Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by HumanX. They provided me with training equipment in exchange for my thoughts, opinions and social sharing. All opinions are my own.
Well, it looks like my “I don’t like the gym” excuse to avoid strength training is now obsolete…a few boxes of Harbinger and HumanX Gear strength training aids showed up at my desk this month. And just in time. The North Fork 50M screamed a few flaws about my training at me.
First, going into a 50 mile race after two months of recovery, tapering and DNF’s isn’t very smart. It hurts a lot. Everywhere. Also, duh!
Second, my abs and arms were in pain long before my quads, calves or glutes. No, I was not running on my hands, thanks for asking! I wasn’t even carrying a handheld for more than 10 miles. Why did my upper body give into the pain so quickly? Probably because I’m a huge pansy and have done approximately 3 pushups and maybe 5 sit ups in the last six months.
My quads don’t fit into jeans without a struggle but my arms have the strength of limp spaghetti noodles! And my abs? Ha. By the time I hit mile 20 it was painful to just poke my imaginary ab muscles! It felt as if DOMS had already set in. By the time I finished the 50 miles simply hugging my pacer hurt my abs.
Why did my “non-runner” muscles hurt so bad during and after the race?
The upper body muscles might not actually carry me up hills, over gnarly rocks or down steep switchbacks…but they do propel me forward [arms] and keep me from toppling over [abs]. Both of which are very important aspects to trail running! The North Fork race wasn’t super technical but my tired legs were tripping on nearly everything which had my core over correcting and my arms flailing.
And what am I going to do about this?
Strength train. Because my abs and arms should not be the first thing failing me in a running race! And because even if a little upper body muscle pain isn’t a legit reason to stop running it may be a contributor. I’m sure I’ll find a way to add it to the “Reasons I Hate #Runablers and Want to Quit” list which will probably be maliciously crafted sometime after mile 70 [but hopefully not sooner!] during the Run, Rabbit, Run 100. That list needs to stay as short as possible and void of excuses for things I could have easily prevented!
What kind of strength training am I going to focus on?
Well, thanks to HumanX Gear I now have a nice selection of resistance bands, a balance trainer and an AbX aid…all of which are being put to good use! I started out with the 10lb resistance band, you know, to work my way into it. Two days later it hurt to raise my arms high enough to brush my teeth. I didn’t even bother doing my hair. Seriously, I’m pathetically weak!
If you check out the HumanX Gear website you’ll see that they seem to love on CrossFit, something I’ve never tried. However their products don’t require a box membership – the gear I got is all about resistance and body weight, something you can easily incorporate into at home workouts. Like I said, my whole “gyms suck” excuse is no longer valid! As I get more creative with the HumanX products I’ll share my thoughts…so far the balance trainer is the coolest item. It makes everything harder, and more hilarious because I keep tipping over!
The past two weeks my workouts have been simple with a lot of dumbbell-to-resistance-band adaptations, but I know that it won’t take long for RB curls in my living room to get crazy boring. My solution? Your Trainer Paige! I might be biased because I know Paige in real life, but she is kind of awesome! She’s a down to earth, realistic trainer who isn’t afraid of real food, off days and finding a balance that works for YOU.
Beyond that, I’m not sure what I’m going to do to force some muscular density into my upper body. Maybe do some real pushups? Or carry mini boulders above my head as I run? Or…Google it? Or ask you guys – where do you go to find at home strength workouts?
Up next…figuring out how to incorporate yoga and other stretchy stuff into my life…who knew keeping your body happy was so much darn work!?