Here is what my marathon training consists of:
- 1 long run per week of 15 to 20 miles
- 2 moderately long runs of 10 to 12 miles
- Short runs of 3.8 to 6 miles alternating with the longer run days
I aim to run a minimum of 30 miles per week.
I tend to run 4 to 5 days in a row, and then take a rest day which means I will just walk a little and do a lot of juggling as cross training. I alternate between long run days and short run days usually, to help rest my legs.
I do strength training for both my upper body and lower body, with much greater emphasis on my legs. I don’t want my upper body to become bulky so I keep it to a minimum, otherwise it slows me down as a runner. About once a week I do a complete upper body workout which consists of:
- 2 sets of arm curls with resistance bands(usually 10 to 12 repetitions)
- 2 sets of shoulder lifts with resistance bands(usually 7 to 9 repetitions)
- 1 set of push-ups(I usually do between 30 to 34)
- Juggle 3 very heavy balls(2.25 lbs) for several minutes until I can’t do it anymore
I tend to do this workout after runs(later in the day, not immediately after) since I want my body to build endurance for long runs rather than emphasize upper body muscle growth. Doing this before would emphasize muscle growth and may compromise my endurance level. I do an abbreviated version of this workout a few days after this which consists of just push-ups and heavy ball juggling. This workout allows me to juggle for hours on end. Here is some of my equipment – Iron Juggling.
My lower body/legs strength training regimen is even more important. I do this 2 to 3 times a week(rarely on the same day as upper body strength training). I tend to do this before I go out for a run(and refueling first if doing the run right after), and only on days when I do short runs. This helps build muscle for endurance runs, and to help rebuild muscle the days after very long runs.
This consists of:
- 4 sets of leg lifts with ankle weights, I usually do about 20 lifts
- 3 sets of this type of standing hip exercise using resistance bands(very important for hills). I do about 10 to 15 usually.
- 1 set of bicycle crunches to build ab strength
- 3 sets of jumping squats to build explosiveness and leg strength
On some days I will run on mostly hilly terrain during my long runs to train for the notoriously hilly Yonkers Marathon. Some good research indicates that the body can either build cardio endurance or strength for the day, but not both. They are in conflict, but not as bad as some people may think it is. So endurance runners should strength train their upper body after runs, not before. It’s fine to do leg strength training first though to build leg muscle, at least that is how my body works.
I do no stretching, except for the occasional back stretch on an exercise ball. I’ve seen no convincing studies indicating that stretching is beneficial.
If you have any questions or suggestions, I would love to hear from you.
Posted in exercise, fitness, joggling, running
Tagged distance joggling, distance running, endurance joggling, iron juggling, joggling marathon, marathon training, resistance band workouts, strength training for runners, vegan joggling marathon, vegan marathon training
Do you want to run faster? I know, stupid question, though there may be a few runners who don’t care about their running speed. Whether or not these people are even real “runners” or not is a question for another time.
Fortunately, science continues to reveal new ways to improve speed. Besides interval training, and strength-training the leg and hip muscles(don’t forget your hips!), strengthening your ab muscles may also help improve your running speed.
According to the Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences, Barry University, Miami Shores, Florida, Florida:
Although strong core muscles are believed to help athletic performance, few scientific studies have been conducted to identify the effectiveness of core strength training (CST) on improving athletic performance. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of 6 weeks of CST on ground reaction forces (GRFs), stability of the lower extremity, and overall running performance in recreational and competitive runners. After a screening process, 28 healthy adults (age, 36.9 +/- 9.4 years; height, 168.4 +/- 9.6 cm; mass, 70.1 +/- 15.3 kg) volunteered and were divided randomly into 2 groups (n = 14 in each group). A test-retest design was used to assess the differences between CST (experimental) and no CST (control) on GRF measures, lower-extremity stability scores, and running performance. The GRF variables were determined by calculating peak impact, active vertical GRFs (vGRFs), and duration of the 2 horizontal GRFs (hGRFs), as measured while running across a force plate. Lower-extremity stability was assessed using the Star Excursion Balance Test. Running performance was determined by 5000-m run time measured on outdoor tracks. Six 2 (pre, post) x 2 (CST, control) mixed-design analyses of variance were used to determine the influence of CST on each dependent variable, p < 0.05. Twenty subjects completed the study (nexp = 12 and ncon = 8). A significant interaction occurred, with the CST group showing faster times in the 5000-m run after 6 weeks. However, CST did not significantly influence GRF variables and lower-leg stability. Core strength training may be an effective training method for improving performance in runners.
So don’t forget to strength train your legs, hips, and ab muscles 2 to 3 times a week to improve your running speed. Strongers hips and abs will also help you deal with hills. The best ab exercise is the bicycle maneuver, which doesn’t require any equipment. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to work your abs, just as you don’t need to spend a lot of money to eat healthy if you live in an area with a lot of wild edible plants(see my previous post), or you buy grains and legumes in bulk. It also doesn’t require a lot of time either.
As a joggler, I find that joggling with very heavy balls for half a mile seems to help exercise the abs, and build stamina and muscle memory for juggling(and help with balance), but I do not recommend this to novice jogglers. You may hit someone with one or more of the balls, and that someone may be you!
Posted in exercise, fitness, joggling, Juggling, running
Tagged 6 pack, ab exercises, ab exercises to improve running, abs, abs and athletic performance, bicycle crunch, bicycle maneuver, core exercies to improve running, edible wild plants, heavy ball joggling, heavy ball juggling, hip exercises, how to improve running, joggling abs, running abs, strength training for runners