Marathon diary: My leg and core strengthening regime
Strengthening your leg and core muscles is crucial to run a marathon successfully says Rediff.com staffer Laxmi Negi who is training to run her first full marathon on January 19.
In the third part of her diary today, she shares her leg and core strengthening workout regime.
There are just 12 days to go for the Mumbai Marathon.
By now, most runners are probably ready to rock and roll.
I, however, am a little nervous.
I've missed out on a crucial month of crucial training period and it has come back to haunt me. I am trying to make up for that but I am also racing against time.
I do not run on the treadmill. Sounds funny right? But I have developed this fear of hurting my knees and so it's a cautionary approach.
Since I am a recreational runner and I do not intend to spend a fortune on knee operations or replacements, my cardiovascular exercises in the gym consist primarily of an hour on the stepper and skipping or cycling.
The day after the long run (read more about that here) you are supposed rest the day after and on the following day work on the leg muscles again.
Strong legs make strong runners so strengthening of legs and core muscles is as important as the long run.
I ensure I include the legs-strengthening exercises twice a week.
This is my regime:
- Leg curls: 2 sets of 20 reps
- Leg extensions: 2 sets of 20 reps
- Squats with weights (10 pounds): 20 reps
- Lunges with weights (10pounds): 2 sets of 20 reps
- Wide squats with weights (15 pounds): 2 sets of 20 reps
- Calf raises (10 pounds): 2 sets of 20 reps
The tiny muscles on my thighs and calves are the result of this hard work in the gym.
The second part of the training is strengthening the core to reduce your risk of injuries.
These days I just focus on the static floor exercises:
- I start with the plank position (holding it for 1 min and 30 seconds)
- Followed by push-up planks (holding it for 1 minute)
- This is followed by the V-sit Hold. (holding it for 45 seconds)
- Earlier, it was difficult for me to hold on to the positions for 30 seconds.
The eyes are winced and you can feel the constant tension on the muscles.
It is painful but who said there is no pain in any kind of sports?
I fight with time to hold on to the position but now I can sustain it for a minute.
The increased duration of each exercise shows that I am getting fitter (grin).
At this moment I tell myself, how I wish I had worked this hard on my core muscles during my boxing days.
But no regrets, there's a sense of achievement when the trainer says 'good job'.
All I can do is close my eyes and break into a smile. I am out of breath to thank him.
Image: Strong legs make strong runners so focus on strengthening your leg muscles.
Photographs: Hughes Leglise/Wikimedia Creative Commons