Hello! Today I would like to talk to you about strength training, and how it’s great for you and really works, and also I HATE IT SO MUCH.
Allll the running magazines and books and professionals and influencers will tell you that strength training is a key component in a successful runner’s regimen. They are correct. I have been strength training for just shy of three and a half years now, and I think it’s had nothing but positive effects on my running and health in general. While I can’t claim to have gone completely injury free, strength training does seem to have kept incidents largely down. And on a completely vain note, it’s increased my muscle mass and probably my metabolism, giving me a marginally more trim appearance.
So what’s not to love, right? Well. I HATE STRENGTH TRAINING. I hate it! I do it three times a week and every morning it’s on the docket I wake up like :/ :/ :/
Because strength training is basically the opposite of everything that makes running great. When I run, I can zone right the heck out. Beyond your basic don’t-trip-and-fall-and-die and don’t-get-hit-by-a-car levels of self-awareness required by the sport, when running is really working out for me I barely register what I’m doing. I’m all up in my head, grooving to music, making imaginary arguments, writing posts, inventing characters – anything and everything my imagination cares to provide. I know that’s not how everyone does it, but that’s how I like it!
Meanwhile, strength training requires focus. First and foremost, ya gotta count reps. You can’t really autopilot the way you can with running: a) you’re doing a bunch of disparate exercises and b) within those individual exercises there are individual actions and rates of exertion. Sure, you could listen to music, but you can’t really lose yourself in it. A good run is fluid and constant. A good strength training session is not. Also, if you drop on a weight on your foot there will be repercussions in your running schedule. 🤪
I know there are lots of people who love strength training, and look at running as some sort of weird form of physical torture. Me, I am definitely coming at it from the other side. But here’s the kicker: dammit if picking up the weights doesn’t WORK. Progress isn’t instant, but if you’re consistent with it, you will get physical results.
And so I will continue doing it. Heck, I was even brave enough to go down and strength train in the hotel gym on a recent work trip. The good news – if you have always felt similarly weird about this – is that no one seemed put off by my presence in the weighty half of the gym. No, I don’t know why they would be either. But it’s always kinda felt like they would, you know? Judge my form or the weights I chose, maybe. I don’t know.
In conclusion: you should totally strength train. Even if you’re away from home. I know I will. BUT I WON’T LIKE IT.
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