I’ve run 19 marathons and have trained differently for most. My first few marathons I only ran, no cross training or weight lifting. After these marathons, I was achy for days and my legs, back, and shoulders felt like they took a beating. It didn’t take me long to realize that I needed to add something different to my routine.
In 2009 I joined a gym that was near me and began lifting weights, lightly, eventually using a plan I found in Muscle and Fitness Hers (which is one of my favorite magazines, Oxygen is a favorite too). I felt a little stronger at this point and noticed a slight change in my very skinny (from running nearly 50 miles per week) frame, with more muscle. I would head to the gym right after I left work and get my weight training in and then go directly for my run. It sounds time consuming, and it was (still is), but I really enjoy doing both so it’s time well spent. I was feeling stronger during my marathons and felt as though recovery became easier.