How Dana's Strength Training Improved her Monumental Run

Running has always been around – but it wasn’t until the late 1960s and 70s that it became popular.  Prior to that, it was reserved for trained athletes, and normal folks who were being chased by bears.  It’s been reported as comical to see people running of their own volition!  It was even seen as suspicious activity by local authorities, so runners were active in the morning hours so that it didn’t look like they just stole something.  One of the key influencers of the running movement is Bill Bowerman, who later became one of the co-founders of Nike.  Now, we have all sorts of ways to enjoy running – from a quick jog around the block to marathons and beyond – and FBD wants to support you through the miles. 


Dana Cristee, one of our FBD clients, shared her experience with strength training as it complements her running regimen.  She’s been doing strength training for about 8 years and offers some great advice.  “Having strong legs is a must when running long distances, but sometimes people don’t realize the importance of a strong core, strong arms and a strong back when it comes to distance running.  Maintaining a good running posture by keeping your body upright, your core lifted out of your carriage, and using your arms to help propel you forward is much easier when you work on strengthening those parts of your body in addition to your legs.”  Her favorite exercises?  Deadlifts – but “I don’t always love them when I am doing them” -and balance work.


As we get older, we should take care of our bodies and be comfortable with our natural abilities in order to maximize our individual performance.   As referenced by, it is important to

1.       Know your limits

2.       Be sure to incorporate a warmup routine

3.       Accept your pace

4.       Ease into the sport

5.       Listen to your body

6.       Add strength

7.       Take a day off


Dana has embraced this same mentality.  “I was most surprised by my ability to improve my running performance as I got older.  Although I didn’t begin running until I was 40, my best times have come after turning 50 - which coincides with me putting more time and effort into strength training.  I have also been pleasantly surprised how injury free I have been.  I attribute a large part of this to my strength work.  Lastly, I believe that strength training is mentally tough at times, and that by becoming mentally tougher in the gym, I have become mentally stronger as a runner.  It’s almost as if I can hear Rob’s voice in my head at times!”


How much is enough?  Well, that varies by your ability and goals.  Check out this Runners World link that can give you an idea of where to start.  And be sure to keep strength training as an integral part of your regimen.  Dana is committed to her workouts here.  “I look forward to my training days at FBD.  There is a positive energy of committed individuals who encourage each other to set and reach their individual goals.  The results of my training make me feel better overall - physically and mentally - and prepared to take on whatever challenges life brings my way.  I feel it is more important now than ever so that as I age, I will still be able to enjoy all the activities that I love.”


So whether you’re running a marathon, or running away from a bear, we love seeing you here and helping you achieve your fitness goals is our passion!


Real.  Positive.  Change.