One Well Thought Out Step In Front of the Other

“Success does not come to the most righteous and rigorously disciplined but to those who continue running.” ~Amby Burfoot, Runner’s World Editor at Large

So much of being not just a successful but consistent runner is determined by what you do when you’re not running.  Three half marathons and (almost) one marathon later, I am finally learning that lesson.  

Yes, I was told all this before I took my first step and yes, I should have listened…but I didn’t.  

I was told to cross train.  
I was told to do weights.  
I was told to do a core workout.  

Did I do any of these when I was training for my first marathon?  No.  Did I pay for it?  Yes.  
Will I make that same stupid mistake again?  Not on your life.

So now that I have started running again, after being injured, I’m going to be a smart runner.  I really like Amby’s quote above because so many times during my long runs, I remember thinking, “all you have to do is put one foot in front of the other.”  I would play these games where I would just have to continue to the mailbox, or the next street or the fire hydrant.  Then I’d start all over again.  The goal was just to keep me going.  But now I see that although continuing is half the battle, you need more than simply continuing. You need discipline. 

I don’t want to get hurt again from something I could probably avoid if I ran smart.  I hated not running.  Although I know I will get through it, these grueling runs while I get back in shape…not the most fun thing to do in the world.  If I could avoid it…I most definitely would.  Hence why I have decided to run smart this time around, to be disciplined in what will make me a stronger and healthier runner.

I am starting to devise a race schedule for the fall and I’m thinking of doing the Women’s Half in Nashville September 25th.  I’m going to check my school cal for next year but hopefully it will be a fun time to come home to Nashville, see everybody and run with the ladies of East Nasty and Girls on the Run.  So…I would need to start training on a half marathon guide in July.  That gives me a month to get in shape and build a good strong base. 

Here is my plan for this June:
Monday: Core+Run
Tuesday: Core+Weights+cross (bike or swim)
Wednesday: Core+Run
Thursday: Core+Weights+cross (bike or swim)
Friday: Core+Run
Saturday: Core+walk/something low impact (recovery)
Sunday: Core+walk/something low impact (recovery)

This will be the goal with the core workout right? Motivation?

This past week I did my core workout everyday and my dad helped me figure out a good upper body workout.  Two things: 1- didn’t know I had all these muscles in my body till they started to hurt and 2- it is amazing how incredible I feel already.  After my first run, which turned out to be a walk/run, about 18 minutes of true running, my second run felt great.  Still out of shape, still slow (and still dreadfully hot) but I ran the whole 2.5 without stopping!  It’s the little things at this point 🙂 I  could feel my arms and core muscles aching in the beginning but I felt so much stronger during the run. 

I guess what they said was right.  Go figure.  After that run, I have no doubt that my running and overall fitness will improve from doing core and weight workouts, not to mention adding cross training.  I have no idea why I thought I could train for a marathon without those things. 

The important thing to remember (especially for a stubborn person like me)…since I’m working at the law firm this summer which sometimes consists of coming in at 7:30 and not leaving till 7:30 that night, I need to leave some flex in my schedule.  Just like going out to run and setting an unattainable distance goal for yourself will discourage you,  so will not meeting your schedule.  It’s ok to miss a day.  It’s ok to save a run for the weekend if you get home and just want to take a walk after a long day.  The big thing to remember is its your schedule.  It has to fit your life. 

What do you think?  Are weights and cross training important for a runner?  What do you incorporate into your workouts?


10 thoughts on “One Well Thought Out Step In Front of the Other

  1. I think a strong core is the key to not being injured, along with cross-training and weights. I am a recent convert to running, started running about a year and half ago at age of 46. I lifted weights, played basketball and tennis for a couple of years prior to starting to run. I have never been injured and have completed 3 half marathons. Cross training activities force you to build up different muscles and your strength is more balanced. Yoga is great too. Good luck w/running!

  2. Sounds like a great plan! That’s one reason why I like triathlons…when training for a race, you’re always cross training anyway, which helps for each separate leg of the race. But I definitely need to add weights (practically non-existent) and more core work though to my training too.

  3. I am a firm believer in lifting weights. I have/had been dieting since the age of 8 and nothing ever really worked for me. I was constantly doing step aerobics, hitting an elliptical, you name it. All cardio.I didn’t want to use weights because I believed it would make me even bigger. Once I started lifting weights, my body started changing drastically and the lbs. started coming off. Strange, yet true. So I’m think it’s safe to say they help in a lot of situations! I’ve been a lapsed weight lifter this winter, but as of lately just started taking Body Pump classes 2 weeks ago. I highly recommend them. I feel better already!

  4. I’m slowly working this in. I much prefer running, so I kind of force myself to do the “other.”

    I tried spinning for the first time this weekend because I thought it would be a great alternative to running. OMG that was way harder than running. In a good way of course. Lower impact on my joints for sure, but seriously hard on the breathing!

    I like yoga too so I try to mix that in. Probably should do it more often… when I was alternating running and yoga each day, my muscles felt significantly better after runs.

    So explain why core is so important though? I’ve never heard that one. Goodness knows I need motivation to do crunches, so help me out. 🙂

  5. We always say I’m going to cross train, lift weights, and do core this time training and it never happens. Let’s actually do it this summer 🙂 We gotta get back to racing, in a healthy way. Lord knows with this summer heat we gotta find something to do inside or we’ll die.

  6. After talking to you last night, you inspired me to do weights this morning. A good call. You ever do any of those workouts Misty gave us?

  7. You have a great plan.. Yoga would be a great addition to count as cross training workout. Rest is important as well, and don’t forget massage:)

  8. I definitely think that weights are for runners but I, like you, am a stubborn girl and haven’t quite added that to my workout list. I’m the swimming leg of a tri team in August so I am going to incorporate swimming on my cross train days and, maybe, after my busy season, I’ll add in some weights. After this past race, I am really motivated to lose some weight and keep running. I can only imagine how much more fun running will be after I lose a few pounds! Do you do any type of protein shakes? What do you suggest and when do you drink them?

  9. What kind of core workout are you doing? When I start back up I wanna be smart too and always stretch and continue to strenthen the muscles I’m working on with my physical therapist.

  10. Your determination is inspiring :). I used to jog or run regularly, but it’s been years, and I never did long distances. I’ve recently (i.e., last week) started again, but I’m starting off walking. (Yes, it’s been that long and I’m in that bad of shape.) As I work my way into it, I will most likely be revisiting this post and visiting your blog for advice!

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