Strength Training for the Time-Pressed Runner

Hello!  Today I am happy to introduce my second guest blogger for the week, Ariana from Evolution by Ariana Personal Training.  I met her at BlogFest this past year, and we instantly connected and have been in touch since.  Ariana is a running coach and strength training expert, so she is the perfect person to be writing on this topic.  Enjoy!

Strength Training For the Time-Pressed Runner

Hi Everyone!

Ariana here, from Evolution by Ariana Personal Training. Im thrilled to have the opportunity to write a post for Kayla, because not only do I work with a ton of runners, but Im also a runner myself!

After dealing with a difficult injury for almost two years, I have made it my mission to help other runners avoid the mistakes I made by learning how to effectively incorporate strength training into their routine.

Now if youre a runner who spends any time on the internet (which, clearly you are), you have most likely read that you need to do some strength training. You may have even found a few articles on the best exercises for runners, bookmarked them, and then never went back to them.

One of the barriers that many runners I work with is a lack of time. Some of you may be running three, four, or even five days a week. Combine that with work commitments, family obligations, and a social life, and that doesnt leave a whole lot of room for much else.

But strength training is SO important when it comes to becoming a strong, fast runner who is less likely to get injured. So today Im going to share a few simple tips for incorporating strength training into your running program without taking up too much of your time!

  • Perform compound movements as opposed to isolation exercises. Compound movements work more than one muscle group at a time, giving you more bang for your exercise buck. 
  • Complete exercises that directly improve your running. Strength training is great, but not every exercise is going to translate to improved running performance! Bicep curls and leg extensions have no place in a running program, unless you’re trying to beef up your biceps or quads. Try exercises like walking lunges and one-arm rows, which mimic certain movements performed while running.IMG_0973
  • Invest in 1-2 pieces of exercise equipment so you can do your workout at home. A 30-minute strength workout may only be 2% of your day, but when you factor in getting to and from the gym, finding parking, getting a locker, etc., 30 minutes can quickly become 60. You can get a great workout at home using a resistance band, a kettle bell, or, if you’re creative, your own body!IMG_3150
  • Perform your strength training on one of your shorter run days. If you’re already running five days per week, you’ll want to keep those two days of recovery, especially once you begin throwing strength training into the mix. Depending on where you are in your running season, you can perform your exercises before or after a shorter run, or you can split your workouts up and perform one in the AM and one in the PM. 

The vast majority of us run because we love to do so. And it can seem a little overwhelming to throw in additional exercise sessions, especially if we aren’t super fond of strength training. But by effectively incorporating strength training into our routine, we can save time later down the road by getting faster (which means shorter training sessions!) and not having to deal with injuries.

Do you incorporate strength training into your routine? If so, how do you manage to fit it all in?


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5 Tips to Stay Fit While Traveling

Hello!  I am on vacation this week, so I’ve decided to bring in a couple of guest bloggers for you!  The first guest post is from Lunden at Life Like Lunden.

Staying Fit While Traveling

She does a great job at describing her background and introducing herself so I’m going to get right into her post!

5 Tips to Stay Fit While Traveling

Whether you’re like me, and have a wanderlust spirit and love to travel the world, or you find yourself traveling a lot on business – you’ve come to the right place. Well, that is if you want to do so while maintaining your fit and healthy habits. There are two things I have come to realize when it comes to staying fit and active while being away from home: you don’t need a lot of time to fit in a workout and you don’t always have the luxury of a hotel gym where you are staying. So, I have some tips for you guys whether you’re a fitness junky (like me) or are just looking to move a bit more during your stay.

1. Book a biking or walking tour

This is a great alternative to bus tours. You get to move and explore at the same time. Biking tours are my favorite because you can cover more ground and end up seeing a lot more. Plus, you might meet some cool new friends on the ride as well.

Staying Fit While Traveling

2. HIIT it and go

High intensity interval training is perfect while traveling because you can get it done quick AND you can do it without any gym equipment. I always do a HIIT workout first thing in the morning when I am traveling because it jumpstarts my day and my metabolism and gives me a giant boost of energy! When I traveled to Budapest with my boyfriend, we were in this tiny hotel room with barely any room. But, I definitely managed to squeeze in a 7-minute HIIT workout – and it was a real burner.

3. Wear comfortable shoes

Use your feet and get in more steps. If you are completely lost and really don’t know where you are going then taxi if you must. But, if you have on a good pair of walking shoes just go for it. It’s less expensive and better for you anyway.

4. Go for a run

Explore your surroundings with a morning run. This is perfect for those of you traveling on business. You can sneak in a quick run before your first meeting and perhaps go over any details in your head.

5. Stay hydrated

Always, always, always have a water bottle with you and drink up! If you are walking a lot or enjoying some alcoholic beverages your body is going to need it. Water is one of those things we often forget about when traveling – don’t forget it!

Staying Fit While Traveling

Lunden is a Certified Personal Trainer & Fitness Nutrition Specialist. She inspires Runtastics worldwide with weekly fitness, nutrition and wellness tips via the Runtastic Fitness Channel on YouTube and throughout the Runtastic Ecosystem. She also boasts specializations in TRX suspension and Rip training, is a certified Tabata instructor and an enthusiastic Sweat Pink ambassador. You can find more from Lunden on and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Periscope!



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Friday Five: Things I’m Loving

TGIF, friends!  I don’t know about you but Friday snuck up on me this week, which is definitely a good feeling!    Not only that but tomorrow I leave for the beach for a week!  Speaking of which, I’ll be having some guest bloggers next week, so keep an eye out for that :)

Today I’m sharing with you five things I’ve been loving lately.

1. Epsom Salt for Post-Workout

I have used epsom salt for soaking sore muscles after workouts for a few years now, and I love it.  Just recently Dr. Teal’s came out with this epsom salt specifically for pre or post workout.  The scent is invigorating and the menthol tingles my sore muscles in a good way!

image22.  Bai 5 Drinks

image1I just discovered Bai 5 a couple weeks ago, and have since fell in love!  My favorite flavor is definitely their Molokai Coconut – literally tastes like a pina colada!  And for only 10 calories in the whole bottle?  I’ll take it!

3.  Bath and Body Works Wine Scents

I went into Bath and Body works the other day and was delighted to find a whole new line of scents devoted to wine!  I try not to drink wine too much, or any alcohol for that matter, since it’s just empty calories.  I have now found a way to get my wine fix for zero calories!  Can I get a Hell Yeah?!


It took me a good twenty minutes to smell all of the scents, and smell them all again….and again before choosing on hand soaps and candles!

4.  Nighttime Healthy Snack Plates

I am a total snacker at night.  I need my dessert or I literally cannot go to sleep. It just doesn’t feel right.  And there has to be chocolate somewhere in that snack plate or life doesn’t feel complete.  I like snack plates rather than just one big dessert because I feel like I’m eating more and I’m getting little tastes of different things.


On this snack plate, I have watermelon, strawberries, blueberry flavored Blue Diamond almonds (loving these too right now!), and a zucchini oat brownie (recipe from Ambitious Kitchen.)

5.  Speed Work

I know speedwork is some runners least favorite thing to do, but lately it has been my favorite.  Endurance has been my weak point right lately.  Most of it is mentality I think.  I guess I find it boring.  I’ve always been more of one for short periods of intense bursts followed by rests.

My favorite drill as of lately has been a 4 minute on, 2 minute off drill on the treadmill.

…and a bonus

6.  Starbucks PSL news!

Maybe you’ve already heard but Starbucks is now putting REAL pumpkin in their Pumpkin Spice Lattes (go figure!), and they are also taking out the caramel coloring that they used to use in the recipe!

Go Starbucks.  All the more reason for me to indulge in a few PSLs this Fall!

Blondes Have More Run Week In Review

Full Body Strength Workout w/ a Printable PDF


Mexican Stuffed Peppers

Healthy Mexican Stuffed Peppers

Questions for you:

What have you been loving this week?

Do you use Epsom salt?

Are you more a fan of speed work or endurance?

What’s on your nighttime snack plate?

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