I read it at the insistence of my coach back in January, and it's been a pretty significant part of my training since I moved into my house in early February. (I would have started sooner, but some of the equipment I needed to do the strength exercises was stuck in storage. Just another way in which our homebuilder screwed us. I'm not still bitter about it, I promise.)
Anyway, the book was written by Eric Orton, the coach mentioned in Born to Run, also a good read for runners.
While I really enjoyed Born to Run, reading The Cool Impossible was like... eating spinach. Can't say I love it, definitely don't hate it, just find it necessary. When I run, I really hate thinking about things like form, cadence, stride length, etc... I just want to go out there and do it, ya know? Clear my head. Feel good.
But implementing the strength exercises in this book has probably kept me going strong and free from overuse injuries, important as I've added a lot more mileage over the past two months. (And I've fallen victim to runner's knee, IT band issues, and lower back pain while training for prior half marathons.)
The strength exercises are hard. I only do them on days that I run, and alternate between a set of leg strengthening movements and core movements. The leg stuff takes forever - but I'll usually throw on House of Cards or the latest The Walking Dead to make the time a little less torturous.
Whether or not this torture has made me any faster is questionable. But like I already said, I am happy to have remained injury-free, and I've definitely seen improvement in my ability to execute the movements without falling on my face.
My husband tends to give me the eyebrow raise every time I pull out the equipment needed to strength train: my ski poles, slant board, and stability ball. You know, one of these looks:
He finds my CI exercises to be weird and slightly amusing, but whatever. Glad I can keep him entertained.
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Today's exercise: Rest.