This week was the second week of my Quick Strength for Runners workouts and this week the workouts were all about balance.
If you think about it running consists of balancing on one leg alternating with each other several times over! So having good balance is very important for runners.
Tuesday I did my first workout. This was a lot of movements that needed balance. Leg swings, single legged deadlifts, standing hurdles. Some of the movements I found quite hard. The single legged deadlifts especially. You are supposed to stand on one leg and lift your other leg backwards whilst leaning forwards so you end up looking like a T. My hamstrings just aren’t up to that and I’m sure I looked more like an upside down Y!
Wednesday I was back leading the bridging group at my club. We had three people from the Start to Run join us so I kept it flat for the first week, taking a nice, but dark, 3 mile route along the canal. Next week we should have a few more Start to Runners in the group which will be nice, although I am throwing in a hill or two starting next week!
Friday I did my second work out of the week. This one was all about upper body strength, legs and core. I must be improving a bit as I managed 5 full push ups before I had to move to doing push ups on my knees, doing 15 in total. It may not sound like a lot but I struggle doing one full push up usually!
On Saturday I decided to do one of my local parkruns in order to have some sort of measurement to see if I improve over the 8 weeks of the programme. It’s always good to be able to measure how you are doing when you set a goal. As I don’t have a time goal, rather a general ‘be a better runner’ I was struggling how to best measure it. In the end I decided to run the 5k parkrun at what felt like a steady pace. So not a conversational pace and not all out. The sort of run where you can feel that you are pushing yourself a bit, could say a couple of words if asked to do so, but not be too hard that you feel a bit sick at the end of it.
It felt like a good run and I finished in 29:49. Not my best 5k time but about right for the effort and amount of training I’ve been doing! I’ll repeat the same run at the same effort at the end of the 8 weeks and see if my time has improved or not.
As it was this parkrun’s 3rd birthday there was cake at the finish line, along with a photographer. I saw this photo of me and cringed a bit. At this point I had sped up a little as you can’t help but sprint to the finish line, but look at my feet! It really illustrates why heel striking isn’t ideal for running. I can almost see the breaks being put on! I’ve never noticed me doing this in photos before and hopefully after doing my 8 weeks of strength and drills I won’t see it again!
Week 3 of the workouts calls for a balance ball/swiss ball. I have a slight problem as I don’t have one and I don’t have space for one in my house. Any suggestions on what I could use instead?
How was your week running? Did you do anything that involved cake?