I kind of hate strength training, but I’m planning to do at least two 30-minute sessions a week this marathon training cycle.
Not because it’ll make me a better runner, even though I think it will. Not because it’ll prevent injuries, even though injuries suck and I want to avoid them. And not even because I particularly care about being strong. I know enough guys (and a few ladies) with more upper-body strength than an ectomorph like me could ever build, and I can recruit them for help on the rare occasion I need a really heavy thing moved.
No. I am strength training for the Dayum Moments.
No matter how much I run, if I’m not doing any kind of strength training, my body looks approximately like it would if I weren’t running. I’ve never been one to balloon up too much if I’m being a total slacker. I run because I enjoy it.
When I got into the habit of going to a full-body strength class in early 2010, I started noticing that I actually looked as fit as I felt. I’d catch a glimpse of my stomach in the locker room mirror, and I’d see shadows around my ab. (No, I never worked out enough to get more definition than some on either side of a flat-ish rectangle atop my stomach. It was still an improvement over no definition.) I’d raise my arms to pull up my hair, and I’d see biceps. I’d say, “Dayum! Muscles!” Hence the term “Dayum Moments.”
Sometimes these moments are captured on film. Here are a few:
Near the end of last fall’s Philly Marathon. My right quad. Check that out. Granted, I wasn’t strength training much at the time, and this is probably just a spasm caused by running 25 miles, but hey, I’ll take it.
They say that people who work out for vanity’s sake aren’t as consistent about it as people who work out because they enjoy it, but how am I supposed to enjoy picking up and putting down objects in a too-hot room filled with people grunting? Suggestions?