Episode 50

Published on:

10th Jan 2024

050 Mary Johnson - Making Strength Training Less Scary and More Approachable

Episode Summary

Mary Johnson is a running and strength coach and Founder of Lift | Run | Perform, an organization that specializes in teaching runners how to use time in the weight room or in your own home to optimize your running performance. Mary is a USATF certified running coach, owner of Lift, Run, Perform, mother of two and she’s going after her own goals after having babies. Recurring injuries plagued Mary for years until she found strength training and it totally changed her life and training paradigm.

Today, Mary and Whitney talk about the struggles of returning to running postpartum and what that looked like for Mary. Mary shares the origin story of her company, Lift | Run | Perform, and provides some tips and best practices for strength training. Mary and Whitney explain the Five Major Movement Patterns as well as how different workout reps spur different changes in the body. Finally, Mary talks about some of the exciting projects she’s working on, including her ‘Breaking Three’ project.

Episode Sponsor

Runner Click Pro – https://pro.runnerclick.com/

Key Takeaways

01:18 – Whitney Heins introduces today’s guest, Mary Johnson, who joins the show to share her experience as a runner, running coach, mother and the work she did to overcome postpartum challenges in order to become stronger

15:02 – Why pregnancy is so polarizing

19:20 – The origin story of Mary’s business, Lift | Run | Perform

22:55 – Pros and cons of strength training for runners

26:31 – The Five Major Movement Patterns, explained

33:36 – How different reps spur different changes in the body

38:19 – Mary provides her thoughts on what strength training should look like when marathon training

45:25 – Mary suggests some workout equipment options

48:25 – Proper form and technique while working out

50:10 – How strength training has changed Mary’s experience running

51:48 – Mary’s ‘Breaking Three’ project

55:32 – Whitney thanks Mary for joining the show and lets listeners know where to follow him

Tweetable Quotes

“I think having an easier delivery this time has made me aware of how significant and different every delivery can be.” (11:54)

“We knew that the best thing that was necessary for athletes was coaching the person as a human as opposed to coaching the person focused on a time goal. And that was our mission statement.” (21:26)

“When we’re running, we’re pounding. There’s a ton of force that’s put on our body. So, we hit the ground, it goes through our foot, to our ankle, to our knee, to our hip, to our back, and we are not stable when we hit that ground. We can absorb the shock fine but after step after step, the body doesn’t sustain that pounding very well. It needs to be strong. And that’s the simplified reason why running alone isn’t enough to keep us strong.” (23:09)

“First, I would make sure you take a month, pre-Marathon cycle, to lift. Yeah, you could run but you’re probably going to go down in mileage anyway. And this is a great time to get yourself in the gym. If you’re sore, that’s ok because it’s not gonna affect your workouts. But you have to be intentional about it.” (38:46)

“When you run without any aches or pains, it’s amazing.” (50:21)

Links Mentioned

Whitney’s LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/whitney-heins-02ba3b5

The Mother Runners Club – https://www.themotherrunners.com/

Mary’s Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/itsamarython/

Lift | Run | Perform Website – https://liftrunperform.com/

Lift | Run | Perform Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Lift-Run-Perform-778360652345852/

Lift | Run | Perform Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/liftrunperform/

Link to Megan and David Roche’s podcast Some Work, All Play – https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/some-work-all-play/id1521532868


Podcast Production & Marketing by FullCast

This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis:

Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy
Show artwork for The Passionate Runner

About the Podcast

The Passionate Runner
Running has so many benefits for the mind, body, & soul. But it can be SO hard to keep going because, let’s face it, RUNNING IS HARD!

Join lifelong runner, running coach, and mother of two, Whitney Heins, as she talks with experts in areas such as nutrition, training and physical therapy to share their insider knowledge so you can run your best & BE your best in the time that you have.

If you’re an avid runner, we’re here to help you understand the science, simplify the complicated and remove hurdles so that your next run is not only fun and fulfilling, but fuels you with passion and purpose.