After nearly two years of an injury-induced running hiatus, I’ve decided that I’m never going back to the way I used to train. Running 50 miles a week with a weight-lifting session or maybe the occasional spin class was a recipe for PR after PR — that is, until I broke into pieces and sat on the sidelines for longer than I could have ever imagined.
My new motto is to cross-train like a King, strength train like a Prince and run like a Pauper — OK, the analogy isn’t as spot-on as it is in regard to eating, but you get the picture. Even though my next running goal is to finish a marathon in a few months, running needs to be nearly last on my list of training priorities behind strength training and cross training, or else I’ll once again be standing on the side of the finisher’s chute rather than running through it.
Last weekend, on a trip to the mountains, the snow became my training ground — cross-training ground, that is — and I tried something new: cross-country skiing. I loved it! Finding new ways to cross-train is crucial for cross-training success. There are only so many minutes a runner can spend on the elliptical before throwing in the towel.
The sun was out, the snow was perfectly crunchy, and maneuvering on skis was challenging, but not too challenging (I definitely fell a few times, but who’s counting?) and the snack shack was never too far out of reach. And the best part? I was sore the next day — my new favorite cross-training activity gave me the same euphoria as an 8-mile run along the coast and made me wonder if I had ever worked my calves in my life. I think it’s a win-win. Now, if only it snowed in San Diego every once in a while, I could go more than once a year!
How about you? What’s your favorite way to cross-train?