Stop Skipping Those Strength Sessions!

You know who you are!

And I was one of you once.

I’m not a fan of going to the gym. I admit it. I never have been.

As a long-course triathlete and endurance runner, it was hard enough to get all of my swimming, biking and running done. Make time to lift weights? Why bother. A firm believer in specificity, my thought was that time at the gym wasn’t going to make me a faster runner, time pounding the pavement would.

So I avoided it. In my defense I practiced power yoga on a regular basis, which does build terrific core strength and does a great job of opening up the notoriously tight runners’ hips and keeping things balanced.

Several things have happened in recent years that got me to the gym and the results have kept me making time for it.

One of those things is something that happens to every single one of us, every single year! Birthdays! They keep coming! Now I’ve never been one to fret about age. I’m active, relatively healthy and people rarely believe I am in the age group I am in! I thank my Mom and her genes for that.

Increasing bone density has always been one of preached benefits of weight lifting, but running does that too. What lifting weights also does is strengthen all of those tendons and ligaments connecting our muscles and tissues that help us keep moving!  Even as the birthdays keep coming.

To continue along that thought, no matter what your age, keeping your bones and tendons and muscles strong helps keep you injury free! And when you stay injury free, you can keep swimming, biking and running and that makes you faster!

On a personal note, many of you know about my continuous battle with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Last year it was suggested that spending some time in the weight room a couple of times per week could help my energy levels. While what I wanted to do more than anything was run, I was willing to try. 30-40 minutes a couple times per week was all I needed. I would leave the gym feeling refreshed and energized. The frequent weakness that would take over my body became more and more infrequent. It was the boost I needed to keep me moving and ultimately running!

So while I can’t sit here and promise you squats and dead lifts and overhead presses are going to have a dramatic effect on your run splits, I can promise you they will make you stronger, and a stronger body moves more efficiently. I can promise they will help stave off injury, and that keeps you running and that makes you faster!

So get up and get to the gym!