WAIT, WHAT? WEIGHTS? WHY?

claire taylor

gymnasticon

So you know how every time you read like every book or article about running, somewhere in there they mention your strength training? I don’t know about you, but up until about three weeks ago, my “strength training” consisted of a couple of squats, ten push-ups and what always felt like a lot of sit-ups, once every couple months.

For me strength training has always been one of those chore-like things—I know it’s important (protects you against injury), I know it’s good for you (bone density, fat burning, blah blah blah), and I know it’s huge in helping you improve your running goals, but I just didn’t have time. Or as my dad would correct, I didn’t make time. But I recently switched up my gym and the new place has a class on Tuesdays and Thursday mornings that interested me, and I thought what the heck.

So for three or four weeks now, I’ve been getting up early (which that itself is a major accomplishment) and going to the weights class. It mixes weights with intervals (hello, 8 x 12-second sprints—you made me want to die). And right now, most of my time after the class is spend recovering, but I have managed to get a few runs in, and wouldn’t you know it? I feel stronger. And that pesky shoulder twinge I usually get seems to have dissipated.

It’s so annoying when experts turn out to be right. So this week, I’m encouraging you to make the time to do a little bit of weights—to help your running. If you don’t have a gym class option, check out this essential workout from Runners World.

claire taylor started running in high school when her dad would drag her around the neighborhood, and she ran her first marathon in NYC in 2013. When she’s not running, or reading about running, she’s probably cooking, eating, or reading about food—it’s a finely tuned balance.