Thursday, July 24, 2014

Runners Do More Than Run

Today I am linking up with The Chronicles of We and Macke Monologues. These lovely ladies are hosting a virtual 5K that is coming up on September 13th. If you haven't already registered you should! 

This week they have invited us to link up and share our training plans. Since I am already trained for over a 5K distance and don't have plans to work on speed right now, I don't really have a specific training plan set for this race. I thought I would use this as a chance to share with you a few things that I have learned about training over my past year of living a runners life. 

First off let me just say I don't want to sound like the "perfect" runner who does everything just as is it should be. I don't, I never will, it is hard to make time to do what feels like even more work. But when I do I notice positive improvements in the way I feel and in my running. 

{Cross training}

When I started running longer distances I was told I needed to cross train. I had to Google search what exactly that meant. I thought it meant that there must be some particular cross training apparatus that I needed to find and use. Cross training isn't nearly as hard or intimidating as it sounds. Simply put it is just doing some other form of exercise other than running.

Cross training will vary depending on your access to equipment. But consider everything from weights, elliptical, workout videos and everything in between! On a typical week I cross train 2-3 days a week, on the days that I am not running.


This is a new one for me, like just this week. After months of hearing that runners can benefit from yoga I finally decided to give it a try. I have been doing an online video but I look forward to checking out a class at my local gym. 

If your looking for somewhere to start try this video.

{Foam Rolling}

This over sized pool noodle has often been one of my best friends.

It is the perfect way to relieve muscle tension, correct imbalances and help correct and prevent injuries. I would recommend doing some research before jumping on one of these there are proper and improper ways to go about rolling. 

{PROPERLY stretching}

I am pretty sure that I had been running for about 7 months before I learned that there are two types of stretching (dynamic and static) and that I was going about things all wrong. Learning what is best for the muscles and combining that with what works best for MY body has been a powerful tool. I also can always tell when I take the time to really stretch after a long run and when I skip it. It has a huge affect on how I feel and how quickly I recover. 

Stretching is always worth the time. 

{Squats, Lunges and Planks}

I will never forget going into my local running store to get fitted for shoes the first time. I explained some problems I was having and the guys said you have a weak butt. No hesitation, he blurted it out just like that. I didn't know how to respond, but my head was screaming "You don't know me!" Thankfully I didn't have to say anything. He told me exactly what I needed to do to fix things, squats, lunges and core strength.

30 day plans can be helpful, or just find a routine. It doesn't take long to bust out 20 squats spread them across the day and you will be feeling the benefits in a matter of weeks. This is one area that I don't always do so well in, but I am trying. I started this 30 day challenge a couple days ago, join me if you would like!

So there you have it. 5 ways you can become a better runner without running.

How do you like to train without logging miles?

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  1. I occasionally leisurely run, but my husband is a true runner. He uses many of these tools too. He actually does yoga with me and looks forward to it. He has definitely said he can see a difference in his runs since beginning yoga. Hope it does the same for you too. If anything, the stretches feel aaaaamazing! :)

  2. I've been wanting to try foam rolling for quite some time now. I work out very consistantly, and I'm always feeling sore and the need to roll out some of those tender muscles. I need to give this a shot.

  3. Gah - stretching. I'm THE WORST about stretching, and I know how important it is. Scott harps on my about it. I've been wanting a foam roller. When I started training for my first 1/2 (in 2007) I had a personal trainer, and he had me using the roller at each session. It was amazing and painful, all rolled (see what I did there) into one. As for yoga. I've tried to get into it, tried to like it, but alas, it bores me to tears.
    Loved this!! So many great ways to train without ever really tracking a mile.
    Have you ever tried Crossfit inspired workouts? They're my go-to when I'm cross training and/or working on speed.

  4. This is such a great post and great reminder about other things I need to be doing. I've been so bad at stretching lately mostly because I run with the stroller and all Callie wants to do when we are done is get out and play! Then I tell myself i'll stretch during nap time and yeah well that doesn't happen either. Oh well like you said it's not about perfection but about getting better.

  5. I'm with you on the stretching, it wasn't till after I got injured (stress fracture) that I learned about stretching.