I’m writing this so that maybe I’ll actually stick to it

We’re in the thick of half-marathon training over here on Grace, and my Saturday long runs are finally in the double digits. I started my training with trepidation, and am so thankful that things have gone so well. My friend Sharon and I are doing a lot of our training together. We run together probably 2-3 hours a week, and all I talk about during those runs is how glad I am that my hamstring doesn’t feel like it’s three inches too short.

Sharon and I started running together about seven years ago. We’ve trained tons of races together, including a triathlon.

We trained together for the half where I PRed, too.

Sharon’s the one standing beside me in both photos. That’s Sarah, another longtime running friend, beside Sharon in both photos.

But then we didn’t run together for a while because I hurt my hamstring, she moved to the Philippines for a year, and then I had a baby.

On our first few runs together this fall, we bumped elbows and stepped on each other’s toes like out of practice dance partners.

But we’re in a great rhythm now, too. Just like old times.

Last week we did 10 miles and we both felt better than we did the week before when we ran 8 miles. Funny how that works. I think it means training is going well.

Right around mile 7, right around the time when the run is entering “long” territory, my legs start feeling the distance.

If you’re not a runner you might not understand this, but basically anytime you’re running you feel…bad. You’re out of breath, your heart is beating fast, your muscles are engaged. It’s a good sort of bad, a runner might even just call it “good”. But if you were driving a car and felt the way you feel while you’re running, you’d pull over immediately and call 9-1-1.

What I feel at mile 7 is different than the normal “ugh, I just want to stop this running right now” feeling. I don’t even really want to stop at all, the rest of me feels good, but my tendons feel achy, my joints feel loose.

I’m over explaining because I want non-runners to understand what I’m talking about. But didn’t the non-runners stop reading 17 paragraphs ago?

This feeling, this loose, achy, feeling means one thing: it means I need to be strength training. [And this is why, if you run, you should strength train.]

I thought lugging around a 25-lb. baby would be enough strength training, but apparently I was wrong. [Did you click that link? You should click that link.]

Usually I lift at the gym, but now I have to workout around childcare so my time in the gym is limited (especially if I’m planning to get in some mileage on the treadmill).  Instead I’m planning to start doing the Jillian Michaels 30-day Shred more often.

I only feel the need to strength train on my long runs, so I sort of…forget…during the week. Or choose to forget.

But Sharon is feeling the same ache, and on our run last Saturday we both committed to start strength training on Sunday. Sharon said that knowing I was doing it would motivate her.

Sunday afternoon she posted this on Facebook.

Jillian really does not mess around. — with Amanda Southall Krieger.

I think that means she did the workout. I was eating a cookie when I read it.
I failed Sharon. I failed myself. I failed Jillian.

But not today. Today I did lunges and squats and military presses and push-ups before 8 a.m. I’m already sore.

With all the running I’m doing, fitting in strength exercises seems impossible. But it probably just seems that way because I’m lazy.

And David thinks it’s funny when I do jumping jacks, so there goes the baby excuse.

Runners, do you strength train? If so, what’s your routine?


  1. Meredith White October 3, 2012

    UGH why are you convicting me about not strength training?!? Isn’t running enough?!? Go away, Amanda!! That being said… does the 30 day shred require cumbersome things like.. weights?

  2. Helene Norris October 3, 2012

    I do leg lifts with 10lb ankle weights, light lifting with 8 or 10lb weights, and when I’m feeling really motivated.. squats and push-ups. I do some combination of this once a week. It’s helped, I think.

  3. tomamanda October 3, 2012

    yeah, i use 5-lb free weights. but you don’t really NEED them. i mostly do it for the leg stuff (but it’s the arm/core work that really makes me sweat…) if you want to check it out before buying, i just noticed the whole thing is on youtube. there are 3 levels, here’s level 1: <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Pc-NizMgg8&quot; rel="nofollow">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…</a>

  4. Tiffany @No Ordinary Homestead October 4, 2012

    We only just started running, but are alternating running &amp; strength days with one rest day on Saturday. we’re still trying to figure out the best routine though. Kettlebell swings are such a great all over exercise that we want to include them, and our Bosu balance trainer — but otherwise, no clue yet :)As a novice runner, I found your post really interesting…and a big mind blowing since the idea of running 7+ miles right now totally freaks me out :)Keep up the great work!

  5. tomamanda October 4, 2012

    don’t be freaked out by 7+ miles! it seems like a lot now, but when you finally do it you’ll be amazed at how prepared your body is, and how great you feel after (especially if you keep up the strength training).

  6. Laura @ Mommyrunfast October 8, 2012

    I have such a hard time strength training! I make myself do it about twice a week, but often neglect my legs for fear of wearing them out– you’re so right that it is essential for preventing injury. I’ve done a mix of things- Jillian dvds, my own circuit at the gym, body pump classes… it’s my least favorite form of exercise, so I keep mixing it up to keep it interesting!

  7. Meredith White October 12, 2012

    Oh man, thanks!! Or NO thanks… depending on my motivation.


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