Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Another Teacher Day And Why I Will Always Strength Train

Today I was in another lovely all day professional development session, but this time, no physical stuff. I really think these meetings where I sit all day are the worst. I cannot sit all day, I am a little ADHD (self diagnosed!). This was the first time I had to sit and focus in a long time, so I was really done by 2:00. And these little treats did not help the situation...

Don't get me wrong, it was a good session, just too long for me to sit. We did do some activities that were related to the new math standards that we will be teaching this coming year. Here's a sample of what my group did to show our strategies for solving a difficult math word problem:

This is what we would ask kids to do in a group to practice solving problems and having discourse about math with their peers. I love this kind of teaching. Inquiry based, student-directed and meaningful.

On to my running (or lack thereof). I have not ran since Sunday night. I took a rest day yesterday because of all the physical stuff we did in my training. I should have ran anyway, because today my glutes and hamstrings are screamin'!!! A little run will loosen them up, but Satan Jillian and her strength training is going to have to wait until tomorrow. I could easily do the upper body stuff, but lower body strength training is not happening.

Speaking of strength training, I read an article Weights Vs. Cardio: Your Guide To The Perfect Body (as if...). I have recently become aware of the need to strengthen my body by cross-training, which includes strength training. I have been injured in the past from just running and doing nothing else.
"It's not that running as an exercise is bad, but it puts a fair amount of stress on your muscles and joints. Recreational runners can have injuries caused by weakness in the core and hip-stabilizing muscles. The better plan is to take time to develop the muscles of your core and hips first instead of jumping off the couch and running three miles."
"For the hip stabilizers, start off with basic single-leg exercises like split-squats, lunges and step-ups. For the core, exercises like front planks, side planks and bird dogs will help get you stronger and more stable, making you much less likely to injure yourself when you do decide to run that 5K."

I cannot say enough about Ripped in 30. Though I may complain, I love the way my body is changing. Running changed my body, yes, but not in the same intense way as a little strength training has. I look more toned, I am losing weight (which I have not from running) and I feel stronger. Holding my 4 year old does not wear me out in 2 minutes like it used to.

I am stronger at 32 years old than I have ever been in my life. I'm not saying you need to go out and buy Jillian's DVD's or even any workout "program", heck, you could strength train with some hand weights on your own and get results. But for me, I needed directions on what to do and how long to do it in order to be successful.

Running is definitely improving my cardiovascular health, as well as my mental health. But because I haven't been running extremely long distances, there hasn't been a whole lot in the way of weight loss or improve strength. Yes, my calves have gotten more muscular from running, but the rest of my legs and body have been lacking. Since I have been strength training, I have been able to run longer distances without walking, and I am improving my time per mile by a few seconds every time I run. I highly recommend strength training to anyone, runner or not, in order to improve your overall fitness, lose weight or to just feel better. I know I do.


  1. OMG! I totally agree with you about JM being SATAN! I always have to yell at the TV when she orders me to do lunges or squats. I often find myself yelling 'whore'! Ah, I love her...

  2. Oh, Amanda, it's not the lunges or squats that bother me, it's the plank and push-up type exercises that have me yelling all kinds of obscenities! I have NO upper body strength!!