strength training

I’ve been thinking for some time about wanting to add both flexibility and strength to my weekly routine.  My initial motivation on flexibility was to help with my plantar fascitis.  While my feet are still sore in the morning, overall, I’ve been feeling pretty good.

As far as strength goes, I was a little bit at a loss.  When I was in college, I did strength training with the crew team, but those workouts primarily used machines for the legs, and also lasted an intense hour.  I want a workout that’s (a) specifically targeted towards running, or at least towards swim/bike/run (b) can be done from home (does not require machines) and (c) takes only about 15 minutes.

On my last run, yesterday, my knee was hurting a bit at the start, and eventually built up to significant discomfort / plain by the end of the twelves miles.  I primarily blame the fact that I ran a moderately hard 7 miles, then a hard 12 miles the next day.  Basically, I have a few workouts I want to do each week, and life factors sometimes mean that they don’t happen on the days they should.  Normally, you wouldn’t want to do two hard workouts two days in a row.  In any case, I obviously need to be smarter about that, but it led me to investigate the causes of runner’s knee.  Basically, lack of strength is the culprit behind many running injuries, and apparently the ability to pound out miles does not necessarily indicate strength.

Runner’s World suggests there are a number of exercises one can do to improve this situation, so I’ve devised a little strength training routine, which hopefully will only take in the neighborhood of 15 minutes.

  • 15 plyometric jump squats (See 3:16 of this video)
  • 11 pushups
  • 10 reverse lunge with knee drive (See 0:32 of this video)
  • 8 bicep curls
  • 10 standing knee drive (with resistance band) (See 2:20 of this video)
  • 10 standing hip flexion (with resistance band) (See 2:40 of this video)

(Repeat twice, for three total sets)

So, we’ll see how it goes.

On the plus side, I ran 12 miles on my own, 8 miles of it through rain, at sub-9 minute pace without feeling that bad.  Don’t get me wrong; I was definitely working, and I was definitely tired, but it wasn’t like a race or anything like that.  So I consider it a sign that I’m building some fitness.