Weekly Round Up: New routine

Weekly Round Up: New routine

Running Happy weekly round up

Now that I’ve finished my coaching course, ran my Autumn half marathon and have no more races planned for the year I’ve decided to go back to basics a little.

Looking at running form and technique as part of my coaching course made me realise that I, like many runners who start as adults, haven’t done anything on my form or my technique!

So I’m taking the rest of the year as a little bit of a break from racing and running long distances to concentrate on becoming a better runner. Which will then leave me in better shape to work on some time and distance goals for 2017.

That means having shorter runs, incorporating drills into my warm up routine and doing strength work!

To that end I have started the 8 week workout programme from Quick Strength for Runners by Jeff Horowitz.

Quick Strength for Runners book by Jeff Horowitz

On Monday and Sunday this week I did workouts 1 and 2. I found them quite hard going even though the reps were low for each exercise. The leg raises were particularly hard as my hamstrings are quite tight and I can’t keep my legs straight up in the air. So I’ll also be continuing with my weekly yoga sessions from next week to make sure I’m still getting some flexibility work in.

I only ran twice this week. The first run was on Wednesday and was just a short 20 minute run (plus some time for warm up and cool down). I had a bit of a sore throat and wasn’t sure if it was going to be okay to run but the run was really good. It did take me a while get warm again once I got back home though so I think 20 minutes was my limit.

My other run was the ‘graduation run’ for the folk on the Start to Run course at my club. At the end of each course we go to a local parkrun to do a 5k run together as a group. I think this is a really good way to end the course as parkruns are low key and not as pressured as a race and you get the benefit of the very friendly and supportive parkrun volunteers.

As leaders we always tell the group that it is their parkrun and they should run it as they feel fit. If they need walking breaks they should take them. And as leaders and helpers we always make sure that there is someone at the back so nobody feels that they have been left behind.

This group wanted to be paced round the course to the pace they had done their last mid-week run, about 7 minutes per km. So that’s what we did. We chatted all around the course, distracted them when they needed distracting and encouraged them when they needed a little encouragement. Almost everyone ran the full 5k, with only one member taking a very short walking break (which to be honest was a very fast walk!), and everyone was pleased to finish in under 36 minutes. A really great time for a 5km, especially as they had only started running 7 weeks earlier.

I really love the Start to Run course. It’s fantastic to see people achieve something in such a short space of time.

I’ll be back to leading my Bridging Group from next week, which will now include many of the Start to Runners. I wonder how long it’ll be before they start thinking about their next event!

How has your week been? Do you incorporate any strength or drills into your weekly runs and workouts?

This weekly round up is part of the link up with HoHo Runs and MissSippiPiddlin.

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  • I’m pretty good about doing strength work on my own…now that I’m training for a marathon, my coach also has me doing a lot of speed drills and workouts as well. I usually don’t bother with speed work, so this has been a great enlightening experience.

    • For me it’s something that I do every now and then. I’m hoping this 8 week plan will get me into a regular habit.

  • I work with a strength coach once/week. I don’t do drills much–I’ll throw in some mile repeats when I’m training but that’s about it. You know what helped my form? Last spring when I had to do pool running as part of my training for Big Sur, when I was injured, I was stunned at my running when I returned to the road. My stride changed and I had a new lightness to my legs. I wouldn’t hesitate to return to the pool in the future.

    • I will have to try pool running, it sounds like a really good way to improve!

  • One thing our instructor did in my coaching course was to properly demonstrate good form and have us practice it too — while he critiqued. When I get tired on a long run, I try to remember the key points he touched on. I do regular exercises to strengthen my hips and glutes. I’ll be interested to hear what you think after your 8 week program is over. It’s got to be very satisfying to lead your running group and watch as they achieve their goals! Thanks for linking, Nicola!

    • We had to critique each other while the instructors watched and gave us pointers! It was very enlightening and I also give myself pointers when I’m running.

  • Lacey@fairytalesandfitness

    The only time I incorporate strength training is when I teach my body pump classes. But I think that has helped me improve in my running.

    • I didn’t know you taught body pump. That is a hard workout! I really enjoyed the couple of classes I did.

  • Chaitali Shah

    That strength training program looks interesting. I may have to look into that book. I’ve been doing a body pump class at the gym but it’s not geared specifically toward runners.

    • It will still give you overall strength though!

      The book has a lot of stuff at the beginning about how the body works and why the exercises will help runners, which I found quite interesting.

  • I like to mix things up too, to keep it challenging and interesting. Recently, I have been enjoying some of the drills on the Nike Fit app for intervals and body weight strength sessions.

    • I’ll have to look at the Nike Fit app. There are some great apps around that make it so much easier to keep fit.

  • Tricia Barber Vaughn

    I can’t imagine where I would be in my running had I not incorporated strength training to my routine. I just had no idea it was that important. It should be fun and very interesting to see what all you learn from yourself doing this!
    I’m sure I need some lessons on form. Maybe that will be a future focus. Thanks Nicola for joining us.

    • I think strength and flexibility are two things a lot of runners overlook and have the potential to really change the game! Not just with speed and distance but also keeping injury free.

      I’m hoping I’ll gain a bit of insight!

  • Lauren

    My runs have been so much more beneficial after strength training! It really made a big difference for me!

    • I’m hoping I can say the same after 8 weeks!

  • I seriously need to incorporate strength training. I will check out that book, thanks for recommending!

    • I found that it was something that I would do every now and then. Hopefully this will make it a habit!

  • I love hearing about the start to run group. What a positive experience in just starting to run! Love that there are people who run with the back of the pack too. Please write more about that strength book! I want to focus on strength after my race.

    • We make sure there is always a back runner as it can be so disheartening otherwise.

      As so many people have been interested in the book I think I’ll do a review at the end of the 8 weeks.

  • Madhuri

    The strength training workout looks really interesting. I might have to check them out sometime. Ever since I’ve incorporated strength training, I feel my running is better.

    • It really helps! And not just working on the lower body but the upper body too.

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