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I am starting a training regime for a 40 mile race in a couple of weeks, really excited! Partially a personal belief decision (why should I pay for a gym?/our ancestors never had them and were most definitely better athletes than me), partially due to the fact that I can't do weights anyway because of my funny back and see no point to pay 30 quid a month just for a treadmill and some mats, I called my gym membership quits.
I am in the final year of my degree at the moment and decided the best way to marry a big volume of training with a big volume of work on campus was to run to class everyday, taking detours of course to rack the mileage up to 50/60 m a week. I'm sure I'll have hurdles along the way and it won't be all so easy and beautiful, but I'm determined to train 'naturally'. Now I know some people hate this approach, and its sentimentalism is somewhat annoying, but this is a decision I really thought through, and I base it on many many reasons, quoting, amongst some, financial and health - related (as I mentioned, my back doesn't tolerate weights. Neither does it tolerate yoga.* Lucky me, it loves the all-warming, all-relaxing muscular properties of a long run.)
I'm sure some of you pretty people at some point trained with limited access to a gym. I'm getting a Garmin watch for Xmas so all my intervals will still be timed, I'll also be doing fartleks and hills. I do have a pool membership (which I really love and find the water soothing), and I access to the gym in my hometown where I travel most weekends, but lack of the gym during 80 % of my training will definitely change things up. If anyone has similar experience, did you find your running bettered or worsened with a similar approach? What is the golden ticket to still keeping my body strong and injury free? Is it terrain variation? Can you guys recommend drills/strength exercises (body's own weight only) which can prevent muscle imbalances? In fact. I still want to do strengthening exercises once a week to keep injury at bay, which ones are best and what regime worked for you? Does anyone have experience with pilates, and does it help running?
The bottom line is I suppose, I think exercise should be play, and when I run, I'm having a blast - which isn't the case with the gym, so I thought, there's no point in me being here, and I'm just going to have to find ways to train efficiently anyway.
That's a lot of questions, but I believe in you guys
*PS regarding the infamous back: Discomfort/tension/pain issues for past 5 years. Complete mystery. MRI Scans and Xrays performed and it is confirmed there is nothing medically wrong with me (no scoliosis, no slipped discs - literally nothing). Oh well. I probably have an unexplained temperamental back for life, and marathons have no negative impact on it, so I'll keep doing them anyway.