Some Thoughts on Cross Training

Hi! How’re you? If the answer isn’t,”Hey! I’m awesome!” just remember…it’s Friday, there will soon be pie and green bean casserole in your belly, and Christmas music is socially acceptable in less than a week.

Don't even mess. This is Christmas music GOLD.

Can you tell where my brain is right now?

This morning was one of my favorite weekly workouts, Spin ‘n’ Swim. Really creative name I gave it there, huh? The combination is pretty self explanatory: It starts with a spin class with my favorite instructor Jeoff and then finishes with a steady pool workout. I like this combo for a few reasons, but mainly because it combines two different types of cardio and it offers some active relief from the pounding my muscles endure during running. Also, swimming is magical. In all aspects of the word. I didn’t always feel this way though…

I’m currently in my third running life. Running has lives similar to the way cats have lives, by the way. No, not really, but I do believe that our perspective, habits, and overall mentality about running can really change depending on where we are in our lives. With this said, I’ve currently be re-born into running three times, and I have to say I’m loving this third time around. I enjoy my runs more, I became a MARATHONER, and I feel like my relationship with running is at its best. Honeymoon style, nothing but love.

"Never mind the fact that I can no longer walk, I'm a marathoner!" Sorry PDX Marathon, obviously this is not my photo.

Part of the reason I feel so centered as a runner at this point in time is due, in large part, to cross training. I have been very conscious about keeping other activities interspersed in my running routine, and as a result, I don’t get burned out, I haven’t gotten injured(knock on your table please for me), and I’m much more balanced in terms of my physical fitness mentality. I used to be the kind of runner who stuck her nose up to any other kind of “exercise.” Seriously, I was a running brat who thought that the elliptical was for rehab patients and any workout less than a hard 9 miler wasn’t even worth it. Who was I?! A crazed running addict is what, and although I would still say I have the same affinity for a hard running workout, I drove myself into the ground with that mentality. Literally… I got hurt and was excommunicated from the running world for three months.

Lesson learned, something had to change.

I realize I’m rambling a bit, but I do have a point.

Cross training is not only beneficial, fun, and different, but it is necessary for maintaining a healthy and enjoyable running career. I credit the cross training I did alongside my marathon training for my finish time almost more so than my weekly long runs. Yes, I said it. Spinning helps develop speed, and it strengthens the muscles around your running muscles which ultimately improves runs. Spinning is also a great way to strengthen your cardio and get really sweaty (especially if you work with Jeoff) without the heavy impact of running. I could go on and on about spin—for anyone who loves to challenge themselves, listen to loud pump up tunes, and work out with a group, spin is awesome. I’m a lone wolf when it comes to exercise, and even I get a jolt of enthusiasm when I’m on a stationary bike with a bunch of other people. Jeoff also sings along to Lady Gaga and changes lyrics to encourage us even more: “YOU’RE on the edge of GLORY” C’mon, who doesn’t love that??

I’ll save some commentary on swimming for another time, however I want to highly encourage all runners to treat running like any other relationship. Without some TLC (cross training, yoga, and off-time) running can turn on you and your relationship becomes mundane, draining, and ultimately abusive. It sounds cheeky, however I speak from very personal experience when I say that running should not be taken for granted, and one of the keys to a lifelong relationship with this sport is to treat it and your body with respect.

That got serious there, isn’t it supposed to be Friday?

Clearly, this is a topic I care a lot about.

Another long post…what am I a new blogger or something? More pictures to come soon, I promise!

Now I’d love to know…what’s your favorite way to cross train??

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4 thoughts on “Some Thoughts on Cross Training

  1. Pingback: Green Positivity | Run Birdie Run

  2. Pingback: It’s Not Just the Running | Run Birdie Run

  3. Pingback: Tri-Curious | Run Birdie Run

  4. Pingback: Class People | Run Birdie Run

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