Iron Strength Workout

Hello from our nation’s capitol!

Aerospace center building

I realize this picture means nothing to you, but this is where I get to come when I’m here. Super glam, right?

My hotel, however, is super glam. Check out the swank!


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I judge hotels on a number of factors, but I find the bath products to be highly important. This place passes the test.

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But second to the bath products and a comfortable bed, the robe is pretty important, too. At this place, you get 2 choices:

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That’s right–leopard or zebra? Decisions, decisions.

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Pretty much haven’t taken this off since I got here. πŸ˜€ I wonder what they’d think if I just wore it to the office? No, no. The leopard print is much more suited for day.


OK, I’ll shut up about the hotel now in favor of telling you about the booty-kicking workout I did this morning in the fitness room (which happens to be on my floor–score!).

I know that I have to take strength and cross training seriously if I want to run a full marathon and not get injured, so I scoured the Runner’s World website last night for some ideas. The Iron Strength Workout sounded like exactly what I was looking for. According to the website:

Dr. Jordan D. Metzl is a New York City based sports medicine physician. An accomplished marathoner and triathlete, Dr. Metzl noticed a trend in his sports medicine practice. Runners were becoming injured more often than triathletes due to a lack of cross training and overall body strength.

He created the IronStrength workout to help runners strengthen their entire bodies using only some open space, a pair of dumbbells, and a healthy dose of motivation.

The IronStrength workout should be completed in one 50-minute session once or twice a week. Runners can also pull out specific sets of exercises to work on weaker parts of their bodies.

Basically, it’s a plyometric workout that incorporates 4 supersets bookended by plyometric squats and burpees, then finishing up with planks and stretching. The site is really helpful in that it shows you how to do each exercise on video, which is perfect for dummies like me who need to be walked through it. πŸ™‚


So! Here’s what I did:

Iron Strength Workout

5 minute warm up (elliptical)

Plyometric Jump Squats 6 sets of 10

Superset #1 (Do as many sets as you can inΒ 5 minutes)

Rows from Plank (15)

Pushups (15)

Sit-ups (15)

Superset #2 (Do as many sets as you can inΒ 5 minutes)

Plyometric lunges (10)

Single leg squats (10)–switch legs with each rotation

Superset #3 (Do as many sets as you can inΒ 5 minutes)

Mountain Climbers (10)

Legs Down–lie on your back and lower your legs to within 2 inches of the floor, then lift up and lift your hips off the floor (10)

Superset #4 (Do as many sets as you can inΒ 5 minutes)

Deadlift Rows (15)

Overhead Presses–balance on one leg (15)

Bicep Curls–balance on other leg (15)

Burpees 4 sets of 10

Planks (Hold each for one minute)

Right Forearm, Center, Left Forearm

Stretch 5 minutes

I used 5 lb. weights, which was plenty for me, but you can use up to 8 lbs. If you think you’re in shape, just do some plyometrics, and you’ll quickly realize how wimpy you actually are. πŸ˜‰ I’m definitely going to try to incorporate this at least once a week.

So here’s where I need your advice, oh wise strength training friends.

Should I do my strength workouts Sunday (the day after my long run) and Tuesday (the day before my speedwork), or on Tuesday and Thursday (an easy run day), or Tuesday and Friday (the day before my long run)?

In typical fashion, I have no idea what I’m doing.


12 thoughts on “Iron Strength Workout

  1. I need to do this workout too!! I have a hard time trying to figure out where to fit in this kind of workout (I’d only do it once a week) – but I’m thinking thinking of adding it in the same day I do sprints (why not kill my body all at the same time?) or the day after. I DON’T recommend it the day before a long run – but that’s me.

    Have fun in DC!! One of these days we will be up there (I guess it’s more like – over there for you) at the same time.

    • Yeah, definitely not the day before a long run! I will tell you–I’m already sore! So I think I’ll do this workout on Thursdays with my easy run. Then I’ll have Friday to rest before the long run and maybe do some yoga. Then again, killing yourself all at once isn’t a horrible idea, either! πŸ˜‰

  2. I definitely don’t think you should do it the day before the long run either, the long run is going to take enough out of you when you get into really high mileage that you don’t need to wear your legs out before πŸ™‚ I’d also (personally) skip doing it the day after just because your body needs time to recover. I usually do yoga or take the day off the days before and after a long run (again, just me) to keep my legs fresh before and to give them time to recover after (again this is in high mileage long runs, I’d say 14 miles or more).

    I’d say do it Tues/Thurs depending how many days your running. When I write out my schedules (I work on a 3-4 day run week) its usually speed and maybe yoga on monday, strength and maybe a short run tues, tempo on wed, strength and maybe yoga or a short run on thurs, yoga or pilates on fri, long run sat, off or yoga or pilates or a walk on sun.

    Longest. Comment. Ever. Sorry friend. xoxo love you! (oh and totes jealous of your robe!) πŸ˜‰

    • Yeah, I’m thinking Tues/Thurs is a good idea. But I think I’ll do this workout on Thursdays so I have a little time to rest before the long run. I’m already sore today, so doing it the day before my speedwork might not be the best idea.

      And never apologize for long comments! I love your long comments! And your short ones, too! πŸ˜€

      PS–I’ll share the other robe with you because I love you SO much! XO

  3. Wow I like the sound of that workout! Plyometrics are definitely killer and always make me feel somewhat out of shape haha. I definitely don’t think you should strength train before your long run because you want your legs to be fresh for that!

  4. I would agree with some of the comments already on here. I don’t think it would be a good idea to do strength work the day before your long run. I’ve just reintroduced strength training back into my training. ( I had let that slip during the last few months while I was studying.) I want to get stronger in my upper body to handle the additional mileage with this marathon training.

  5. shaun davis says:

    Hi Melissa,
    this is Shaun (your mom’s trainer). As you may know I specialize athletic perfromance training. Having been on staff at E.M.U for 3 years I worked with many different kinds of athletes. I would reccomend that you do your strength training on Tuesdays & Thursdays before you run.

    • Thanks, Shaun! Do you think I should do this workout on Tuesday or Thursday? I was sore for 2 days after it this week, but I think I’ll get better at it the more I do it. Anyway, I appreciate your advice! πŸ™‚

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