Tag Archives: Strength Training

Cross-Training Ideas for Runners

While running is my main sport, I really love other types of fitness training too. It’s great because cross-training is really important when training for a race so I never have to completely give anything else up. Cross-training or doing other activities besides running helps build strength and flexibility, stops boredom, and prevents injury. It’s also very easy in these cold winter months to be convinced to workout indoors (where you can even wear shorts and pretend it’s not below-freezing outside!). Here are some of my favorite ways to cross-train:


  • Yoga: I love doing hot yoga and vinyasa yoga at least once a week. It is a great way for me to warm up my muscles and focus on lengthening and flexibility while also building strength. Sometimes the classes are more about my mental wellness and a relaxing rather than being strictly a workout.

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Runner Spotlight: Molly Barrie

Molly, in blue, embodies the “community” spirit of running – even in her race pictures!
Molly, in blue, embodies the “community” spirit of running – even in her race pictures!


I met Molly through the Women’s Training Program, a running/walking program coached by women, for women. Molly is the director of this amazing program and she has inspired and motivated countless women, including me! If she had a motto, it could be “no woman is left behind” – she makes sure everyone feels welcome and has someone to run or walk with, no matter their pace.  
When did you begin running and why? In 2002, shortly after I completed cancer treatment, my brother Brian was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He was a marathon runner, and due to his illness, he couldn’t run his annual 26.2. My sister suggested we run it for him. To humor her, and thinking it was a plan we would never execute, I said “Sure!” Then we discovered the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training program and realized we could raise money toward curing Brian’s disease while achieving our/his marathon goal. There was no backing out after learning that!
What is your proudest running moment? Crossing the finish line of the 2003 Marine Corps Marathon was exhilarating. Brian told us to hold a little back so we could finish strong and I think I did him proud. I actually passed people! And how many people start their racing career with a marathon? But my proudest moment came when heading back to the metro afterward. A participant was walking in front of me with her shoe untied. Not only was I able to bend over to tie it for her, I stood up again with no help!  26.2 and still moving!
Have you run the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run before? 2015 will be my first Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run. I hope it won’t be my last!
What is your “why” for running the 2015 the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run? Running through Washington DC is a thrill no matter what time of year. Running through Washington DC with 15,000 fellow running enthusiasts under the cover of fluffy pink clouds must pretty close to heaven. The race is so well known and well-loved that it was on my “must do” list
What is your goal for the 2015 Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run? I am not fast enough to win, so my race goals are always the same. Have fun and finish strong. I would love to finish the 2015 Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run in 1:50 or less with at least one person behind me and a smile on my face.
Do you have a running mantra? What is it and what does it mean to you? I don’t really have a running mantra, but I keep an internal conversation going with myself most of the time. Take it out slow. Breathe. You can do this. I thank the race volunteers and cheer on anyone having a tough time. I ask volunteers if they think I will win. Their reactions are priceless. I high-five anyone who offers their hand and laugh with the people holding the best signs.  It keeps me going until the finish line.
If you could use only one word to express what running means to you, what would it be? Community. I participate in twice-weekly group runs from Potomac River Running in Reston. On the weekends, I run with a Reston Runners group we call the BFFs for Best Foot Forward. And in the spring, I coach the Reston Runners Women’s Training Program. So yes, community sums up running to me. There is nothing more affirming than running with people who accept you, support you and push you when you need it.
What is your favorite New Balance running gear? I have been admiring the Bright Cherry Impact Capri. Cherry Blossom race. “Cherry” capri. I think it works!
What is a fun/interesting fact you learned about Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals? I love the fact that many colleges use dance marathons to raise funds. Lots of funds. Indiana University’s Dance Marathon brought in over $2.6M in 2013. That’s a lot of boogie woogie!


Kimberly, @KimberWestrich

kimwestrichKim has been running off and on for 25 years, but only recently got serious about figuring out how to keep that switch turned on. The secret for her is a broad and supportive running community through Potomac River Running Training Programs, Moms Run This Town, Reston Runners, and followers of her blog, Kim Runs Miles With Smiles. Kim will be coaching the PR Cherry Blossom Training Program at Reston in 2015 and is excited to share her enthusiasm for all things Cherry Blossom, which was her first BIG race in 2014. When she isn’t running, she is tackling the nation’s health care issues in her job as a health care services researcher for a non-profit association.

How I’m Training For The Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run

I know the official training programs for the Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run started in February, but that seemed too early for me to start training for a race that isn’t until April. Not to mention that training in the D.C. area in February this year meant braving icy or snowy trails or slogging it out on the treadmill. But, now it’s March, and the longer daylight hours–if not warmer weather–are reminding me that race day will be here soon.


I have a history of running injuries–plantar fascitis, ITB syndrome, piriformis syndrome–so I approach training for a race cautiously. No PR (personal record) is worth risking a DNS (did not start) due to injury.

I have found that running three days a week, doing strength training 3 days a week, and resting or doing a gentle yoga/stretching program on the other day works well for me.

This is what my typical training schedule looks likes:

Monday: 20-30 minutes elliptical, 30-40 minutes full body strength training
Tuesday: 45-60 minutes of running, usually a speed or hill workout (on alternating weeks)
Wednesday: 20-30 minutes elliptical, 30-40 minutes full body strength training
Thursday: 4-5 mile run
Friday: 20-30 minutes elliptical, 20-30 minutes upper body/back strength training
Saturday: long run (8-12 miles)
Sunday: gentle yoga or stretching program

For my strength training routines, I am focusing on exercises that are suggested for runners, like dead lifts, calf raises, squats, lunges, clamshells, planks, etc. On Friday I focus on upper body strength moves to give my legs a rest before my Saturday long run.

You can read more about my running and training on my blog, Running With Perseverance, or follow me on Twitter or Instagram.

Have you started following a training plan? 

Have you set a goal for race day?

Three Things You Can Do Now To Get Ready For Your Spring Race

With the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run more than eight weeks away, I’m not quite ready to start training for the race, but it’s never too early for conditioning. Here are three things that I think runners can be doing now to get ready for spring races.


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