I should have done lunges today.
I wasn’t lazy — I did the stationary bike for 45 minutes at an intensity I usually save for intervals. But somehow, I couldn’t make myself do any kind of strength work. This is despite knowing, after three months of physical therapy, how good — no, essential — strength training is for runners.
I’m possibly one of the only people on earth to have a solely positive experience with physical therapy. Each appointment with Jason, who patiently solved the weird mystery of why I couldn’t run, was like a session with a personal trainer who just happened to be certified to mess around with my hip joint to put it back in its proper place. And at the end of the three months, I could run again — bonus!
At the end of my stint with Jason, I asked him which of the exercises in my routine I could drop if I got lazy.
“Um,” he said, “they’re all pretty basic. I would pretty much make sure you do them all.”
A year later, I still faithfully perform the fun ones (shuffling around with a resistance band makes me feel like a linebacker) and the awful ones (leg lifts are the bane of my existence) a few times a week. I’d rather be running, but along with cross-training, this is the preventative medicine that KEEPS me running.
I’ll get my butt into gear later this week on the lunges, leg presses, etc., and knock out a set of the dreaded leg-lifts tonight. In the meantime, I’ll share my physical therapy workout here. It’s a great preventative measure for uninjured runners, as the single-leg business doesn’t allow you to rely on your stronger leg (yes, you have one) to get through the reps.
3 X 25 walking lunges
3 X 25 single-leg presses
3X 25 single-leg squats
Side shuffle with resistance band
Leg lifts with weights (I do these on each side, on my stomach and on my back. Here’s a how-to for the side-lying lifts.)
Clamshells (shown here, along with lots of other interesting-looking running-specific exercises)