The Lazy Runner

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Pixmac000083314401It sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it?  I mean…  if you’re out there running how lazy can you be?

This is actually a term of endearment that I gave myself back when I first started running.  A group of “Mom friends” invited me to join their running group one summer.  We got the kids together at the park and took turns going for a run.  I was coerced into running through the promise of much needed social (and adult) activity.  I had no idea what I was getting myself into.  I just showed up with the hope of keeping up.  Some days I did, some I didn’t.  But, what I could tell right away – I was a lazy runner.

Without having ever really exercised on a regular basis, my body was simultaneously celebrating and protesting.  Every step came with the reward of accomplishment, accompanied by a shooting pain through…  well, everywhere.  As I slopped one foot in front of the other, slamming my entire body weight onto my feet and joints I realized I wasn’t doing myself any favors by maintaining running as my only form of exercise.  I’ve recently been reminded of this again.

A couple months ago I got myself into a predicament by signing up for the Michigan Tough Mudder. Mind you, I am not a tough chick.  I don’t get in fights.  I hate confrontation.  And if my food order comes to the table wrong, I eat it anyway.  I had a lot of work to do.  So, I took on strength training like I never have before and coupled it with a few runs a week.  And it sucked.  It sucked every bit of extra energy right out of me.  I was tired.  But, it was so worth it.

Once I made it through the arctic enema, funky monkey, electric eel still intact and across the finish line, my running routine took on a whole new level.  With my core muscles supporting and absorbing the shock of running I was operating much more efficiently.  This came with the reward of improved form, faster pace, and more endurance.

Unfortunately, once the Mudder was no longer hanging over my head I returned to running my 3-4 days a week, typical routine and ditched the strength training entirely.  What happened?…  back pain, joint pain, foot pain.  Welcome back the Lazy Runner.

I don’t want to lose my progress…  so over the next few weeks it’s my mission to create a balance of running, strength training, and core workouts that will help propel me to my next PR.

How do you maintain the perfect balance of strength and core training to support your run?

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