Day 3: Killer Legs

Killer Legs

Running does amazing things for our body…like giving us killer legs! But running without strength training…means less power for those tough runs when we need an extra push to get to the finish line.

But how do we get it all done?

According to Runner’s World article called How Best to Combine Strength Training and Running,

“Many runners now accept that they’ll perform and feel better if they do more than just run. That’s especially true for people who took up the sport as adults and whose non-running hours include a lot of sitting. Regular strength training, including for your legs, can help to correct muscle imbalances and weaknesses that are common in modern life.”

As runners we struggle with balancing our running with other types of workouts. That makes sense right? Because all we really want to do is run!

There is a way to balance it all though. This article sites a 2014 study where runners did two types of strength workouts, one at maximal effort and one at sub maximal effort, waited 6 hours, then did a tough running workout…here is what lead researcher, Kenji Doma, Ph.D., of James Cook University suggests.

First, Doma advises, don’t schedule a hard running workout later in the day of a weight session. “Running at maximal effort is impaired six hours [after] lower-extremity resistance training, and therefore trained to moderately trained runners will need more than that to recover for running sessions set at high intensities,” he says.

In addition, “running at maximal effort is still impaired 24 hours after lower-extremity resistance training,” Doma says. “Therefore, in the case of trained and moderately trained runners undertaking high-intensity running sessions after lower-extremity resistance training, they may need more than one day to recover.”

Second, Doma found that running performance at lower intensities was unaffected by the weight workouts. “Runners could undertake strength training and running sessions on the same day six hours apart as long as the running session is set at sub-maximal intensities,” Doma says.

If possible, Doma says, try to arrange your schedule so that on days that you run and lift, running comes first.

Key points:

  • Run first – If you want to run on the same day you do your leg workout…run first.
  • The day after your leg workout…you can run…just make it an easy workout..not a tough speed workout. Since we are doing legs on Tuesday and Thursday this month…do your speed work on Monday or before your leg workout on Tuesday. If you want to run on Fridays…make that an easy workout as well. Perfect for our schedule since we like to go long on the weekends.

Final Point: Our leg workout is at sub-maximal effort. Yes it will get tougher as the month goes on…but we are not spending and hour in the gym focused solely on legs. Don’t overthink this. Our workouts gradually increase in effort throughout the month and can be done relatively quickly at home. But you should still give your legs time to recover and think about how you will schedule your workouts as we progress through the month.

Day 3 exercises: Click here for How to Videos

  • Pistol Squats – 2 sets of 3X each leg
  • Fire Hydrant + Donkey Kick – 2 sets of 10
  • Squat – Your choice – 2 sets of 10 (Let us know what kind of squats you choose today. Remember there are about 40 different types of squats listed on our “how to” videos page in case you need some ideas or want to try something new.)
  • 15 Push-Ups
  • Planks – 1 minute (2X)
  • Side Planks :30 each side (2X)
  • 7 Key Stretches for Runners

How do you do your planks? A lot of us do a continuous plank that rolls from the regular plank position onto our sides then back again. Doing it this way might make it easier AND make the time go by a little faster. I like to do a :30 regular plank, then shift to each side for :30 each then finish up with another :30 regular plank at the end. A 2 min round of planks…and I do this twice. Once at the beginning of our workout and again at the end. Overall I am planking for 4 minutes total each day.

If you are new to planks, work your way up. Some of the runners in our group has been planking almost every day for a year or more. Don’t get discouraged. I promise it will get easier as you get stronger!

Bonus: Glute Toner Workout Tight Glutes

Thank you to Alison Stewart who found a great bonus again for us today! (I could get used tot his Alison 😉 ) Do one round of this workout after your daily exercises today then post using #ToneGlutes to let us know you went the extra mile!


Running Drills and Speed Work: This week’s running drills and speed work were in yesterday (Monday’s) post. If you need a reminder, click here. Do not hesitate to reach out to me through PM on FB if you have questions about the 200 meter sprints or how fast you should be doing them. I can explain in more detail and help you find your pace. Remember to schedule your speed work for AFTER your run today.

Running Drills can and should be done before or after EVERY running workout. Experts suggest doing after a warm up (5-10 min) or post run when you need to train your body how to keep good form when you’re tired.

Final takeaway today….strength training makes us stronger and gives us toner legs. Don’t skip your strength workout! I’ve been working on leg strength or over a year now…and the result…well I have some killer legs y’all!

When it’s all said and done. Don’t forget to stretch! Stretching does a body good…and keeps the injuries at bay. I’ve been working on getting more flexible since August 2015 when Silas started taking karate and I saw them doing straddles. This didn’t happen overnight…but it is super cool that I can do this at 37…well almost 38. 🙂

Here is the link again for our 7 Key Stretches for Runners. Learn to love them and they will love you back!

Let’s get to it and make it a great Tuesday Core Crew! 🙂

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