Monday Morning Wake-Up Call: Strength! Flexibility!

Finally, finally, I began the process late last week of addressing the weaknesses in my winter/spring 2014 marathon training program – the utter lack of strength and flexibility training I did (or in this case, didn’t do) in the run-up to Boston.

Strength and flexibility training to the rescue!

Do weight train. But don't wear a tie while doing it. The tie will get in the way. (Image courtesy of jesadaphorn /
Do weight train. But don’t wear a tie while doing it. The tie will get in the way. (Image courtesy of jesadaphorn /

Friday I planned on doing a strength training routine at the gym…and Saturday too, when I didn’t get there on Friday…but it took until Sunday to finally get there. (And sandwiched between a Mother’s Day breakfast and a Mother’s Day dinner…whew!) On the continuum of the five stages of behavioral change, I was solidly in contemplation mode by Friday, determination (i.e. planning) mode by Saturday, and action mode by Sunday.

But, whoa, that took time.

Today, of course, I feel much better. I did a solid 40 minutes of what some people call “metabolic strength” training – giant sets of 3 or 4 or 5 exercises each, the last of which is an aerobic set of one minute of sprinting or something that approximates sprinting (I chose jumping rope yesterday). Then, a minute or so to rest. Then repeat the big set. Then go on to another big set. Kind of like that.

That’s not specifically what bodybuilders refer to as Metabolic Resistance Training, but it’s close enough for me. It makes me work hard, I huff and puff, I sweat, and I feel stronger for hours afterwards. And it’s fun – no hanging around, no long rest intervals between sets, and I get to do both serious strength exercises (Push-ups on a BOSU ball!) and aerobic-minded stuff too (step-ups onto an 18-inch platform while holding two 17-pound kettlebells).

The important thing here is to mix it up. I’m seriously tired of thinking of running as the “only” thing I should be doing for workouts – especially now, when May is essentially my off-season for training. (I think I’ll run a June half-marathon for fun, but it won’t be a serious speed effort…it will just be fun.) So workout fatigue has set in. So I need to trick myself into looking forward to workouts again. Strength training and flexibility training (such as my planned yoga class later this afternoon) should help.

Moral of the story: keep pluggin’ if you have workout fatigue and figure out what your workouts are missing. Then, give yourself the gift of that exact thing that you’re missing. And, need I say it? Make it fun.

Yesterday’s #Every48 workout: A 40-minute strength routine at the gym. Squats and rows and bicep curls and hamstring curls and jumping rope and BOSU balls and step-ups with weights…oh my!

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