Following my most recent half-marathon the Good Life Halfsy I had a very good conversation with store owner/my boss Logan Watley about me needing to take some time off from running. Yes, the fastest man I know, the guy that lives to run told me to take a break from the sport. He wasn’t alone either, our wellness coordinator Wayne preaches balanced training to me all of the time.
Let me clarify a little bit. Runners don’t ever stop running unless they are injured. What Logan and Wayne have encouraged me to do is to cut way back on my mileage. Maybe take a group run off here or there. Allow my body to recover from months of continuous pounding. That way, if-and-when I decide to actually train for say a marathon my body will be fresh.
I’ve had an incredible summer that included 3 half-marathons, a multitude of local races, 3 group runs a week, bike rides galore, 3 different softball leagues, a trip to the top of the Crazy Horse monument, kayaking, a trip wondering around the Big Horn Mountains, and almost; but not nearly enough rounds of golf to justify a Great Life membership.
Begrudgingly I agreed that rest for my legs was necessary. The question soon became what do I do instead of running to continue to improve my fitness? Ironically, I found my answer in the dark at a group trail run in Good Earth State Park. My answer as prescribed by several local runners, the push-up challenge!
For most of my life I’ve generally avoided lifting weights or doing most anything that involved strength training. I’ve been blessed with dainty wrists and gangly limbs that in no way are conducive to building strength. That being said I’ve taken the 30 day challenge to progressively do more full on, no cheating from the knees, strength building push-ups.
Today I finished day 16 and I’ve got to tell you the push-up challenge is doing me wonders. I’m not just building arm strength – where I’m noticing the most positive gains is in my core strength. In the past I’ve had chronic low back problems that in my uneducated opinion have resulted in having a weak core. Doing regular push-ups seems to be strengthening my whole body and making me a faster runner.
What are your thoughts on the push-up challenge? Have you done it in the past and experienced positive gains in your running?
Let me know in the comments section.
Greg “PEPSI” Koch