Danica Newon: Spinning Through Cross-Training

When she's training for a marathon, Danica Newon prefers to stick to running. Photo: Danica Newon

Usually when I’m training for a full marathon, I really am exhausted throughout the training schedule and I focus a lot on running and not much else. I don’t do a lot workout-wise besides running during that training round, but after the race I really enjoy getting back into the gym 2-3 days a week and running 2-3 days a week to create a balance. When training for a marathon, it’s easy to get really overwhelmed by your training schedule and the running you’ll be doing, which is why I always make sure not to overbook myself and stick to mostly running during that time.

When I am not training for a full marathon, I venture into the gym and I really love lifting weights! I enjoy doing arm and ab workouts but don’t woe out my legs too often because I don’t want to make them too sore to a point where I cannot run. Most of the workouts I’ve found have been from Pinterest, and I love mixing it up with different moves.

I should do more yoga, but it just doesn’t fit in my schedule and I get really bored with it. During the classes I’ve taken, I’m constantly checking the clock to see if it’s over yet, which may be a sign that it’s just not for me.

One class I love to take, however, is spin class! They always push me to my limit and really make me sweat. I used to take spin a lot before I started coaching at the high school, but now I don’t have as much time to do it.

Most weeks, I usually run 3-4 days a week with the team and try to get to the gym three days a week. Recently, my best friend got engaged and we have been making it a priority to go to the gym in the evenings together to get ready for her wedding. We do 20 minutes of cardio and then 30 minutes of machines and weights. It’s the most I’ve been in the gym in a while and it does make it a lot easier, knowing that we both have to keep each other accountable and that we will have a partner while we are there.

Unfortunately, my husband and I just don’t work out well together in the gym. I’m either having a great day and want to stay longer or vice versa, so we are not that couple that works out together—although sometimes I wish we could! We also do not run well together but we do enjoy taking our dogs for a walk in the evenings, which is a great way to get out and get them some exercise.

I think that whatever exercise you’re doing to keep you active, whether it be classes, running or hitting the gym, it needs to be something that you love or else it feels more like work. The main reason I love keeping running the main way I stay active is because I truly love it and the feeling it gives me!

For more on the Saucony 26 Strong program, which pairs up 13 coaches with 13 marathon rookies, visit 26Strong.com.

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