Where I’m At with Strength Training These Days

Last night was a typical run night, nothing special to report. It was hot. I ran 4 easy miles. My arms were a bit sore from lifting yesterday.


I didn’t run in that direct sun, I just liked the picture and took it earlier in the day!

The middle of marathon training isn’t the ideal time to start/restart strength training. Like I mentioned last week, prior to having spasmodic torticollis I was on a good roll with lifting, but then I had to stop everything for a full month.

Picking back up with upper body weights wasn’t a big deal, but I’ve been thinking a lot about how to get back into a routine with leg lifts (chiefly squats and deadlifts).


I know if I jump back in full force I’m going to wake up too sore to run the next day, and I really don’t want to skip any runs due to lifting because I’ll get yelled out by my run coach (in the nicest way possible because Lauren is really nice!).

Instead I’ve decided that I’m going to do two things:

1.) Keep the weight really low (for me) on leg day and…

2.) Slowly ease back into it by incorporating JUST ONE lower body lift into each upper body workout.

I started this process last week and here’s what my first day of incorporating legs again looked like:

(I always start with two sets of warmups at a low weight before each exercise.) 

-Dumbbell squats 3 x 5 @ 50lbs (the leg workout, obv.)

-Bench press 3 x 5 @ 40lbs

-Shoulder press 3 x 5 @ 40lbs

-Overhead tricep extension 3 x 5 @ 15lbs

-Lateral raises 3 x 5 @ 5lbs (these are such a killer!)

-Plank @ 30 seconds, 30 seconds, 45 seconds

I’m still making my way back up to my normal upper body lifts too, but it feels good to be picking up heavy-ish things again!

I hate planking and have never been good at it or consistent with it. I think my plank PR is only 1:55. I’m going to try to work my way up to 2 minutes before the marathon! It’s a small goal but hopefully it will get me back into the routine of planking consistently again.


Anyway, I’ve never really posted about my lifting a lot, but I think I’m going to start doing it. The blog will hold me accountable!

What is your plank PR?

How many days a week do you strength train?



  1. August 12, 2014 / 9:31 am

    I am trying to strength train 3x’s per week. I do much lower weights than you, I do high reps. I don’t enjoy it, so on those strength training days I leave the weights and the mat out on the living room floor and don’t put it away until I complete the workout (having them out drives me nuts…). I agree, I hate being sore from strength training on running days, so I try and plan it so my easier runs fall the day after…
    My record plank is 1 minute–I will try and build it to 2 with you! side planks too!

    • August 12, 2014 / 1:25 pm

      I’m so with you on making sure an easy running day comes after strength training… although it can make the easy days feel less like an easy day which is a bit of a bummer!

  2. August 12, 2014 / 10:20 am

    Perfect plan to ease back into strength training. I’m actually up to two days a week strength training but I use really low weight. Literally the bar and ten pounds on each side lol. So worried I’m going to ruin my running.

    Btw absolutely loved the trex plank picture, I was dying laughing lol.

    • August 12, 2014 / 1:26 pm

      I hear ya! I think it’s hard to focus on both executing running at a top level and lifting at a top level at the same time. I tried to do that for a while last year and my legs were just in a constant state of soreness. Once I stopped squatting and deadlifting heavy my runs became so much easier. I do think upper body and core lifts help with running though, no need to skimp there!

  3. August 12, 2014 / 10:58 am

    I like your plan of sticking to lower weights for legs and incorporating one exercise at a time. Sore legs is NO fun for running. My butt is sore right now because I did kettle bell swings yesterday. They make me sore EVERY time. My plank PR is 4 min. I only did it once. I was REALLY MAD and it was when I still couldn’t run (knee surgery). So, next time you get really pissed, plank. I bet you will PR!

    • August 12, 2014 / 1:28 pm

      I believe that! I had one of my fastest 4-mile runs EVER on an “easy” running day a couple of weeks ago because I came home from work really mad! I should have planked that day!

  4. August 12, 2014 / 12:51 pm

    Way to go with strength training. Easing back into it is good. I am generally terrible at maintaining a good regime outside of running, so I have been doing some November Project workouts in the mornings, which integrate things that I do not do on a regular basis into my workouts. Not bad!

    • August 12, 2014 / 1:29 pm

      I love your Nov. Project posts – it looks like such a fun way to incorporate fitness into your day. I’d love to do something like that, especially with Adam. We both love working out but we rarely get to do it together because he’s always in the gym lifting and I’m always out running!

  5. August 12, 2014 / 1:15 pm

    I strength train twice a week but nothing serious. I’ve never lifted heavy weights, just little dumbbells and body weight exercises. It works for now, but I might get more serious about it after the marathon. My plank PR is 3:30, I was working up to 5 minutes but for some reason just stopped.

    • August 12, 2014 / 1:30 pm

      3:30!!! Way to go! I seriously can’t imagine holding it for that long! I have no idea why I stopped at 1:55 last time instead of going for 2:00… probably just because planking is about the most painful thing ever lol

  6. August 12, 2014 / 2:16 pm

    It’s been awhile since I tried a plank PR. Lately I’ve been strength training 3x a week – it has been nice!!!

  7. August 12, 2014 / 4:08 pm

    Training and lifting is a challenge. I will give up the lifting for awhile when really training. 1:20 for a plank PR I would like to get to 2 minutes also, it’s going to take a good song! I usually do four planks w/ a quick break in between, I am trying to increase that over the month…we’ll see. I love the new race photo you added in your header 🙂 You look awesome!

  8. August 12, 2014 / 4:38 pm

    I always love reading about runners that incorporate strength training in to their routine. I think both are so important and can support each other. You just have to find a balance that works for you.

  9. August 12, 2014 / 7:28 pm

    I REALLY need to get some weights back into my life, but yeah, leg lifting totally interferes with my running!

    I forget my plank PR because I usually just call it at 2 minutes…it seems silly to go beyond that!

  10. August 12, 2014 / 8:45 pm

    Wow 1:55 is great! I can only plank a little over 1 minute. I usually try to aim 2-3x/week for strength training.

  11. August 12, 2014 / 11:55 pm

    I’m not a big strength trainer but I do love to do pilate type stuff. I much prefer using my own body weight.
    My plank PR is 3 minutes. I’ve done a few monthly challenges to try and go past that but nope, my body seems to say “stop!” at 3 minutes lol!

  12. August 15, 2014 / 4:34 pm

    I think you’re going about it the right way! As long as you’re gradually incorporating strength training into your routine, you should be just fine. And not that I spend a whole lot of time at the gym, but when I do, I just pretty much ignore leg exercises of any kind, other than basic things like lunges/squats. I figure between the running and the karate, my legs are about as strong as they’re ever going to be, lol. 😉

  13. August 18, 2014 / 11:27 am

    I do a daily 3 minute bent arm plank and a 3 minute straight arm plank. I’ve been working up the time from October and I’ve come a long way! I don’t know what my PR is for Planks since I just want to make it to the 3 minute time.

    I try and lift weights 3x’s a week for 30 minutes each. Some weeks I lift 5 days but that’s it.

    I’ve been running/biking switching off to get more out of running. I seem to run faster when I have a day of cross training. The longest run I’ve done is 14 miles. I need to start running longer! Love your marathon training plan and maybe some day I’ll want to try the Marathon..??