Importance of Cross training

I know this watch is off. The distance is always off by a km or so. Anyway, got my run done. It was speed work. I did 4 x 400 meter pick ups. I did not want to go but hey, I did. I don’t cross train Tuesdays since it is my drill day. I am usually POOPED and I truly was.

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Same with Ed!

 

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I was in bed by 8 pm…watching Gossip Girl and reading ..but in bed nonetheless. I was asleep by 9:40 since I had an early wake up time.

I thought it would be good to go on about why I cannot stress enough the importance of cross training. I know many people who JUST run and that is all.

1) Creates balance among muscle groups..therefore, injury prevention

As much as running seems to burn your quads, running is more hamstring then it is quad. When muscular imbalances occur, possibility for injury heightens. Our bodies muscles work together from front and the back. For instance, bicep/triceps, hamstrings/quads, core/back. They all help you flex, contract, extend your limbs. So in order to get full use of your body without injury, all around fitness should be achieved.

2) Physical AND mental variety.

You know that phrase, “too much of a good thing”? Same applies here. Have you ever done a certain task or eaten a certain food over and over and over and over? It gets a bit boring right? Well your body feels the same thing and so does your mind. Find something else to do throughout the week along side your running for a little sass in your week! Keep yourself engaged not only physically, but mentally!

3) If you are injured, you can find other ways of keep active while you are injured

Say what?! well, we live in a time where there are so many types of movement out there. High impact, low impact, anaerobic, aerobic, strength, flexibility, agility, balance, cardiovascular, and so on. For the most part, there is always something you can find that will work for you during the healing process.

4) Improve your fitness and running

Yup. Want to be a stronger, more efficient runner? cross train!! Not only did I feel better on the road when I started cross training, I also found my pace and cadence became faster. Working certain muscle groups will help improve your push off and overall running game! Increasing your power, efficiency..all while using less time out on the road. Win win?

5) Active recovery

My rule of thumb post marathon is to use this active recovery. I baby my body so that I don’t end up doing something I regret. So I cross train the week after until my body feels ready to get out there again. Also this keeps you from over training during your training season. I personally do not agree with running 6 days a week. Just personal opinion, but I feel like that is a set up for injury down the road.

6) Finding other things you love

You may have not even known it before..but maybe through cross training you found a passion for yoga, dancing, swimming, cycling, weight lifting or what have you! What is life without finding and doing things you enjoy?!

Last thing to remember: Cross training does not REPLACE running

Remember that. You are doing other activities to improve your running..not replace it. This is to better yourself..not deprive yourself from something you love!

But Jenn…I don’t want to pay for more equipment or a gym membership…

You don’t have to!

Sometimes I will add it into my run on a nice day. Run, find a bench and make a circuit. Step ups, push ups (decline or regular), squats, lunges, box jumps etc!

Also, even though I am a trainer, I am a big fan of at home programs. Takes little space, not much equipment, and I can workout in my pajamas…eerrr…what? But really. I know how important running is to me…if I suck it up and cross train in my living room for 30 minutes, I know down the road I won’t be hobbling around from an injury that could have been prevented. Though most times I don’t feel I need to suck it up too much.. I mean Turbo is just so gosh darn fun!

QOTD: Do you cross train? what are some of your favourite activities to do?

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