I can be notoriously bad at doing strength exercises. I just want to get out there and run around. But when body parts started to creak and grind, then I figured I could no longer avoid doing the strength training that is required.
According to the book, Serious Training for Endurance Athletes, the goal of strength training is to “help you generate more force, maintain muscle balance and flexibility, and prevent injuries”. That was exactly what I was looking for.
It then gave a table of strength routines for endurance sports. For runners in their base phase, they recommended the following:
- Bent-knee sit-ups
- Abdominal crunches
- Lower-Leg raises
- Back hyperextensions
- Wide-stance squats
- Leg extensions
- Leg curls
- Hip abduction
- Calf Raises
- Bench Press
- Sitting Rows
- Bicep Curls
Of course, I couldn’t remember how to do any of these exercises they were recommending. The last time I did most of them was when I was in secondary school. So I turned to youtube, entered the exercise in question, and hundreds of exercise videos magically turned up.
Now some of these videos were admittedly a bit strange. Many of them were set in gyms and used serious weights when all I wanted to do was resistance training in the comfort of my own home.
But after searching around, I managed to at least get a few basic ones to remind me what to do. So now, three times a week, I try to get in three sets of each exercises, with 15-20 reps per set.
And honestly, the strength routine worked miracles after less than two months. Aches that I had grown accustomed to have now amazingly gone. I don’t know what it will do to my racing speed, but at least I will be running pain free from now on.