SOME OF YOU WILL SOON BE STARTING a training program for a Fall race. Whether running or walking it, the plan you choose may include strength work. Often times a plan will specify each day’s running/walking distance or time but only the general guidelines will suggest including a cross training day and a strength day. You won’t find these sessions detailed on the plan’s day-by-day calendar.
However, the soon to be released Earned Runs running and walking programs will schedule one strength day each week, with the general instructions encouraging more, 2-3 sessions per week, if improving strength is a goal.
In my experience, if I don’t have a list of exercises pre-planned and written down for that day, I’m not likely to perform them. But with a ‘default’ list of moves ready to use as a stand-in for a formal list, there’s no excuse for skipping a strength session. One of my default upper body exercises that can be done anywhere, without equipment, inside or outdoors, is the push-up.
There are numerous demo videos online. However, Amy Marturana also provides a good deal of written information in her article for SHAPE.com. “Here’s Exactly How to Do A Push-up Correctly” that may be helpful if you need more instruction. Her piece includes a link to another article that describes and shows how to perform less difficult modifications, “less-than-full-body” push-ups, if you want to work up to mastering a classic pushup.
Why work on muscle strength while training for a challenge goal or race? As we use muscles to progressively train harder, cover longer distances, spend more time moving upright, and move faster there is a risk of exceeding capacity. Building strength can help to avoid injury and improve form and performance. And although bodyweight exercises like the push-up are a great start, many trainers and coaches now highly recommend weight training.
To help runner/walker trainees, links like this one, to exercise descriptions/demonstrations of strength routines that can be performed safely, will be added to the RESOURCES page.
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BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
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