Why I Quit Running and got the Results I Always Wanted

Why I Quit Running and got the Results I Always Wanted

Why I quit running and got the results I always wanted

I Realized that a runner’s body was not my goal

First of all, I was never a HUGE runner. The biggest race I ever ran was only a 5k. But, I did have to work my butt off to get up to that and it was something that I was super proud of! The year Josh and I got married, I ran that 5k distance 3-4 times a week, got my time down to an 8 minute mile, and went from an 8 dress size to a size 6. I also weighed about 116 lbs.Why I Quit Running and got the Results I Always Wanted

While I was super proud of all those accomplishments, and I was happy that I had gotten skinnier, I wasn’t quite satisfied with the body that I was getting. I remembered in high school having to squeeze my pants over my butt, and I was pretty proud of my curvy figure back then. But now it seemed that I had misplaced my curvy butt one day while out on a run. After seeing picture of myself from behind, I thought to myself, “Huh…. where’d my 

butt go??” I also noticed that I was significantly weaker. And being the kind of girl who likes to say, “I got it!” that didn’t really fly.

I began to look around at the other girls in the gym…

…and to be very honest, the ones to whom I thought, “Fitness goaaaals…!” were not the ones spending 50 minutes on the treadmills. They were the ones who weren’t afraid to go where all the huge men were bulking about with their sleeveless shirts and protein shakes.

I began to incorporate more strength into my daily cardio routine.

After a three mile run I would do some pushups, wall sits, lunges, and then call it a day. I noticed a little bit of firmness in my legs but no where near the goals I had in mind. Meanwhile, my husband had been weight lifting and doing bodyweight workouts this entire time. In doing some research he found numerous articles on fitness websites making claims such as this:

“While cardio burns calories and fat when you’re performing it, high rep strength training has what is known as high EPOC or “Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption.” This is a fancy term for saying how long your metabolism is elevated after exercise.

Studies show that a well-designed strength program can elevate your EPOC or metabolism for up to 38 hours after the workout. In other words, you continue to burn calories long after strength training. Whereas once you stop cardio, the calorie burning stops as well.”

(Quote taken from Bodybuilding.com)Why I quit running and got the body I always wanted.

After few weeks of nagging me to join him in the weight room, I decided to suck it up and give it a try.

My biggest fear when beginning strength training was that everyone would look at me and judge how much I couldn’t lift. When I told Josh, this is how that short conversation went:

Josh: “I don’t know about girls… But  guys aren’t looking at how much you’re lifting.”

Me: “You mean you didn’t see that pretty girl over there lifting like 200 pounds…?”

Josh: “Nope. I just saw a girl lifting. Not the weights she had on the bar.”

Me: “Huh.”

I can always count on him to be honest.

And that first day I only did squats and deadlifts with the bar. No added weights. And yes, I was sore the next day.

I’m now up to squatting 100 pounds AND close to weighing 130 pounds and have never been happier with my fitness level.Screen Shot 2016-01-15 at 10.45.26 PM

Top 10 reasons why I love strength training:

  1. It’s a heck of a lot less boring than cardio.
  2. For me, a more interesting and varied workout = way more motivation to actually get out and go to the gym.
  3. I finally started seeing the results I wanted.
  4. People stopped telling my “You look great for having a kid” and started stopping at “You look great!”
  5. Exercise induced asthma + too much cardio = wheezing suckiness
  6. Healthy muscle soreness is one of the most satisfying feelings I know.
  7. The hubs and I have another hobby to do together and talk about.
  8. My son will have awesome memories of a fit and active mommy.
  9. I can do strength training in my own home, when the baby is awake or asleep, and never have to leave the house if it’s not a good day.
  10. I feel confident, instead of intimidated, when I walk in the gym. Or anywhere.
  11. I FEEL great! (Sorry, I couldn’t fit all the pros into a list of 10).Lovely ladies, if you’ve been wanting to give strength training and weight lifting a shot but have been toointimidated or not sure where to start, please, give it a try! Trust me, it’s only scary until you try it for the first time!script sigWhile I was super proud of all those accomplishments, and I was happy that I had gotten skinnier, I wasn’t quite satisfied with the body that I was getting. I also noticed that I was significantly weaker. And being the kind of girl who likes to say, “I got it!” that didn’t really fly.
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    I love strength training and I agree that the after workout soreness is the best feeling

    Ashlee - My Life In Snippets

    I totally know how you feel. I’ve been a runner forever, but this winter, I haven’t been able to get out to run as much so I’ve turned to mixing up my workouts with some strength and a little cardio. 🙂 What are some of your favorite strength workouts/moves?


    After reading this post I feel that I really need to transition to weights and not focus on cardio so much. I feel like I have been doing heavy cardio exercises for so long and not been able to reach my body goals. I loved reading this post.


    Yes! i really enjoy strength training! never been much of a runner – I’d much rather work out! 😀


    This seems like such a better option for me…I can’t get myself to stick with cardio! And you do look great by the way!

    Angela Tolsma

    Oh gosh I miss strength training and running! Great post

    Elizabeth Edgar

    Great info! I will be pinning this. I am considering buying a treadmill to put in the garage to start running. I have always loved to run growing up, but I am going to add weights to my exercise plan after reading this. I have a delicious booty and I’d like to keep it. Thank you!

    The Southern Stylista

    This is awesome! I used to be a cardio bunny, but now I’ve moved into a lot more strength training!

    xoxo, SS

    The Southern Stylista


    Besides the physical change I’ve loved seeing it’s great as we age to reduce osteoporosis as it provides support to our skeletal system!


    You read my mind! I have been doing high intensity training but also pushing myself to run with friends 5-6 miles. All that has done has hurt my knees! I can run 5 miles but am more proud of the muscles I have been building with weights and body weight exercises! Thank you!

    Deb Leigh Kiser

    I am a Personal Trainer and this is what I love to hear! Well written and thank you for sharing!! I am so glad your enjoying strength training!


    I feel the same way, I get so bored with just cardio. Plus, having 3 kids, I get plenty of cardio running around & playing with them. I have found a love of Pilates, but would love to incorporate more weight training into my routine! Would you mind sharing how you weight train at home? I don’t have the ability to go to a gym, so I would love to know how you still get it done at home! Thanks!


    You look great! I love your blog, however I picked up a bit of a negative tone towards runners that can be misleading to readers. Your results are not completely from quitting running as your title suggests….your results are because you started strength training. As someone who participates in races all over the country, I’ve seen all shapes and sizes at every race and can say with certainty that there is most definitely no such thing as a “runner’s body”. Your results while running was just how YOUR body responded to that particular exercise. Plenty of runners like myself run AND strength train and have very curvy toned bodies!

    Lindsey M. Hughes

    Just discovered you last night! I’m loving your blog! I too ran because I thought I wanted a runner’s body, lean legs etc…I did a 1/ 2 marathon & loved training, although I never got the body I wanted!! My butt had completely disappeared too! Not cool! I ended up tearing my anterior tibilais tendon & had to have surgery! I’m 10 months out & have strength trained this entire time, since post op day 8! My hubs came home at lunch and took me & my crutches to the gym everyday to get me out the house! I.Love.IT! My legs are finally changing after 3 years of being on this fitness/health journey! I’m getting leaner now than when I was running! (I also fast 12-14 hours after my last meal. I usually break the fast with protein after the gym. For me this has tremendously helped my “hangri-ness”! If I eat early, I’m hungry all day! If I fast, I’m not hungry til 10-12. . I’m 34 & weigh less then I ever remember! 6’0, 148 lb, down to size 4 from 8ish.)
    Lifting weights is so good mentally as well! It’s a great stress reliever! I ran 2 miles last week & loved every minute of it but I’ll always put strength training before running because the results are amazing!! Keep lifting my Sista!

    Laura Ketchie

    I agree, strength Training is so SATISFYING! I feel more accomplished when I see gains in strength than I do burning out on jump tucks or the like. Cardio just leaves me breathless and tired. Strength Training makes me feel more alive.


    Do you do any cardio? I can no longer run but can brisk walk long. I have grown to love this. I have also always strength trained but I am going to incorporate more of it now. can you share some of your routine with us?


      I do! Currently I spend about 10-15 minutes running/sprinting on the treadmill and then I’ll go somewhat hard on the stair stepper for about 5 minutes before the rest of my workout. I usually will have a quads day with back and core mixed in, a hamstring/glutes day with back and core mixed in, and then an upper body day. I’m not super scientific about my approach but I try to have certain days for different muscle groups.