Running long distance and lifting weights are not perfect bed fellows. Ideally you’d want to do 3 strength sessions a week, but this would mean lifting on a day that should be a recovery day after a long run, and so any session you do do will end up counter productive.
I am not training for any thing remotely long distance at the moment, I jumped at the chance to get back in the gym and lifting weights properly. Last time worked on my strength was between the Chester and Brighton marathons, and in coming back to training after a good 8 weeks lifting properly, I could really feel the difference in my leg and core strength. I am now following a plan by Alwyn Cosgrove, a top S&C man from the States. The book is called “The New Rules Of Lifting For Women” and these new rules are basically for us to stop faffing around with barbie weights, and to lift like men do. But maybe with less grunting and better technique. I am currently on the first ‘stage’, and loving getting back lifting. I have recently mastered (ish) the deadlift and although I am only upto about 32kg at the moment (for 12 reps) I reckon I’ll be lifting my body weight pretty soon which’ll be sweet.
Lifting weights is something that a lot of women still fear, but we really mustn’t. Lifting heavy shapes your body like cardio cannot do: it gives you a badass booty and sexy-as arms. I am very competitive, and I love the fact that I can now outlift some fellas.
But whilst it’s kinda fun to be the only chick in the boys’ playground that is the weights room, I really wish that I had some company… I know that I am probably preaching to the converted in most of you that are reading this, but if you are a lady yet to embrace the iron, all I can say is GIVE IT A GO. The book I’m working from is a great place to start, but it’s worth having a chat to the instructors in your gym: it’s more than likely they’ll be really helpful and set you on the right track.
Don’t get me wrong, running is, and always will be, my first love, but I’m not gonna lie: weights are coming in a pretty close second at the moment. I am so i-word prone that any strengthening exercises are good for me, and if bullet proofing my body can be incorporated with gaining some guns, I’m even more keen!