Workout Wednesday + Birthday Boy

It’s Wednesday! Today is an extra special Wednesday because it’s Kyle’s birthday! He’s not here to celebrate this year, but he’ll be back in two weeks (!!!) and we’ll celebrate then. That will also be around our two-year Tinderversary, so you know we’ll have to celebrate that as well 😉  So excited!

My favorite photo I took on last year's birthday :)

My favorite photo I took on last year's birthday :)

Honestly, Wednesdays are pretty important to me — easily a top seven day of the week 😉  They signal the halfway point of the work week, are psychologically easier to handle than Mondays and Tuesdays and, now, they give me the motivation to put together new workouts since I’ve started this here feature. I don’t know about you guys, but I’m definitely more motivated to work out when I’ve got something new and fun planned to look forward to.

Today’s workout is all about upper body. It can’t all be about running here, folks. OK, that’s a lie, because it’s actually pretty important to also have a strong upper body in addition to the obvious strong legs and glutes you need to be a strong, healthy runner.

Why? A strong upper body can help you use energy more efficiently and save your legs during tough miles. That arm swing is about more than just having something to do with your arms. It can actually help propel you forward while running. 

This week’s circuit is a mashup of my favorite upper body exercises split into three circuits. All you need is a pair of dumbbells, using a weight that will provide a burn during the final one-third of each set. For me, I use 5-pound weights because that’s what I have at home, but I would use 8- or 10-pound weights at the gym for most of these exercises. The 5-pounders still do the job! You’ll see that we’re dealing with a fair amount of reps. 

It burns! If you're a beginner or haven't worked your upper body recently or regularly, start slow and repeat each circuit twice instead of three times, and adjust the amount of reps/weight as needed. I am also terrible a pushups, so I end up doing most of them on my knees (no shame!).

I try to incorporate workouts like these into my cross-training or easy run days, like today. This workout will be completed by the time I get to work, and I’ve got an easy five miles planned for this evening. I can’t emphasize enough how important strength workouts are to improving as a runner and staying healthy. I know I’m going to see such a big difference in these final seven weeks of half marathon training, and it’s going to do me good in the end.

What kind of cross-training do you do?
What are your favorite upper body routines?
     I also really love Tone It Up arm routines on YouTube. Favorites are here and here.

Anyone else have a birthday coming up? How are you celebrating