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Logic: Mother knows best and I’m a mother therefore I know best.


One thing I’ve talked about on this blog (ad naseum) is the importance of weight training. I think I keep harping on it to keep myself doing it. The last thing a runner wants to do is tick off reps in a smelly gym when she can be bounding around in the great outdoors. But as a runner who has suffered several overuse injuries, I know how important building muscle is to running longevity. And I’m not the only one blogging about strength training lately. This week I read several posts (including Run Long Katie, Another Mother Runner, (so not) Super Runner Mom) on pumping some iron.

Cats need to be strong because cats steal your soul while you sleep.

If you look at elite runners, they have very slight builds but they are toned (refer to Monday’s picture of Lolo Jones). Running is a whole-body activity and it is important to keep all of your muscle groups strong. Running doesn’t just use your legs–your arms help propel you forward and your core–including your abdominals, hips, and lower back–helps to keep you upright and balanced. When one of these areas is weak, your biomechanics become sloppy causing other muscle to overcompensate, and this leads to injury. It can get worse–a muscle group will be so weak that your bones are forced to pick up the slack. This overload results in a stress fracture which can put a runner on the DL anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months. No one knows this better than me and, unlike elite athletes, when I get hurt I don’t have Alter G treadmills, underwater treadmills, Active Release Therapy sessions, and deep tissue massages to patch me through. I am pedaling on a stationary bike all pissed off while my kids pelt me with Squinkies and squirt each other with Capri Suns.

So while I hate choosing dumbbells over running, I hate not being able to run even more. When I am out for a run I rarely look at my watch, but in the gym I stare at my wrist begging the time to fly by. I am constantly scouring The Google Internets for new strength training ideas to keep it fresh in the weight room, which is why I started introducing drills to my workouts. I want to find the right mix of exercises so I no longer dread my cross training days. There would be no motivation for me to get up at 5:00 AM to do something I detest and then my angel hair pasta arms would never turn into fettuccine!

One of my favorite new moves is the Sumo Dead Lift. I did 5 1-minute sets the other day during my drillathon and my hamstrings, glutes, and adductors are still crazy sore. I started to avoid going to the bathroom because it hurts to lower myself onto the toilet. I did them again today but a more moderate (understatement) 3 sets of 10. Click here to learn how to execute this move; I used a kettlebell but you can use dumbells too. I really like kettle bells but am always stumped for moves and end up just doing swings and snatches. I’ve recently added clean-rack-press to my repertoire (I’ve now used this word on RFDFD twice this week!), but I still want to do more with them. Maybe I will introduce windmills on Friday…

That's actually me.

So what does all this rambling mean to you? Absolutely nothing.

EXCEPT that you should be hitting the weights because I am not the only one who says so. Just ask Katie and Sarah and Dimity and all the other running mom bloggers. Moms always know what’s best for you.

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