I know that a lot of readers out there are runners, like me. I am guessing that like me, you all struggle with strength training and crosstraining when you are focused on race prep. You need to run 4-6 days per week (normally) and it just makes it feel difficult to try and fit in any more workouts on top of those running workouts. Especially once you get to the point where you are training for time rather than just to finish. Then you start to throw speedwork, tempo runs, and hard workouts into the mix rather than just junk miles, just running.
I know that just logging miles is not the whole picture. I know that just running my workouts (including any speedwork or hard workouts that I might do) is not going to give me the full results that I want. Not to mention, I am not going to be as strong as I know that I can be.
That is why, this time, I want to take a different approach. I have always trained for a full marathon, and just run halfs along the way. So I haven't actually had the luxury of training to run a half. Unless you count the one I ran in early November (I am not counting that since I didn't actually train for it!)... So maybe the luxury of shorter weekend runs, less miles needed, etc, should allow me time for strength training and crosstraining. I am really planning on coming up with a plan for this training cycle that will incorporate all of the things that I need to make me a strong runner and to keep me from getting too overwhelmed with running (and therefore losing my motivation).
Everyone knows the benefits of crosstraining and strength training. And we are not immune to injuries. Doing the strength training and the crosstraining will help with those injuries.
I am really planning on trying to turn over a new leaf with this training cycle so I can achieve all of the goals that I want. I think that I would like to incorporate 2 days/week of strength training and crosstraining along with 4 days of running. I am going to explore training programs online (some free, and potentially looking at some paid ones as well), and see what I can find that will suit my needs and help me reach the goals that I have set for myself.
Does anyone have any good training plans that are free out there? Or how about paid ones? Any one used McMillan? A paid runners world plan?