Thursday, 21 June 2012

Marathon Training Thursday - Strength Training

I have been dolled out a little food for thought this week about my Marathon Training Plan.

Some of my fellow Fitfluential Friends - Rebekah from Bex Life and Amanda from Run to the Finish - went to workout with Jackie Warner at an amazing event hosted by Evian in LA over the weekend. (*Yes, I am totally jealous! Come to Toronto Jackie! You know you want to!) Needless to say as a reality TV lover, and as a girl who especially loves when reality TV meets fitness, I am a fan. (*note: definitely have her workout DVDs and regularly tune in to her show*) So I was especially excited to see what these ladies learned from Jackie and what she had to say to all our burning fitness questions.

And I was a little surprised...

Amanda reported that Jackie Warner HATES distance running (GASP!). Jackie explained in the first 20 minutes of a workout your body burns through sugar, in the next 20 minutes fat…after that it’s looking to your muscles for fuel.  That’s why many women who are very active still have a slightly “soft” or “doughy appearance; their muscles are consistently being eaten away from excessive cardio.

AH! No, Jackie Warner! No!

But she is probably right. I am not very big, but I do not have a hard body by any means. There are no six-pack abs or rippling biceps going on over here. And I whole-heartedly admit that I am a Cardio Queen. I love to go out running most days, and then generally to switch things up I tend to pick another form of cardio (aka spinning).

I am not one for weights and strength training, and I am not really sure why. I think it is because it is unfamiliar territory. Running is something I am comfortable with and something I have been doing for years. Weights is something I know deep down I should do, but don't. If I had a choice I would pick cardio every time.

So after reading Amanda's eye-opening Jackie Warner interview, and chatting with my two very ripped friends Robyn and Jess, (hello, fitness model and soon-to-be workout DVD star - these ladies know a thing or two about muscles) I have decided I need to dedicate more time to strength training. Over the next 4 months for my Marathon Training I have decided to make some BIG changes to my routine and make strength training a regular part of these.

There is a lot of talk in the running world about finding your Ideal Running Weight. And the science in this is sound. Obviously the leaner you are, the easier it is to move faster for a longer period of time. It makes sense. But I personally find being a slave to scale rather destructive to my self-esteem. So instead of focusing on losing weight or achieving some magic number, I am going to focus on increasing muscle.

Mileage is still going to be important, but I am also going to incorporate 3 strength training sessions a week. There is going to be a LOT of sweating going on over here. The lovely Robyn Baldwin is training me, and has told me that I need to do 2 upper body workouts a week and 1 lower body workout. So that is what I am going to do.
Post Run and TRX Workout

She has me busting my butt with a tough TRX workout this week. But I think it is going to pay off big time in the end. I guess we will just have to see how my muscle develops and how my times improve over the next few months.

What are your thoughts on Strength Training and Distance Running?

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