Someone skipped leg day. For 3 years.

Let’s state the obvious. This is a running blog. And I’m about to talk about lifting. I’ve been told, however, that lifting helps running (within reason).

So yeah, we’re talking about workouts to supplement my running program. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

As I mentioned in the previous post, the goal is 2 X 2 X 2 to balance running, lifting, and yoga. Running and lifting are getting the priority for now (because running is the activity for the year and because lifting is costing me money to join a gym).

As I go through the process, I’m going to be careful about making sure that every push begets a pull, making sure that I’m not just pushing around a lot of weight to avoid bulking up (as hard as running is for me, putting on muscle is correspondingly easier), and that I stick to free weights (or at least machines that aren’t fixed motion) as much as possible.

Now I say all that to say this, last week kicked my ass. For my first weight session, I was still resting my legs, so I didn’t do squat or lunges, just upper body. I was sore. I had to massage out some aches, but no harm no foul. On the second session, I put in squats and lunges. I’ve been doing yoga pretty consistently since August. I’ve been running consistently since the end of November. In other words, I thought my legs were doing all right. The squat rack disagreed.

The thing about running and yoga is that they don’t really get my glutes. The glutes are involved, but they’re not really committed. With squats and lunges, the glutes get committed.

Because I don’t lift frequently, every time I lift should also be leg day, so I know what I’m getting myself into. I just forgot how sore I could get.

My legs were shot. After time I stood up or sat down, I was making sad whimpering noises. And don’t even get me started on stairs.

But to add insult to injury, not only did the movement hurt, because the muscles were sore, not just tired, actually sitting hurt.

It’s all good, though. I foam rolled the next day. I almost cried. Manly crying.

It was dumb for me not to foam roll the day I lifted. I know better. I just have a bad habit of forgetting to roll if I can’t do it immediately after the workout.

As much whimpering occurred just in my day-to-day activities, I knew rolling would be interesting. I was a little afraid of frightening the neighbors. Gasping in pain seemed like a good way to have the cops called. Luckily, my neighbors didn’t seem that concerned for my well being. Honestly, foam rolling hasn’t been that painful since the first time I rolled, but it was worth it. I was almost a functioning human being the next day. Almost.

And this is progress. This is how we get better. Honestly, I’m already noticing a difference. If nothing else, I’ve noticed my appetite spike, so I’m being much more careful to have protein-dense meals. I know I’ll get my carbs, no problem.

That said, I can’t let this inhibit my running. I’m hoping to start working speedwork and/or plyometrics into my sessions after lifting. The other thing I’m going to have to be careful about is making sure my hamstrings are getting equal work. I don’t do leg extensions, but my quads are still getting more work from squats and lunges than my hammies are. Like I said earlier, I’m going to be avoiding machines with fixed movement. It’s too easy to accidentally add too much weight and overload a big muscle for me.

I ended up googling hamstring exercises just to see what my options were. While squats and lunges do some hamstring work, it’s clear that the work is going on the quads. My one viable option looks like Nordic curls.

I’m not quite willing to do those in the weight room because it looks like it will require teamwork based on gym setup I’m working with. And I’m a lone wolf.

I’m also hoping to start doing hill repeats. Stupid hills. And the plyometrics and speedwork will also be more hamstring intensive than regular jogging is for me. Hopefully.




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