Two easy miles on the treadmill with some hard strength training in between over my lunch "hour".
I have some thoughts on weight training and strength training that I want to throw out there. Particularly as it relates to the Masters runner.
I never did any strength training when I was in college or in my 20s or 30s. About 3 years ago, I added weights and a lot of body weight strength training to my training. I did this as an experiment at first, but I continued it because I loved the way it made me feel. For example, I haven't had a back ache in about 3 years. In my 30s (I'm 47 now), I had chronic back pain and I generally chalked it up to aging. Funny!
As far as running goes, I reasoned that a loss of muscle mass and the corresponding loss of speed and power was a big contributor to slower times after 40. If we loose about a half % of muscle mass/year after 35 and close to 1% annually by about 55, can't weight training counteract that? At least for a while?
So I would generally say that weight training is more important to the Masters runner than it is for youngsters. I remember way back in 1980 when I was in 9th grade, reading an interview in Runner's World with fitness pioneer Jack LaLane. I remember him saying that he admired the achievements of marathon runners like Bill Rogers, but he wouldn't concede that they were fit. "What if we could add 20% to Bill Rogers overall strength from head to toe without adding significant weight?". His reasoning was that Rogers would be a much better runner.
I also believe that strength training helps my aging body stand up to the rigors of hard training better and builds bone density which makes it much less likely that I will suffer through things like stress fractures. I personally have a hard time training above 70 or 80 MPW consistently because my body just gets that general beat-up feeling. I think strength training helps me avoid that.
It's also great for those of us with excess flab. Weight training gives a superior metabolic burst to running.
I'm conscious of the idea that any excess weight/bulk can be detrimental. However, the older you get, the less likelihood there is of that and lots of mileage makes it unlikely for any of us.
Anyway, I'd appreciate any thoughts about anyone's attitude towards strength training.
More running this afternoon - not sure how much more. My daughter has started running and wants to do the Beat the New Year 5k. So I'm running with her some. Fun.
PM: 100 floors on the stair master and 6 miles on the treadmill