Sunday, May 15, 2011

Wow, it's been that long? Or rather, Cross Training 101

I knew it had been a while since I posted anything, but I'm honestly surprised to see it's been two months. Huh.

Well, even super-perky-hyperactive-always-lookin'-on-the-bright-side trainers hit a little speedbump now and then.  My muse went on hiatus... uh, like, my dog ate my homework... um, so, you know, the power went out and my alarm didn't go off....

And BAM, before you know it, it's almost marathon training time again.  Has it been fun running without training for anything in particular? You betcha!  But I have now joined the C.R.E.W. marathon coaching team over at Fleet Feet Sports/Savannah and I am very psyched about helping a whole bunch of great people finish their first marathon - or improve upon their previous efforts, as the case may be.  The Savannah Rock 'N' Roll Marathon is November 5th, and the C.R.E.W. programs for the half marathon and full marathon kick off on May 28th.

Carol Ann, another coach, and I were plotting our strategy and comparing notes the other day.  One of the topics we discussed was what type of cross training to recommend.  I got to thinking about cross training during my run this morning and so I shall share my thoughts with you.  (While running this morning I also thought about the words to the songs, Hit Me With Your Best Shot by Pat Benetar and Overjoyed by Stevie Wonder, among others.  Sparing you the sharing on those.)

Cross training for the runner, or for any other active individual, means a change up on several levels.  You want to spend a couple of sessions per week moving in a different direction from your usual activity.  Runners are almost always going in the sagittal plane, aka forward from a standing position.  So adding sessions which are dominated by lateral or rotational patterns would be cross training, like dance or tennis or swimming (especially breast stroke).  Repetitive bounding foot strikes make running high-impact, so low impact cycling or yoga or pilates activities would qualify. 

Also, most runners challenge and improve their aerobic energy system for greater endurance and cardio-respiratory fitness.  Great cross training choices to challenge the body's anaerobic energy system include weight lifting and boxing.  These improve your power, and your speed, depending on your training ability and progress.

What other cross training choices can you come up with?  Please share your ideas or questions.  Be Well! TRAINER JANE

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