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Chicken Legs

Posted Mar 09 2011 6:57pm
A complete weight training workout can be perf...

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Because it seems like I feel nauseous just about every other day, I finally went in today to see my doctor and see if we could find out what’s up.  While I was there we talked about running and training in general, and he asked me to do a few simple movements to test my strength.  These were things like standing with my feet shoulder-width apart and raising my toes, then rising up onto my toes, then squatting, and then doing two one-legged squats on each leg.  Everything was fine until we got to the one-legged squat part, at which point I faltered and almost fell over.

“Hmm,” he said, “Have you been weight training ?”

“Er, no.”  I replied sheepishly, since it was pretty clear that a sheepish reply was in order.

“You should start.  Your legs are pretty weak.” he said.  ”It would really be good for you.”  He wasn’t being judgy or rude about it, but I immediately felt diminished.  I wanted to protest: ‘But I do yoga !  I do so much yoga!’ and ‘I run hills!  I’m GREAT at running hills!  You should see me!’ (it’s true, I’m pretty good at running hills, which tends to be good for strengthening the old legs.  Or so I thought).  What an ego blow.  It made me think of something my boss had told me that a sports doc had told him at one point while he was recovering from an injury: “You’re old and brittle.”  Yikes.  Even delivered in the nicest, most caring tone possible, hearing things like this does not feel good.

I have tried so many times to start weight training and it never takes with me.  But now that I’ve been called out on it, I feel like I absolutely have to do it no matter what.  My doctor is right, too, it would be really good for me.  From a running perspective alone, weight training yields great benefits.  For one thing, it helps to prevent injury.  As Tom Holland explains,

I contend that running doesn’t cause injuries, but rather illuminates our weak links and allows us to see what we need to improve upon. There’s no greater way of determining how to improve our bodies than by listening to and accessing how we respond to running.

By pinpointing our weaknesses and working on strengthening them early on in life, we can build a strong musculoskeletal system that will carry us through our later years with little or no pain.

Strength training also helps you to get faster, make running feel easier, and make your body more efficient when running.  I don’t need convincing when it comes to why I should be weight training.  It’s just…I don’t know.  I have a bit of a mental block?

For one thing, I have no idea where to start.  I know all the basic exercises.  I know a lot about strength training in general.  I’m just not good at putting it all together and then staying interested.  Mike sent me a few links to workouts from Stumptuous that look like they might be my speed, so maybe I’ll start there.  According to my doctor, I really just need to be doing two days a week, and mostly targeting my lower body just to bulk up my wee chicken legs a bit.  I guess I can handle that.

So, any advice?  Is strength training a regular part of your fitness routine?

Embrace:Me 30-day Challenge day 5: Today I have been a real cranky pants, and very resistant to doing anything nice for myself.  So I forced myself into a quick session of yoga through Yoga Download .  Of course I feel better since doing it!  Isn’t that how it always works?  I’m planning to spend the rest of the evening being nice to myself, too.  It’s just one of those days where I need the extra care.

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