A Weighty Issue

Blimey, don’t know about you but where on earth has January gone? It’s the 1st of Feb and although as I look out the window the wind is howling and the sea is swollen (I am dog sitting on the Helford river in Cornwall) there is that little glimpse of spring around me, the daffs are out and the rhododendrons are in full bloom. Training through January has been pretty grim, dark mornings and nights, flooded trails and mud glorious mud but somehow I feel my running has been going pretty well and I am actually getting faster, something I was truly concerned wouldn’t happen after my shocking 2015.Although not anywhere near my best, as a result of some good consistent sessions my easy runs have got faster without extra effort and my HRs have come down. These sessions have been a mix of tempo/1/2marathon/10k pace runs, hills reps mixed in with faster flatter reps and some long MRP runs. Three sessions a week padded out with easier runs, a mid week longer run and a long run on the Sunday. I’ve also chucked in a few park runs which I had forgotten how much I enjoy. The one thing I have let slip is my strength and conditioning which I feel really annoyed about. I usually do at least 2 x 45 min sessions per week but this has slipped to one at most. I can only put this down to a mixture of lack of time (and I know I should just take out an easy run and replace with a gym session, but I find this really hard to do….stupid I know! I won’t turn into a pumpkin or anything) also because I didn’t do any weights over Christmas I ached so much after my first session back that I struggled to do my session two days later. I know when I am doing my strength work religiously I feel and look better and think it can only help my running and injury prevention…right?

I put this question to the twitter community ‘how do you fit S&C into your busy training week without it being detrimental to your training?’……the general consensus was to break up the S&C into smaller sessions per week or some just don’t believe in it at all. I guess my reasoning is that I pay a gym membership and going to the gym for 20 mins, 2/3 times per week is a bit of a waste of my limited time. So I am back to square one…..for now as I am away from home I am trying to do 20 mins of core and glute work at the end of the day (even this is problematic as I have 5 dogs trying to join in with me and steal my massage ball…….I realise I am still making excuses!) but what to do when I return home? Cancel the gym membership and commit to a home program or stick with the gym?


What does everyone else do in regards to S&C? yes….no….when…where…what? I would love to know.




6 thoughts on “A Weighty Issue

  1. I will be honest Holly i am nowhere near your standard and I can only imagine the distances you cover but since I focused more on exercises that will help my running rather than just a general all round work out it has really helped. A lot of core of course with a lot of focus on the oblique muscles down the side of your body (really helps on a windy day), Pilates is awesome too. But other than core I go with box jumps and leg extensions for power and dead lifts to work the hamstrings and glutes. Also started doing a lot lunges either with a medicine ball out in front and moving to each side as I lunge or holding weights above my head… These are amazing for core, legs, glutes and shoulders! I also try and work a bit of the upper body but mainly exercises that incorporate large groups of muscles such as push ups, chest press, single arm or bent over row or even seated row. If you have a trx thingy at the gym it makes the row exercise and push ups doubly hard but worth it. I have also started practising chin up’s/pull up’s which helps with hack strength as well as shoulders and arms!


  2. Hi Holly,

    I write for Forever Sports magazine and I am keen to do an interview with you about ultra-running for a feature in our next issue. Please do drop me a line if you’re interested. Best wishes, Mark Bailey


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