Gym Workouts: Pump It or Dump It?

First off, an update on last week's training...42 miles for the week and my long run was 60 minutes, approximately 8.5 miles.  I was hoping for a 10 miler but my body was not agreeable to that.  But that's o.k., I feel pretty good about where my training stands with over 6 months until the marathon.

In the meantime here's a listing of upcoming races on my calendar:

June 7th:  Senior Concerns Love Run 10K in Westlake Village (Come on out and sign up for this local event at  Sponsored by Jersey Mike's!).

June 14th: Valley Crest Half Marathon in the San Fernando Valley (

August 22nd: This is crazy but I'm signed up for the Bulldog 50K Ultra Run in the heat of the summer.  I plan to run it purely as an "over-distance" training run, meaning fully 3 months prior to my marathon I hope to do more than the marathon distance (roughly 31.2 miles) at a "casual" pace...whatever that means.  This will mark the first time I've ever attempted more than 26.2 miles.  Bulldog is quite a challenging, hilly, trail course.  I've run the Bulldog 25K (same day) several times.  A lot of fun...but sign up soon as entries are limited (

November 6th: Calabasas Classic 10K - A premiere local event with goodie bags that are worth more than the entry fee!!

I'll sign up for more events as time moves along.  It's fun and motivational to race in preparation for the marathon distance.  Not to mention it helps you practice the art of eating/drinking on the run, which is quite important for the marathon distance.

So on to pumping iron.  Yea or nea?  Let me give you the standard depends.

Most people say moderate gym workouts are good for running as they provides good "core" muscular training of your body.  Keeping your body in good physical shape in general is good for running.  I believe in this theory and have been working out in gyms for 30 years.

Prior to my running endeavors, I'd work out in the gym 3 to 5 times per week for 45 to 75 minutes.  Over the years, I've reduced my gym workouts to 3 times per week, 20 minutes per workout, resting very minimally between sets.  Something along the lines of a "Curves" workout for women.

I don't really enjoy working out in the gym anymore, which is one reason I'm motivated to get in and out of there in 20 minutes.  I don't mess around.

But I do like the way gym workouts make me look and feel.  While it is more likely my physique would be mistaken for a flagpole over a linebacker, my belief is that gym workouts help keep me stronger for running.

Some people say working out is not helpful to running as it does not replicate the movement of your muscles when running.  I disagree and feel that keeping your muscles strong in many ways helps supplement your running.

If you were extremely limited in time and had time for only a running workout or a gym workout, I'd pick the running workout.  But I'd guilt myself into working out the next day...or at least doing some pushups and situps later that day.

Some people say working out too much makes your muscles too big and slows down your running.  This could happen to some people but for the most part that would take a lot of effort.

So in my opinion...pump it up!  At a later date I'll share more information about my quick and dirty 20 minute workouts.  Or if you are ready to start your training, there are many options listed here in CVG. Now if you don't know what you're doing in a gym, read up on it or shortcut the process by hiring a personal trainer.

If you don't like the confines of a gym, how about an outdoor boot camp?