Saturday, December 08, 2007

Because You Love Giving Me Advice

I want to do a half-marathon in April 2008, and run as much of it as I can. This is very doable, even if I have never run more than 7 miles at a stretch. I know how to train for a marathon by adding distance incrementally, running up hills and recovering downhill to build up leg muscles, and being less concerned with speed than mileage. Go the distance. Eventually, if I can do a couple of half-marathons, I want to do a full marathon next Fall.

My question to you, readers, is how do I cross-train for this?

I have weak ankles, tore a ligament a year ago and it still occasionally gets stiff and aches, and I have steel pins attaching each big toe to my feet (arch correction surgeries, yes, medically necessary, I did not bind my feet you orientalists). So, it probably would help me to build up some strength so that all the pressure is not on my feet. I just don't know where/what to strengthen.

It's very easy to masquerade behind the appearance of slimness, when in fact you're hardly capable of arm wrestling a child. I hate the claustrophobic gym, but concede that I should go inside it next term to build up strength in other parts of my body.

So, what do I do? I have no upper body strength, abs of meal rather than steel, and so I suppose I should be doing other things. And maybe some leg exercises as well? What does one do in the gym? Do I just do machines or take a class? Which muscle groups does one work out? Which machines to use?

Suggestions are appreciated. I'm already doing light yoga-like stuff on the days I don't run, but not very seriously.