This week sees a cut in mileage and an extra day’s rest, which has let me pick up the lifting sessions again & cemented my feelings that, on average, strength training is better than running.
- takes place entirely indoors
- doesn’t really matter if you aren’t feeling 100%
- can still lift if you forget to pack your trainers/sports bra/socks/hair ties
- Can drink coffee during the session if you want
- muscles are good
Seriously, I love weight training. I am much better at it than running, although I still sulk if I’m not having a good session.
My body type is much more ‘powerlifter’ than ‘runner’, so no real surprise how much I love it. I have been following specific strength programmes for a few years now. Initially following a split strength push/pull/leg programme, I’ve got more into Olympic lifting recently so my programme is more focused on improving the snatch, clean and jerk movements and each training day involves a combination legs, back and upper body in some way. I prefer this to the split session, as the full-body DOMS is still relatively light. I used to do leg days where running afterwards was nearly impossible, which wasn’t always great but has given me quads & calves that are sometimes a bit of a talking point:
There is still a bit of a divide between strength & cardio amongst the committed ones, although more and more people are seeing the benefits of complementary training types, & HIIT, CrossFit & other mixed method workouts are popular. The level of strength training that I do when I am not marathon training is difficult to maintain alongside this much running – I am looking forward to the strength goals I’m going to focus on after the marathons. But strength training is so good for running form – improved core, less fatigue, stronger leg muscles, & lifting is still good for your cardio fitness. It’s good to see so many runners incorporating strength sessions into their training plans, & occasionally too when weightlifters see the benefit of an easy 5km every now & then.
I do like being strong, & I am thrilled that more & more women are getting into serious lifting. It’s really important for long term health, as well as functional strength & looking awesome.
I’ve been wearing Just Strong clothing for a few months now & am really pleased with how comfortable it is & how good it looks – & best of all it’s a women-run business. If you fancy some new gym gear, treat yourself here!
Achieving goals makes me feel good & powerful, & running goals are awesome, but picking up nearly double your own body weight is a thrill like no other. I hope I keep getting stronger & those gains keep coming.