The start of the second week of Juneathon sees the return of my new “habit” of including strength and conditioning work as part of my running training. It’s no walk (or run) in the park!
I’ve never paid proper attention to strengthening the muscles that help me run effectively and it often shows in race photos! Many times have I seen myself slumping forward with a hip shooting off to the sidelines. I should know better; I’ve done the coaching course, I’ve read the studies and I’ve heard from coaches and physios far more experienced than I. So why is it so difficult to make strength and conditioning part of my regime?
The truth is, it isn’t difficult unless you make it.
I’ve put off doing it previously by procrastinating about which exercises to choose (there are so many on the Internet), telling myself I didn’t have enough time, finding anything to fill gaps of time that would be big enough, general laziness and, if I’m honest, a little bit of nervousness and concern whether I’d be doing them right.
So, as I said on Juneathon Day 1, I’ve picked a little routine and want to use my non-running Juneathon days to kick-start my new habit.
Today was my second visit to the little exercise programme I’ve set myself and I have disproved another of my self-created myths: you’re never too busy to fit in some strength work.
In under 15 minutes tonight I have done a set of four exercises, with eight repetitions of each. Not a massive amount but a start. My poor body isn’t used to being put through it’s paces in this way so, like with someone starting running, I want to build up slowly.
I don’t want to put myself off again by struggling to complete two or three sets of 10-12 reps. Equally, I don’t want to injure myself by forcing myself through them.
So a single set of 8 reps each was completed, concentrating on quality of movement, rather than quantity of reps or rushing to get through them. As a result, my core, glutes, hip flexors, quads and hamstrings are all incredibly shouting – in an awake and alive way.