Hello! How are you doing? I prefer blogging every week and it’s been five weeks since my last blog. I left you hanging and my apologies about that.
Bruised tibia update
Turns out my knee is just fine. In fact the orthopedic surgeon I saw x-rayed my knees, and he said I have the knees of someone 37 not 57 (my actual age.) Meaning I have zero knee arthritis. That was joyful to discover.
The fall on the ice I had on January 1st, didn’t cause any tendon or ligament tears or pulls. I did hurt the knee, namely the top of the tibia area just below the knee, and since I hadn’t rested at all that aggravated the bone bruise. I took a bit over two weeks off from running, and the rest from running is exactly what I needed.
Grandma’s Marathon here I come
With this good news, I am officially in marathon training! Yes, I’ve signed up for Grandma’s Marathon that will happen on June 17, 2023 in Duluth, Minnesota.
My last marathon was the Big Sur Marathon that I did in March 2010. I figure I will do a marathon every 13 years or so! Just kidding, who knows, now that I hang out with all these runners and have fallen fully in love with running, maybe another marathon will happen in the future. I’m open to possibilities.
In the spirit of living in the now, at this moment, I am training for Grandma’s. That means that I needed to get more focused on strength training for successful marathoning.
Avoiding injury = weight training
As we age, we are more prone to injury – don’t I know that. Turns out one of the best ways to prevent running injuries is to weight train and do strength exercises. My dear friend Jenny, who is doing this marathon and training alongside me, and I got three sessions with our Thursday morning YWCA run intervals coach Laurie Ladd Goudreault. Coach Laurie is an amazing running coach.
One leg on the ground when running
Laurie took us under her wing, and set up an excellent one-legged, hamstring, quadriceps, glute, core focused series. After all, when we run, only one leg is on the ground at a time. Thus it’s important to do lots of balance and one legged routines. Turns out these exercises are HARD! And so worth it.
Laurie advises us to keep doing this set all the way through our marathon training. She coached us to mix things up as we go. To try the session when we are rested, and sometimes when we are tired. All the while, listening closely to our bodies.
Ask your coach
If you have a coach, I strongly encourage you to ask them what they recommend for you. Doing these three sessions with Laurie gave Jenny and me the chance to ask about form and random questions that came up.
That said, a few of you might be curious about what we are doing. Coach Laurie gave me her okay to share what she gave us. I went on YouTube to find example demos of each one.
Give it a try
Jenny and I are currently doing two sets of each, with 12 repetitions of each exercise. We mix up the order we do the exercises, to keep it interesting. For the moment, both of us are doing a full set twice a week, on non-running days. It takes us about 45 minutes to do everything.
In addition to what Laurie gave us, I do a few exercises from the SHE program that I’ve been doing since June 2021. As a result, my twice a week strength sessions take longer than an hour. I love these sessions, so making time is fairly easy to do.
More strength = more confidence
I confess, I love how my body feels. I feel stronger, more confident and more present in my body. I figure this is a big win. Plus, for those who have diabetes, the more muscle mass a body has, the better the insulin works. Another helpful win.
Here’s what Coach Laurie gave us. Enjoy!
If you’re doing a marathon, feel free to add any of them to your routine. Even one or two will help.
When we go to the YW, they have barbell weights. I like the 35 lb bar. When I go to the U of MN gym or I’m at home, I use dumbbells. Here’s a video with dumbbells as an example.
Single leg deadlift
Keeping with the deadlift theme, doing them one legged is helpful for running. I usually use 12 pound weights in one hand.
Single leg step ups
As you get familiar with step ups, you can add dumbbells. I currently use 12 lbs in each hand.
Squats with weights
Squats really help with running. WOW oh WOW can I feel my glutes and hamstrings with these. I usually hold 12 or 15 pound weights in both hands.
Bulgarian Split Squats
Here we are focusing on one leg at a time again. This exercise is another really good one. I usually hold 12 or 15 pound dumbbells in both hands as I do this. This video really emphasizes that this exercise is for booties. Strong booty makes for strong running.
For me, this particular exercise is the most challenging. Helps with the low abs. It requires lots of mental focus for me. It’s SO good!
Currently Jenny and I are doing front planks for 45 seconds to a minute, working to squeeze the butt cheeks together as we plank. This causes the body to get lower to the ground and have a straight back. We are working up to a minute and more.
OMG, I didn’t realize how important it is to also do side planks! Good stuff, and yup, difficult. We are currently holding for 20 to 30 seconds on each side. Doing it twice.
Single Leg Glute Bridge
Excellent description of all the ways you can do it wrong with this one. This is a good one for strengthening the glutes and core.
This exercise is another excellent core one.
Clam shell with band
The video has no band, but it gives you the idea. The band makes the exercise a bit more challenging. This is a really good one for the glutes.
And the last one we do, which usually we do first, is balancing on the Bosu. We do 6 minutes total. We do 1 minute with both legs on the flat side, then 1 minute with just one leg, on each leg. Then we do one minute with both legs on the rounded side, then 1 minute with just one leg, on each leg.
Here’s an example to get the idea: https://youtu.be/gH-fwjRIanU
There you go!
Let me know what you think. I love hearing from you.