Strength is Speed

Last week I shared my big goal (and fear) for my next marathon season. Even though I won’t launch into a training plan until August, I know I need to focus now on a few things now to get ready for that training season.

One of my primary focus points is to build strength. This is something that is important for runners of any level – beginners and up. Strength will translate into speed. Not only that, but it’s beneficial for injury prevention. Strong muscles respond better to the rigors of training.

When I don’t strength train on a regular basis, I notice my form gets sloppy. Just last week I discovered if I run tall, I can breathe easier. Genius.

Instead of doing my usual routine (that I’m bored to tears over now), I found this eight week routine from Coach Jay Johnson. I’m working on the second week right now. The end of this eight weeks will put me near the beginning of marathon training. Side note: I recommend to sign up for his newsletter and follow him on twitter for lots of additional useful information.

In addition to strength, I’m also doing more cross-training to give my leg muscles some variation. The impact of running my neighborhood – up and down hills – can be taxing. I scratched cross-training for marathons, but I’m back on the stationary bike and jumping rope now. Some days I run a few miles in the morning, and ride the bike in the evening. I plan on working in some plyometrics along the way. I also tried this yoga video on Saturday. I’m pretty much a beginner and not real sure what to think other than it requires some patience. If you’ve had experience with yoga as a runner, please let me know your opinion.

Saturday, I’m headed to my hometown for the Heroes of Midlothian 5k. My dad will be running it too. This will be my first time to run fast since the end of March, so I hope my legs haven’t forgotten how.



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