Strength training for distance running

If there is one benefit to this year’s admittedly moody weather, it’s the unique training conditions. In endurance sports, challenges arise especially during severe weather conditions, be it extreme cold or sudden, unexpected heat. This is especially true for those like me who are not born runners. I am far from someone you’d typically associate with great athleticism or a knack for the sport I enjoy most frequently: endurance running. I am heavy-footed, I have low lung capacity, and, even though petite when compared to the national average, I am still somewhat heavy for someone who trains for ultra distances. Like most of us, I lose shape quickly, struggle with mechanics, and, although I have been running steadily for 3 years now, am still learning about the running style that best suits my physique and capacity. I have had my fair share of injuries, and have found that strength training, along with common sense, which sometimes eludes me, is an effective way to build the musculature to support prolonged effort.

One of the many challenges endurance runners face has to do with efficiency. Efficiency pertains to compact, smart mechanics, maximally high low weight to sustain speed and duration of effort, and nutrition managed to accommodate increasingly lasting work outs. Of these, mechanics efficiency has been the greatest predictor of injuries in my life. My range of lateral motion tends to be exaggerated; my midfoot strike is easily replaced by a mindless heel strike, and, as a result, my bursae and tendons suffer.

I have therefore spent a fair amount of time focusing on areas of physical shortcomings that to a great degree permit this mechanical inefficiency. Surprisingly. I now tend to think of occasional failures at endurance running as indicative of upper body and core weakness rather than instability in my quads and calves. ALthough all muscle groups benefit greatly from measured strength training in endurance running, my legs tend to be naturally strong. The shoulder, neck, and arm fatigue that so often plagued my runs had to do with inadequate muscle building in torso.


These days, I make sure that I lift at least 4 times a week. And while bulk inhibits motion and additional weight is hard to carry around for miles, well-adjusted weight training is key to building strength and stability during motion. Today’s workout involved 5 miles of heat training (running) in 86 degrees (just the beginning of heat training and barely fitting the standard!), followed by extensive core, shoulder, biceps, triceps, back, and chest weight training. The weights routine was time consuming (about 2.5 hours), but I allotted time for increased breaks between sets as the weight increased.


Critically, muscle mass can be naturally built on a vegan diet. Mind you, my protein intake is probably below what one might say it needs to be given my levels of activity. And yet, I feel strong, energetic, I have developed greater stability and linearity in motion, and am looking forward to even better progress as I am getting back into a regular routine.



Beauty, Carbohydrates, fiber, Health, Love, Raw, sixpence recipes, Super foods, Uncategorized, Vitamin A, vitamin C, Well being

Veganfit lifestyle

How about waking up with a raw, vegan vitamin drink, going for a lovely 10K run in the city, and coming back to a recovery feast of protein, iron, vitamins, carbs, and fiber, all of it both delicious and beautiful?

For the recovery drink, I used 4-5 cups of spinach, 1/5th of a pineapple, 2 spoons of cocoa powder, 2 cups of almond milk.

I made the hummus with spanish olives, garlic, and roasted red peppers, with a hint of lime juice.

Later tonight: some sprints and the mandatory weights for faster legs and stronger bones and muscles. I needed that!


Beauty, Health, Love, Well being, Work outs

End of the day work out

A great way to exhaust yourself after today’s run and ab work to secure a great, solid night sleep:

Chest presses 3×10
Wall sits 3x 45 seconds
Squats 3x 12, in my case- with a 50 pound bar
Single leg squats, back foot elevated 3x 10, 10 lbs in each hand
Step ups, 3x 8, elevation: knee high bench, 10 lbs in each hand
Split squats, back foot elevated, 3x 10, with a 25 lbs plate
Jumps – knee high bench, 3×10
Deadlifts, 3×12, 45 lbs bar


And if you aren’t exhausted…well, I have someone here who is always drained enough for all of us!

Night night:)