Monday, March 14, 2016

LIFT OFF

Few of us have trouble logging our daily miles. In fact, for the most part, we enjoy lacing up our shoes, confronting whatever weather conditions Mother Nature may throw our way, and completing our workout.

Today we log our workout, post it, or tweet it out. We make sure we are wearing proper footwear, we ice, and we stretch.

Too often, however, we mistakenly think that all of the above is enough to maximize our performances.

It is not.

From the waist down, most of us are finely tuned running machines.

If we neglect our upper body, however, our highly-muscled lower half will offer a stark contrast to our mashed potato-like higher half.

Look, we're not looking to become bodybuilders. In fact, when Uncle Pete tells us, "You look bad. Why are you losing so much weight?" We take that as a compliment.

It doesn't take much time, or iron to match your upper body to your below-the-waist running machine.

Two or three days a week my lifting regimen includes a workout that lasts for less than a half hour. I begin with bench presses. I do three sets of fifteen, with a two minute break between each set. (Forty years of running have hopelessly addicted me to my watch, so that two minute rest is right down to the second) Select a weight that is comfortable for you. If you are straining to complete the last rep, you have set your weight too high. Next, I do three sets of curls, twenty-five reps per set. Again, keep your weight at a comfortable level. Finally, I finish, with three sets of fifteen rows. Standing, I bend over, pick up the weights, elbows locked, and "row," straight up to my chest, dropping my elbows back to the locked position after each rep. With all the exercises, I rest for two minutes in between.

You may be a little sore next day, therefore, I never lift the day before a race, long run, or speed workout.

Each night, I do a set of crunches, for the abs. I would suggest starting out with fifty, and move up from there.

One of my closest running mates is Eric Anchorstar. He is a member of the 'Cast of Characters' in my book, Running Shorts. www.muldowneyrunning.net, amazon.com/author/joemuldowney.

Eric successfully made the transition from body builder to marathon runner, and has run a sub 3-hour marathon. His story is remarkable, and I lean on him for weightlifting advice.

So, pump it up, hit the iron, and lift off..