Keep Your Running Training Current But Not Trying to Re-invent the Basics

Some people do pretty weird stuff. Okay, this is coming from the Queen of Quirks, but when it comes to training and workouts this runner is sometimes left scratching her head, rolling her eyes or stuffing down giggles at some of the things she’s seen and heard. Warning: I’m about to get a little runner snarky so if you continue to read it’s at your own risk and I only ask you to remember that I am not, in fact, a totally mean and wretched bi***.
fast runner
“It’s new, it’s revolutionary.” The exciting and fascinating thing about running, sports performance and learning how to best manipulate the body through training in order to get the VERY most from oneself is that it is constantly evolving. As with any science there are always new findings, theories to be tested, and lessons to be learned. Training has evolved through the decades and so have World Records.

That said, sometimes I think people take this kind of thinking a bit to far: ‘Let’s come up with something totally new, never before even thought of and I bet because it’s unlike anything else we’ve stumbled upon it will be the magic training bullet!’ Sorry, but I think runners doing Cross-Fit falls into this category.

With running, yes you should always be on the look-out for new drills, exercises, workouts, and training philosophies because there are MANY aspects in that regard that work wonders for you. But, also remember that the ‘basics’ are the foundation and not insanely complicated: run, do speed-work, do longer intervals, allow your body to recover, basic core work (ie: pedestal), some strength work, be CONSISTENT, and be prepared to hurt during your workouts. Sometimes I think people look to something else in hopes that it can help deter from the glaring fact: running hard hurts, but you have to do it, there’s no substitute.
your brain on running
For distance runners, when it comes to the weight room and strength, you’ve got two major points to keep in mind: 1) Strength, core and flexibility work IS going to greatly improve your running…but… 2) You don’t have to over-do it either. Also, remember that it’s low weight/high reps for us…you don’t need to be maxing out at the bench press. Doing more functional type exercises is also more in tune with your goals. I think it’s runners taking new ideas in the weight room or strength moves that initiate a lot of my inner giggles.

Applicable weight training is when the exercises are geared toward running actions, typically more dynamic in nature. For example if you don’t have access to a gym, doing squats, lunges, push-ups, leg lifts, bench dips or step-ups could even wind up being better than loading up crazy high weight plates on the squat bar. Now if you do have some weights, doing running arms with 5 pounders is another example of a running specific exercise. If you get in front of a mirror and swing your arms as you would running for 20-30 seconds you can also work on your form; focus on getting the ‘perfect’ arm swing (front to back, shoulders relaxed and dropped) before worrying about how fast you can swing the weights…quality is more important.

So, to the guy who had a weight place looped around a leather strap, the strap then hung around his head and he was doing neck raises…I highly doubt he’s a runner in training. True fact.
This post could have been epic because the examples of these are legit drill/exercises and those maybe not so much, runs on longer than the Western States Race. Here are some examples of awesome drills/strength/flexibility/core to do. Bottom line, if it seems way too crazy or like the person telling you that it works seems to be trying too hard to be convincing, and a part of you wants to laugh…go with your gut and focus more on the basics. Run.

Miles Madness: Okay, to any of those awesome Team Cait Runners that have not yet emailed me: their total miles for the days of 9/1-9/7 please do so and I can add those into the running total. I know the first week is a little odd-ball with the days but by next Friday when it’s time to submit it will be a full 7 days and we’ll be set on a more logical schedule…lol.

1) What is something you’ve seen, read, or heard about that made you scratch your head or laugh inside?

2) What is an example of something that was new to you but you tried (or plan to try) and it improved your running?

3) How do you balance staying current with new training ideas and tips that will help propel your running forward and then reading things or studies that seem to ‘try too hard’ or are just straight up cray-cray? 😉 I guess, how do you assess the source?

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4 thoughts on “Keep Your Running Training Current But Not Trying to Re-invent the Basics

  1. Around his head?! Lol. I saw a post awhile back from someone saying ‘look how amazing I am; I ran a marathon and I can still walk…I thank cross fit’.

    Surely Cross Fit is the latest Zumba/TV aerobics/Jillian Michael’s Ab Shred/Insanity/Kettle Bell fad. It’s got some merit but something will come and replace it! It’s certainly not the silver bullet to running – the only benefit seems to be that you get pushed a bit harder…something you should be doing in training anyway.

    Ooo, this week I learnt about myofascial pathways and sling. So cool – lots of compound work, pressure points and dynamic cable (low weight, high rep) work to add to my strength training.

    • swear on my life…on his HEAD. the crazier thing is that i’ve seen multiple people do this…it wasn’t like a one time freak incident…i do NOT get this fad?!?!

  2. 1.The adage ‘Never go over 20 miles to train for a marathon’ made me scratch my head. It was only when I did that I finally nailed my BQ.
    2. I’ve recently tried Foam Rolling to follow all the rage, and I’m a full convert.
    3. I listen to everything, but it’s all an experiment of one and things that work for one do not work for another.

    • how could i have NOT included that first one!! it BLOWS me away that so many people and coaches profess there’s no need to go over 20 and also i don’t get why more people don’t think it an obvious assumption that they should do at least some of their long runs at a faster than easy clip. i mean, if u want to race that far, don’t u think u should at least test the waters before hand with pushing some longer mileage?? 😛 foam rolling…that is totally legit and something we should all spoon with. look wat u did, u got me on a spooning reference kick.

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