Body By Rogue

By: Laura Mitchell

How many Rogues out there just run?  How many Rogues battle it out there training, with only doing core once in a while?  Every time I stop by Rogue on a Saturday morning, I see Rogues doing their “long run” and I’m amazed at the miles they run. What dedication they have.  It reminds me to think about what being “Rogue” is.

Rogues are tough, tenacious, and dedicated.  I believe this dedication that is being utilized when completing your training runs can also be used to incorporate and maintain a weight training/core program to aid your strength.

After finishing my season in August, and coming back from the Olympics trip, it was time to get back into training.  I saw last track season what the continued progress of perfecting my biomechanics had done, but my hips, hamstrings, and glutes continued to be the nagging ache after my races or hard workouts.  I decided I should work on strength while still maintaining a good base for this season.

I had my coach sit down with me to talk about goals and put together a weight training program. As she demoed the exercises for me I thought to myself, “No sweat, I could do this!”  We started with core exercises on the floor using the medicine ball.  I had already been going to the gym and doing my core Myrtle and Pedestal routines, but learned some new ones that I could include.  As we moved from the floor to the weight room, we did some exercises using cable pulls and leg press. They seemed easy enough, “how tough could they be?”  Well, I was humbled pretty quickly when I struggled to barely complete a few reps!  Initially, the feelings of, “Wow, I’m weak” began to set in, but I was committed to go back and start doing these on my own.  Surely they would become easier.

The first few weeks were challenging.  Trying to balance new exercises with knowing that I still had to run or had a hard workout coming up was intimidating.  I tried to figure out that fine line between being a bit sore before my runs and being so sore that you could barley move.  One thing that helped was being consistent.  By lifting 3 days/week, I started to see a difference.  The exercises started to become manageable.  I was able to see improvement in my balance and completing them became easier.  My confidence became stronger as well.  This in turn spread over into my training workouts.  Carmen gave me kudos after sessions.  Let’s face it, who doesn’t like positive reinforcement from their Rogue coach!  Even the pros incorporate weights, from Leo Manazano to Galen Rupp.  Collegiately you see teams putting in work in the weight room.  Check out this link from Flotrack on the Arizona Women’s Cross Country team.  Coached by James Li, (who also coaches Bernard Lagat), they have a lot of great exercises and weight routines that target  muscles used in running.  I especially like the cable/lunge one they do.

http://www.flotrack.org/coverage/249682-2012-Cross-Country-Season-on-Flotrack/video/656109-Arizona-Wildcats-and-their-strength-workout

Being a Rogue means you are strong.  If you strengthen the muscle groups that you use when running, it well help you complete your runs with more ease.  Over time you will see improvement.  Runs that kicked your butt will become easier.  You may even be able to increase your training paces or set PR’s in races!

So Rogues, I challenge you to do another thing, “Rogue” and try adding a strength program incorporating some weights.  Start easy and gradually build up as your body lets you.  One thing I have observed is that Rogues are willing to try new things.  Believe me once I started strengthening my running muscles, I have seen improvement in my efficiency, I have less aches and niggles in my hamstrings and glutes, I have lost 6lbs of fat and added muscle, and my training paces are coming down.

This is setting me up nicely for some races!  Try it!  And I hope to see you out at the Rogue 30K/10K.

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