It's been two weeks since I decided to change up my cross-training and I'm enjoying it so much more. It isn't a drastic change since I'm still doing weights plus one (or maybe more) core sessions but enough of a change that should feel better in addition to my running. The biggest change I've made is getting rid of lunges in my strength training workouts. I know they are supposed to be really good runners, especially since they are a uniliteral movement, but knees were hurting while doing them. And that kind of knee pain is not normal and wasn't happening during running or other parts of strength training. It was something with the lunges causing it so removing them was the best thing I could have done.
Since I didn't have any other uniliteral movements in my strength training, I added in one-legged deadlifts (replacing stiff leg deadlifts) to keep challenge my muscles in different ways and work on my balance. To replace the lunges, I am now doing vertical swings with a dumbbell which is a new movement to me and really fun. I like that it works both my arms and legs at the same time plus I get my heart rate up.
Here's my current strength training workout (resting for 45 seconds between sets, four sets of each superset):
Dumbell goblet squat x8
Dumbell press x8
Dumbell glute bridge x8
Air bike x8 (per side)
Vertical swing (as many reps as possible in one minute)
Dumbbell side bend x8 (per side)
One-legged deadlift x8 (per side)
Pushups x8 (trying to do from toes each time)
Throughout all of my training cycles, strength training has been key to keeping some variation in my workouts and help prevent injuries (so far, no major injuries at all!). I'm hoping this will continue through marathon training, especially now that I've made a couple of small changes. I'll continue to monitor how my body feels, especially during workouts, so I can make changes if need.