Cross Training

A few words about cross-training.  I like it because:

  1. It helps prevent injury by maintaining a balance in your muscular strength
  2. It adds to your overall “functional fitness” and by this I mean, your ability to perform in other activities in life at a higher level, rather than just being really good at running in a straight line
  3. It burns more calories, which, let’s be honest, is never a negative

I’ve mentioned in a previous post that a lot of my everyday activities involve “cross training” (at least I put them in that category).  Sometimes I think “this has GOT to benefit my running somewhere down the line” and other times I think “thank god I’m a runner or I’d never be able to do this!”  Yesterday was a big cross training day for me.

It started with a regular run.  Then I had the kids in the house all afternoon and no car.  The skating rink right beside our house was booked for the day.  No problem.  There’s one a short mile away – UPHILL.  This is what we looked like heading out:

Then we added the chair which my youngest needs to a) skate and b) be pushed on by me when she gets tired of skating after the first 15 minutes.

This is the view from the top of the hill, and honestly, this photo does not do justice to the grade.  It is a long, STEEP hill and I forced the kids to cheer me on from about halfway to the top  (I completely forgot bike helmets until looking at this photo – the skating helmets, knee pads, gloves, 3 pairs of skates, hockey stick and chair made me incorrectly assume we had enough gear).

I probably shouldn’t count as cross-training (but I will) putting on 3 pairs of skates, helmets and shin-guards.  I use the sweat-barometer test, and I was drenched by the time we hit the ice.  Then it was time to actually skate (the main activity).  For the most part they were fine skating on their own, although I was called on for more than the occasional game of tag, and to push the chair “Really Fast”.  Thank goodness Thing 1 took pity on me and helped out by pushing Thing 2 for a while.

After about 45 minutes it was time to head to our local cafe for hot chocolate.  Luckily I’d done this to them, so I could count on some quiet time later at home:

And what did I do with my “Quiet Time” at home?  Cross trained of course!  The one form of “real” cross training I’ve gotten into is Kettlebell.  My husband and I have a set and a routine which takes 35 minutes.  It is INTENSE and really feels like it’s doing a lot based on the endorphin buzz and muscle shakes it produces and the body soreness the next day.  Here’s a picture of our instruments of torture:

They may look pretty, but they’re killer.  We’ll see if they help my running – I’m trying to get them in once-twice a week.

As for how my run went this morning after yesterday’s workouts: let’s just say I’m glad I was finishing off my easy week and didn’t time my 7 mile route.

Now to gear up for a series of 3 build weeks in the freezing temps!  I’m going to try to build to 70 in one of them.  Stay tuned…