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Wise Running

Train smart, eat well, and enjoy the run.

From Runner to a Bodybuilding Runner

I will always be a runner.
I am pretty sure I was born that way.
That will not change.

I returned to competitive running in 2009 after a 25 year break.  I had run periodically, but for 25 years there was no training plan; there was no focus.  I could go months without running and just go out once in a while for a random run anywhere between 3 and 10 miles.  I could go months without running.  I was busy with career and family.

From 2009 to 2018, I was focused.   I turned to competitive running for many reasons.  My kids were growing and required less time.  I had a bit more time and energy.   I was in the midst of major life transitions and needed stress relief.  I was also in need of getting back to a good level of fitness.  Running was a match for my situation.

More than that, I am a runner.  I had been distracted by important things, but I had ignored the runner in me.

I longed to return to the days:

  • when runners high was almost a daily occurrence
  • when I felt free of the chains of stress for about an hour each day
  • when I felt the connection between my body and my soul

I simply feel like myself when I am running.

I poured myself into the role of competitive runner.  I lived and breathed it for 9 years.  I went from barely finishing my first marathon to running qualifying for Boston on a regular basis.  I went from novice runner to running coach and book author.

I eventually tried my hand at Ironman triathlons.  I completed two of them.  I enjoyed the process, but it did not feel natural to me.  I may do another in a few years, but it is not my passion.  I love to run.

I started running again in 2009 at the age of 42.  I am now 51 years old.  If I  worked very intensely, I might be able to get faster and set a couple of personal records.  I just do no not want to work that hard at running any more.  I will always love running, but I am burned out on the serious training and competition.  I will continue to run, but only when I feel like going for a run.  I will do speed work periodically, but only when I feel like running fast.  I will do long runs, but only when i feel like doing a long run.

great shapeI still enjoy those things.  I am just not willing to force myself to do them on a schedule.  I will do them for the love of running.


Phase 2: From Running to Bodybuilding

Over the last several years, I would do some intense strength training in the off seasons.  Just like running, I loved it when I was young.  Just like running, I would periodically lift weights just for the pleasure of the process.  I enjoyed it.  When I would go through this off-season strength training, my love of it was rekindled.  Now that I am taking a break from intense training for competitive running, I have time an energy to focus on strength training.  I now spend more hours lifting weights than I do running each week.

I am still a runner, but I am a runner who is also a bodybuilder.

I will run a few races now and then.  I am very involved in my local track club, supporting others as they run for fun, for health, and for competition.  I am still a runner, but I am a runner who is also a bodybuilder.

I have switched:

  • from setting running goals to setting strength and size of my muscles
  • from training programs for marathons to training programs focused on body parts (bicep is my current target)
  • from time on the road to time in the gym

Does this change who I am?  No. I am still a runner, but I am a runner who is also a bodybuilder.

  • I will do long runs, but more often I will do deep, heavy squats.
  • I will do speed work periodically, but I will spend more time doing walking lunges with 100 lbs sitting on my shoulders.
  • I will do trail runs, but I will spend more energy sculpting my arms, chest, shoulders, and back.
  • I will stop measuring success by race results and start measuring success by measuring the size and proportions of my muscles.

I consider myself to be many things: a mathematics teacher, a professor, a Christian, a father, a friend, and a runner to name a few.  It is just time to add bodybuilding to the list.

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