Parkrun Big Year: The role of gym

If you’re a gym frequenter, you understand (unless you’re that rare beast, the gym junkie) that time spent there mostly feels like time wasted. Gym time is either tough and unenjoyable, or manageable and boring. How then should I prioritise gym during a year centered around regular running plus some cycling? Well, for years I’ve had an understanding that a runner who neglects the gym ends up stunted, all leg and no body. And experts tell me that gym work helps older people stave off soft bones. So I’ve decided to keep up the good pressure and insist on gym’ing three times a week. Why three? Because twice a week never permits any improvement, a source of frustration. Can I fit in three gym sessions a week? This means ten exercise outings weekly (four runs, three rides, three gym trips), a relentless burden, but somehow, for this year of vaulting ambitions, the steadiness of a rich diet of bodily effort appeals. So, rather than deemphasizing gym, this year will hopefully witness modest improvement in strength, accompanied, again hopefully, by actual enjoyment. We shall see.

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