strength training for runners

New stuff coming to the blog!

Hi friends! Long time no chat!

I kind of disappeared (again) after new years, but for a good reason. My hubby and I took of to New Zealand for three weeks for honeymoon number two and had the most amazing time. We stayed with my family in the North Island for most of our trip, and rented a camper van to drive almost 2,500 kms around the South Island for a week. We saw so much of the country that it was almost exhausting, but we have a hard time just lying around doing nothing on vacation anyway so we wouldn’t have done it any other way!

Now that we’re back to real life, I figured I should either get back to writing regularly, start teaching yoga or maybe take on training clients again. Even though I’m fully recovered from hypothalamic amennorhea now and have started to ease back into exercise after almost three months off, I’m not ready to jump back into that world completely… BUT, luckily, my bestie Janine had a great idea for me to work on in the meantime — make all the hundreds of training plans I’ve created over the past four years available for download!


My post-marathon recovery plan and why runners need a post-season


In the pain cave at the 2016 VIctoria Marathon

So far I’m having a fairly typical post-marathon recovery.

My legs are incredibly sore and I’m walking like a zombie. The head cold I got just before my race is still kicking around (because I ran a marathon instead of resting like a normal person). My underarms are still sore and chafed, so I’m applying lotion liberally and not wearing scratchy sweaters. My marathon hanger has subsided, and I’m ensuring I take in lots of protein to aid in muscle repair and recovery. And as usual, I totally compromised my immune system by running hard and have the worst fever blister ever covering 75% of my nose and a bit of my chin. It’s so bad I actually had to work from home today — I look like quasimodo with my poor nose and shuffle-limp. I’m currently locked away in the bell tower hunched over my computer, only lumbering downstairs occasionally for tea and snacks. (more…)

#WorkoutWednesday: Become a stronger & faster trail runner with this strength circuit

Today I’m featuring part III of the strength training workout I’m doing as part of training for the Finlayson Arm 25K trail race. I’ve already shared the workout I do on Mondays, which focuses on upper body and core as it comes after my long run day, and the workout I do on Wednesdays, which incorporates upper and lower body supersets using heavier weights as well as core work. Today I’m sharing Friday’s workout, which incorporates both upper and lower body supersets. I use light-to-moderate weights for this workout, and will follow it up with an easy 10-12 km run either right after strength training or later in the day.

ultrastrenght3 (more…)

#WorkoutWednesday: Total-body strength circuit part II

Happy #WorkoutWednesday! Here is part II of the strength training program I created for a challenge group I hosted back in January. You can find part I, workout A, here. Perform workout A and B on alternating days for the next 6-8 weeks with a rest day in between. So for example, during week one on Monday you would do workout A, on Wednesday you would do workout B, then on Friday you would do workout A. The following week, do workout B on Monday, workout A on Wednesday, and workout B on Friday, and so on. Try it out and let me know what you think!

What you need:

  • 8-15lbs set of dumbbells
  • Yoga mat

The workout:


Arm circles 1 2 easy Forward and backward 12 rotations
Sun salutations 3 1 easy Down dog to cobra pose and back up
Leg swings 1 8 each side easy Swing front to back and side to side
Knee up/backwards lunge/stretch 1 8 each side medium Knee up, step back w/ same leg, stretch arm up on same side
Side lunge w/ 5lb weight 1 8 each side medium Lunge and push weight out in front



Alternate workouts grouped by letter (A, B, C, D) until all sets are complete. For example, complete one set of workout 1A, rest for 30 seconds, then complete one set of 2A. Rest again, then repeat two more times before moving on the the next grouped set.

A1. Walking lunge with dumbbells  3 24 steps 8-10 lbs each hand 30 secs Take 12 steps (6 each leg) forward, alternating legs.
A2. Sumo squat 3 10 8-10 lbs 30 secs Take wide stance, toes pointed out. Hold dumbbell between legs.
B1. Dumbbell row 3 10 8-15 lbs each hand 30 secs Standing w/ both weights or single-arm row using a bench or knee.
B2. Dumbbell bench press 3 10 8-20 lbs each hand 30 secs Can be from floor or bench.
C1. Tricep extension 3 10 8-10 lbs each hand 30 secs Lying on floor or bench.
C2. Standing row 3 10 8-10 lbs each hand  30 secs Can use 20 lbs barbell.
D1. Side plank 3 30 sec/side BW none Advanced: Do 8 leg lifts.
D2. Superman 3 10 BW none On hands and knees, extend opposite arm and leg.

How to fit strength training into your marathon training plan

Celebrating our fastest half marathon times!

As runners, we all know we should be doing it. It should be as much a part of our training as speed drills and the long, slow run.

No, I’m not talking about stretching (even though we should do that, too).

I’m talking about strength training.

A few weeks ago, Lululemon reposted this article on their blog from Jason Fitzgerald, a running coach at, which promotes the benefits of strength training for runners. While Fitzgerald does a pretty good job of explaining why runners should incorporate strength training into their training plans and what they should be doing, he doesn’t really explain how.

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