Fine Tuning: Amy Weber Shares How She Uses Nexus to Boost Her Marathon Training
Amy Weber is a mom, wife, marathon runner and member at Nexus Fitness on the Xcel side. She turns 60 next month!! In her blog, she tells us how she got hooked on running and tips to in shape at any age.
Upon completing a marathon in Seattle last October, I felt it was time to add a new cross-training dimension to my workouts. I attended a class at Nexus Fitness with friends and was hooked! I love the Xcel class, though even as an avid runner, the Trueform took a little getting used to. The workouts are always changing and are still challenging, but I’ve seen the results of cross-training in my core strength.
Being the oldest in the class, I was worried about keeping up. Fortunately, everyone is busy with their own workout that they aren’t concerned about the person next to them. I enjoy every instructor – each one provides something different to their class. However, it is always a treat to have Chris Wade teach the class!
Running has been a way of life for me since I was 25. I had always been active growing up, swimming and playing tennis competitively. In 1984, during the Vulcan 10k, I was cheering my husband on, and as I watched all the runners go by (in all shapes and sizes), I said to myself, “I can do that.” I bought my first pair of running shoes that week, and have never looked back. A daily workout is like brushing my teeth.
Over the years, running has been many things for me. Before I had children, it was an activity my husband and I could enjoy together. After my twins were born, it was the one hour a day that I had to myself. As my children grew and had activities of their own, I began to have more time to devote to setting goals for myself. I promise, young mothers, you will get there!
I have tried to set a good example of living a healthy lifestyle, because exercise for me, is just important as sleep. You need it to live a balanced life. My children have never known me to be without my running shoes and thankfully, I have passed these good habits on to my children.
This year, I was fortunate enough to complete the London Marathon on April 28, with my family cheering me on. This race has been on my bucket list for years. Along with 49,000 other runners from around the world, I covered 26.2 miles of the sites and streets of London. It was better than I could have imagined.
When I began training for the London Marathon in November, I could tell a difference in my strength and endurance since I had been attending Xcel once or twice each week. My upper body had really strengthened. I dropped back to one day a week at Xcel as my marathon training became more demanding. My run coach agreed — the cross training at Nexus was making a difference.
A typical week during a marathon training cycle looks something like this:
- Monday: cross-training at Nexus
- Tuesday: speed work
- Wednesday: could be another cross-training day, or rest
- Thursday: a long run, 6-10 miles, at marathon pace
- Friday: an easy 4-5 miles
- Saturday: a long run, 12-18 miles, with a couple of 20 milers (my favorite)
- Sunday: rest day
We have a great running community in Birmingham. I am a member of the Birmingham Track Club. We have organized runs on Saturday from TRAK SHAK in Homewood. These are some of the nicest and most interesting people you will meet. It doesn’t hurt we all share the love of running. After all, if you are willing to start running at 5 a.m. on Saturday mornings, you want like-minded people by your side.
As I quickly approach 60, I have begun looking at races as adventures. Instead of always striving for a time goal, I want to enjoy the journey. I am currently working on the Abbott World Majors. This is a challenge to complete the six major marathons of the world: New York, Boston, Chicago, London, Tokyo and Berlin. I have run New York, Boston, Chicago and London. My next race will hopefully be Tokyo in March. Berlin will complete the challenge.
I have many young people tell me they want to be me when they grow up and I take this as a compliment. My advice to staying active is; find something you love, don’t go overboard, or you will end up injured or burnt out. Try and make it part of your everyday routine, and mix it up every now and then with another activity.
There are days I am tired and don’t think I can hit my goals, but just getting out there and trying is an accomplishment. You will probably feel really good when you finish your workout too. I think whatever you choose to do to stay active, gives you goals to reach for, whether it be weight loss or to relieve stress. You will find yourself eating healthier, because your body performs a whole lot better when it is properly fueled.
I have already begun training for my next adventure. My husband and I will be joining my teammates in Utah in October for a Trail Fest. Over three days we will run the trails of Bryce Canyon, Zion National Park, and the Grand Canyon. Our daughter is coming along, as well. Being able to share this experience with my family and friends is priceless. Hopefully, I will squeeze in a fall marathon, as well. After all, I will have my strength training from Nexus, and the miles of training.