Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Incorporating Weight Training into Marathon Training

Even after being married for many years there are still some conversations with your wife that can be difficult. Well, I had one of these conversations with my wife earlier this week, and I definitely should have put more thought into what I was going to say. Starting the conversation off with "I found this girl's website on the Internet", followed by "For my birthday, could you you pay for an hour session with her to improve my performance?", may not have been the best approach.

Here is what I should have explained in detail...

Last year before starting my 18 week marathon training program for the Chicago Marathon, I worked with a personal trainer to establish a weight training program to incorporate into my marathon training program. After much research I found that there are three primary benefits to weight training for runners,

First is the upper body, when running both your legs and arms move, granted your legs do most of the work, but when running 26.2 miles that adds up to a lot of work for your arms. Upper body training will reduce fatigue and soreness in the arms and provide more energy to finish strong.

Second is your abs, on long runs your abs can become sore. By strengthening your abs you are better able to maintain your running form and stabilize your back. And it also helps on the hills.

Third is the lower body. Running strengthens certain muscles in the legs but not all of the muscles, and this can cause an imbalance. With proper weight training for your lower body you can help balance your muscle strength to avoid risk of injury and help build endurance and strength for the long runs.

So being sold on the weight training, the question is what specific weight training do I need to incorporate into my marathon training? I feel that my weight training was a significant help in my marathon training. Over the tough 18 week training program I did not experience any injuries, and most importantly I FINISHED the marathon.

Since the Personal Trainer that I used last year has moved on and is no longer involved in personal training, I wanted to enlist the help of another Personal Trainer to to review and enhance my weight training program for this year's marathon training.

When browsing all of the handouts and flyers in the goody bag from the Bunny Rock 5K I stumbled across a familiar name Meghan Kennihan. Meghan is a race director for the Waterfall Glen Xtreme 10 race that I ran last year. After signing up for the Waterfall Glen Xtreme 10 last year, runners received emails from Meghan about the upcoming race, that included "Top 10 Reasons to Run this Race" and "Top 10 Unacceptable Excuses" that were so absolutely hilarious that Meghan's Top 10 list always come to mind when hearing about the Waterfall Glen Xtreme 10. In the goody bag was a flyer for Meghan Kennihan a Certified Personal Trainer. Eureka!

I immediately checked out her web page and was impressed by her credentials and certificates as a Personal Trainer. And in addition to that she is an accomplished runner.

With my wife's permission I contacted Meghan to discuss her different programs, I have signed up for a personal training session in May. I am looking forward to working with Meghan to evaluate and enhance my weight training program for my second Chicago Marathon in October. Look for my upcoming posts regarding my personal training session and progress.


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