I want to train without injury (Read 1138 times)

2010 Goofy Trainee

    I'm seeking advice on how to incorporate strength training into my marathon training. Up until 2 years ago, I would strength train 3X a week (one day was lower body), and run once or twice a week. Now I run 5X a week and do minimal strength training (a total of 4 lower body and 4 upper body exercises once a week). In the last two years I've noticed two things happening: 1) my legs have lost a lot of strength (even my wife has commented on my puny calves), and 2) I have been getting injured more and more. I think the two things are related. Recently I decided to increase the intensity of my strength training by adding more weights, and that didn't work out so well. My calves became very tight and sore for several days, and I had to do my long run in this condition, which led to injury. So here are some options I'm considering: 1) run 4X a week and devote one day to strength training in the gym 2) run 5X a week and do a mini-strength workout in the gym (what I'm doing now) 3) run 5X a week and work in some time for non-weight machine workouts at home When I say "in the gym" I mean using weight machines (or else why would I go?). In all cases I intend to use moderate weights, and not attempt to "max out". My current 4-exercise routine consists of leg extensions, leg curls, calf raises and abductor flexes. Between a full-time job, raising two kids, and having a wife who also trains, I simply can't squeeze in more than 5 workouts in a week (unless I cut down on my 6 hours of sleep, but then I'd get cranky.) What do you guys recommend to help increase my leg strength without impacting my marathon training?

    Turn off your mind, relax, and float downstream...


    CPT Curmudgeon

      Run hills. Strengthens the legs, improves form and stride length, and will benefit your marathon training.

      Husband and father of 4

        Scout7 is has an excellent idea. Hills do me a lot of good. If I may add a few other options: 1) cycle to work or somewhere you need to go anyway. 2) make one of your run days an easy day and do you resistance training on that day, along with some stretching or yoga on that day. 3) take your kids on a weekly hike with a hill and carry the yongest on your back. 4) push the stroller/babyjogger up a near by hill a few times. I hope it works out for you. I understand that delema well.
        Find the fun.
          Sdewan, If you are marathon training and that is a priority, run 5 days a week. As you increase miles, your likely to lose some strength especially if you find your weight dropping. When I was more into heavy lifting, my bench press would drop from around 300lbs to 275# when I increased my running a bit in spring/summer and dropped some weight. Also, very difficult to add muscle when training for marathons and other race distance. Frankly, extra weight probably isn't a good idea if race performance is to maximized. I think you should go to gym and focus on core movements like dumbell presses on balance ball, chin ups, standing dumbell presses, push ups, plank for abs/core......for legs, nothing wrong with some leg curls and leg extensions but you get more core work and bang for your buck with one leg squats, walking lunges, DB wall squats w/ Swiss Ball, one leg calf raises on a step w/ a DB. These are more functional, activate stabilizers and more beneficial for injury prevention. Much of this stuff you could probably do at home. With DB work though you lose ability to progress unless you have a bunch of DB. One day after a run, do some walking lunges and pushups. Another day, one leg squats, plank, another day some upper body. Adding 10 minutes to a few runs is probably doable and makes a difference.

          Those who try, fail! Those who do what it takes to succeed, succeed!!

          2010 Goofy Trainee

            Thanks for the advice everyone. I live at the summit of a hill in the foothills of OC, so anytime I run from my house I am doing hilllwork. I have been avoiding running in my neighborhood because I keep hearing "with an injured _____, avoid hills" and I've been battling achilles tendonitis and runners knee since last summer. But I think its time to get back into it (plus I love being able to run in the morning without having to drive to a flat area.) So I'm putting hills back into my training. And I have enough DB's and home fitness equipment that I can squeeze in ten minute leg workouts at home without having to visit the gym, so I'll do that as well. All in all, this seems like an optimum solution because the extra time I'll spend doing strength training at home will be offset by not having to drive to a trailhead or the gym.

            Turn off your mind, relax, and float downstream...