Strength Training

Dear Runner Friend,

Awesome job logging all those miles! I’m so impressed with your consistency, getting out there running everyday. How do you avoid injury??

We all know someone who can run/bike/exercise endlessly and never get injured. Does this person just have ‘the right body’ for the sport? Well, maybe. But maybe it’s the behind the scenes work that person puts in to keep their body strong. 

I’m a physical therapist. I know the importance of muscle strength. I tell people all the time to strengthen muscles to decrease pain and move better. But I didn’t really live it. I hated strength training. I was in and out of physical therapy myself for years battling a chronic IT band injury. I’d do my exercises, get stronger, and the pain would go away. Then gradually I’d stop doing my exercise and run without pain for awhile, but it always came back. I hated lifting weights. I knew what to do, I just didn’t do it.

Well, about a year ago, a running friend of mine said, “Do you want to check out this strength-cardio class at the gym?” (in addition to not liking to lift weights, I was NOT a class person). I agreed to just try it out.  And you guessed it, I got hooked! There was something empowering about being in a gym full of people throwing weights around with an instructor yelling at me to do more. Now I know this is not everyone’s thing, but it worked for me. 

I noticed myself getting stronger, running a little bit faster, and having more muscle definition. (Secretly, I really like to have nice looking shoulders when I look at myself in the mirror while drying my hair). But the best part is, a year later, I haven’t had to go back to physical therapy for my injured right leg! 

I know you feel like it’s not a workout unless you get your heart rate up, so I challenge you to find a strength training routine that makes you sweat. It doesn’t have to be an hour long class at the gym. You don’t even need to lift weights; body weight strength exercises can do wonders. Put your mind to and build some muscle!

Where are you at with strength training? Do you dread it? Love it?

“The body achieves what the mind believes.”



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