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Don't Underestimate 5 Minutes of Strength Training

I am a relatively reasonable person.  I know the logic that shows that a stronger core equals better running.   And even if I wasn't swayed by the scientific arguments, I surely would be reminded as I reach for my monthly edition of Runners World and see the great abs of world class runners.

But even with the healthy doses of logic and emotion, I must admit that vigorous strength training falls to the bottom of my list of running to do's.  I had tried to add it into my running training, but find that I could conveniently find myself out of time or energy before I completed what I needed to do.

In an effort to outsmart myself, I finally found a way to marry my running and strength training in a consistent manner.   Now, after all my short runs (for me, anything under 6 miles), I have a pact to take a 5 minute "active cool down".  For 5 minutes, I alternate sets of pushups and situps, resting 15 seconds between sets.  When I started, I found that I could do small sets of 5-10 of each.   But as the weeks went on, I found the size of my sets and repititions have increased.   I still haven't swayed from the 5 minute deadline.  I find it is fun to see how many I can pack into 5 minutes versus the prior week or prior workout.

And when the 5 minutes is done, I treat myself to a 30-60 second stretch on my back.   It feels so good to lay down and stretch out!

While I still try to add in a more traditional strength training exercise day, I have found that these 5 minute sessions have made me a bit stronger.   I don't underestimate 5 minutes anymore.

This week in the Lounge, we have strength training as our topic for Take It and Run Thursday.  Take a few minutes to jot down your strength training tips and drop them off in the Lounge Strength Training section or as part of Take It and Run Thursday.   Show off your advice of how you fit a good strength training routine in a few minutes a day.

Here are a couple great articles you might also enjoy:

Strength Training - Keep it simple for runners

5 Tips for a Healthier, Stronger Core

How to do a pullup when you can't do a pullup

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