A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

Friday, November 15, 2013

The importance of cross training & random facts!

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As runners, we tend to just want to run, run, run, and do nothing else. That was me. Seven days a week, pounding the pavement or the trails. I'd take the occasional Zumba class, but that would be in addition to my run that day. It was a whole lot of running and not a lot of anything else.

I knew the benefits of cross training but I just didn't do it. It was easier to just put on  my sneakers, step out the front door, and go for a run.

**Random Fact: When I was training for my first marathon, I only did the long runs. 
During the week, I ellipticalled. For some odd reason, it worked for me, 
but I do not recommend this to anyone!

It wasn't until I was injured that I would cross train. I once joined the YMCA and swam for an hour every morning when I was trying to prevent a stress fracture.

Random Fact: There was a guy that would swim at the Y and he wore so much cologne 
that whenever he would jump in my lane in the pool, I could smell the cologne 
while I was underwater. It was so gross!

I would usually get on the elliptical at Planet Fitness if the weather was bad, so I'd naturally do a little more cross training in the winter. During another knee injury, I discovered spinning. I loved spin classes. Doing intervals on the bike pushed me in a way that my steady-state approach to running did not. I'm so glad I found spin. Now I own a spin bike  (cheaper than going to the Y!) and I love doing intervals on it. 

Are you a runner who hates cross training?? Allow me to try to convince you of all the wonderful benefits of cross training...

Why should runners cross train?

1. You're less likely to get injured.

2. Prevents you from getting burned out from running.

3. Helps strengthen muscles you don't normally use when you run

4. Helps maintain or even improve cardiovascular fitness.

5. Improves your power and speed. (If you do intervals, plyometrics, jumping, etc...)

Random Fact: The only time I listen to music when I workout is when I do intervals 
on the arc trainer. There's only one album I listen to. 
Lady Gaga's The Fame Monster (Deluxe Edition).

I know I have said this before, but once I stopped running SO DAMN MUCH and did purposeful  cross training, my running improved drastically! And I went almost a year and a half injury free- which is amazing, in my book!

Here are my favorite cross training activities... in no particular order!

1. Strength Training
2. Plyometrics
3. Spinning
4. Zumba
5. Arc Trainer
6. Walking/Hiking

Clearly, I am not a fan of the elliptical anymore. I spent way to much time on that thing. I have evolved into an arc trainer gal. Which is funny, because I used to hate the arc trainer. 

Random Fact: I recently broke my lap top while I was spinning. I put it on a TV tray in front of my spin bike so I can listen to music or watch How I Met Your Mother while I spin. Well, about two weeks ago, it crashed to the floor and it is no more. I am very sad about it but luckily I have an old lap top I can use. It's slower, but it's a COMPUTER so I am thankful!!!

It's time to weigh in! Tell me about your cross training experiences and how it has helped your running.

What is your favorite cross training activity?

How has cross training helped your running?

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