mean I need to work on them! That approach might not work for everyone, but I get really motivated to works towards conquering a move that I find difficult. I came up with the following lists.
- ALL plyometrics
- Kettlebell Swings
- Push Ups
- Sit ups or Oblique Twists
- Plank ups – my trainer LOVES these but I think they’re SUPER hard. By the end my abs AND chest are burning!
- Step Ups – It’s not that I really mind these but I feel like they take FOREVER (probably because I have to do each side individually). Sometimes I get scared stepping down that I’ll roll my ankle or something!
- Leg lowers (or ANY ab exercise where I have to move my legs up and down together) – my abs are pretty strong but my hip flexors are one of my biggest weaknesses. I can bust out a bunch of ab exercises but throw in some movement the requires my hip flexors and I’m toasted.
- Close Grip Pull Ups – My trainer loves to throw these in at the end of an upper body workout, when I’m totally wiped. These are the only exercise where I reach a point of actual muscle failure. He has to be there to spot me lest I plummet to the ground. Some day I will master you pull ups!
Questions for You Guys:
- Ever used battle ropes before? What did you think?
- What exercises are your favorite / least favorite?
Anyways onto the post at hand! In the spirit of my resolution to do more strength training this week (for the sake of my knee but also in the hopes of one day having a smoking hot bod… bahaha just kidding), I put together a “marathon friendly” circuit workout to do on Tuesday morning. Marathon training and strength training require a delicate balance. I don’t want to blow out my legs lifting when I need them for a difficult run, but at the same time I want to make sure I’m keeping key running muscles toned and ready for injury prevention. I also don’t want to neglect my upper body and core, which are totally crucial to good running posture and injury prevention (mostly core for the injury prevention part).
I tend to use my off day and my easy run days for my strength training to allow all my energy / focus to be on running on my SOS days (That’s Hanson Method speak for “Something of Substance” workouts… basically your hard workouts).
I incorporated some basic lower body movements and plyometrics (GREAT for runners), a solid upper body workout, and plenty of focus on the core into this approximately 30 minute strength training workout. I did it “for time” to get my heart rate up and challenge myself. You can totally just do 12 reps each for 3 rounds and not time it.
My times were: Circuit #1 = 7:57, Circuit #2 = 7:25, Circuit #3 = 8:59