Reflections from the weight room

When I was writing a comment response on someone’s blog about weight training, I realized that I was writing what I wanted to post about myself – does that happen to any other bloggers? You get ideas when commenting?

Anyways, my thoughts went along the lines of this – I remember my first training cycle, my first marathon, my first half marathon, my first 10k, my first cross country race as a student, and my first cross country race as a coach. And each time that I did them, I went in with very little clue of what to truly expect. Gradually, you become more comfortable in the experiences you gain from that situation and just become better.

At first, I was really nervous about not “getting it right” with strength training. I have so much knowledge about running, that if I ever fall out of habit I am able to know how to get back into it because I’ve been through it before. Not really with weights. I sort of saw my relationship with weight training as dating, non-commital. I’ll frequent it for a little bit, but if there isn’t that spark, then I lose interest.

But I am not sure if it is just me, but there is something quite appealing about getting in a weight training routine habit. Like knowing all the muscles and working them individually for some exercises, jointly for others, on days/off days, showing gradual improvement, researching new exercises…And maybe it is just me? I’m fine with it.

And I wondered why I never really gave it a shot. Probably because it can be very daunting to sit down and write out a weight workout of how many sets and reps for xyz exercise for xyz muscle for whichever day.

For a runner, the numbers of “Ok I am going to run for 6 miles at a 9 min/mile” is a lot easier to deal with than getting lost in all the numbers associated with weights.

The combination of being intrigued with weights and having a gym membership billed to me monthly until August brought me to the reality of “Let’s really give it a shot this time. I mean really.”

Like a new runner, I am learning by trial and error. Right now, I am trying 3x a week of full body, never back to back days, while fluctuating and paying extra attention to muscles that still may not have recovered from the previous workout.  Also, I am taking into account when I do my runs so as to make sure I have two days of no weights before my long run.

And so far it is working. I am doing a 15 minute core routine adapted from my cross country team’s core routine, then move into about 40 minutes of weights (about 20 minutes upper and 20 minutes lower), then stretching and rolling for about 10 minutes.

Do you know what I am really excited about? the LEARNING CURVE. Total teacher talk, but it is true. I know that in two weeks, a month, 3 months from now, I am going to look back and laugh at what I thought was correct or how I understood certain things. So I am granting myself the patience to work through these beginning months slowly!

Sort of like when I look back on running logs and trainings. 🙂  For the runners (or even non-runners), what was the biggest learning curve for you while training?

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2 Responses to Reflections from the weight room

  1. Naomi says:

    3 times a week of strength training is a lot! That is excellent and it will only make you a stronger runner! I think every training cycle I learn something new – whether it be the kinds of foods to eat, the kinds of workouts to do, or how to avoid injury. I guess that’s why I love running so much – its a never-ending learning experience!

  2. I love strength training! I haven’t gotten to do it this whole week, so I must make it a priority soon. I don’t remember it being too hard to get into, but then again, I’m definitely no expert.

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