Maggie Callahan on The Benefits of Strength Training

2018 is the Year of Strength and we’re discovering what it means to be a strong, powerful runner (spoiler: it’s achievable!).

Maggie Callahan Strength Training

Last month, we talked lifting and the many benefits of strength training:

And today, I want to introduce you to one of the stars of our new lifting program: Maggie Callahan.

I had the pleasure of getting to know Maggie last fall when she modeled the exercises for our new strength training program.

We spent a few hours at a weight lifting gym called Barbell Strategy in Boulder, CO. Maggie and Addie Bracy (2x Mountain Runner of the Year) demonstrated 40+ exercises and we had a videographer to capture all of the magic.

During her time at the University of Arizona, she won the PAC-10 Steeplechase Championship (she’ll also tell you that she’s twice won her beer in weight!).

Her PR for the steeple – one of my absolute favorites – is 10:03 or the equivalent of about 10:45-10:50 for 2-miles (with 30-inch barriers and water jumps). It’s quite impressive.

Now, Maggie trains under elite coach Brad Hudson. Brad, as I’m sure you know at this point, is the author of my favorite book on running – Run Faster: How to be Your Own Best Coach From the 5k to the Marathon.

If you don’t own this book, go buy it. You won’t regret it.

Back to Maggie: just last month she got on the podium at the Arizona RnR Hlaf Marathon, running 1:17:20 for third place.

And I’m thrilled she’s on the podcast to talk about her running and the benefits of strength training she has personally experienced.

Maggie Callahan: “I feel like a more complete athlete”

Maggie Callahan Running

Lifting has changed Maggie’s running – and she’s on the SR podcast to explain how. There are a lot of ways that strength training has benefitted her running:

  • Her ability to recover quickly is directly tied to lifting (and how good she feels on a daily basis)
  • How strength training reestablished some of her lost athleticism from her high school years as a 4-sport athlete
  • What she would say to women who think weight lifting at the gym might be intimidating

This is a behind the scenes look at how an elite runner benefits from strength work, how she programs it into her schedule, and why she now considers lifting “non-negotiable.”

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There are many reasons why I wanted to talk to Maggie.

First, she’s a woman that performs somewhat advanced movements in the gym. She talks specifically about the benefits of strength training for women and that we don’t need to design different programming for men vs. women.

I love that she breaks down this barrier and hopefully, in case you don’t want to listen to me, you’ll listen to Maggie. If we can get a few more women in the weight room, that’s success.

She also complete undermines the notion that runners are weak. I despise this sentiment – and it’s usually leveled at runners by hulking gym rats or CrossFit bros.

And it’s simply not true.

Give me someone who can run fast and I’ll show you their strength.

As Randy Hauer told me on Episode 49 of the podcast,

There are no weak, fast runners.

The truth is that if you don’t lift weights, you’re probably going to be weak. Just like if you don’t run, you’re probably going to be slow.

If you don’t want to be weak, if you want to see the type of lifting that Maggie does and that we recommend at Strength Running, I have something that you’re going to love.

Sign up here and you’ll get a daily lesson on the benefits of strength training, mistakes to avoid, the types of lifting that runners should do, and a lot more.

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