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Cross Training 101

Posted Mar 04 2011 12:31pm

After running for several days in a row, I knew that I need a cross training day today. Throughout the day yesterday, my legs felt heavy and very fatigued. A cross training day is exactly what I needed to recharge.

The Arc Trainer

Cross training is a great way to improve overall performance, develop a new set of skills, and reduce boredom of the same workouts day after day.

Changing your fitness routine every once and awhile conditions your body for a higher level of fitness and works muscles that are not often worked.

A solid cross-training program includes a variety of exercises that combine cardio, strength training, agility, and flexibility.

  • Avoid over use injuries: Cross training is a great way reduce the risk of injuries because you won’t be working the same muscles, joints, and bones day after day.
  • Boost Fitness: Since every part of your body will be worked, cross training will help you achieve a greater level of overall strength, agility, and fitness.
  • Reduces Boredom: Cross training helps reduce the monotony that can come with training. Believe it or not, I actually et bored with running sometimes. I LOVE running, but the same thing day after day can become a chore. I usually tough it out, but I think cross training might be a new addition to my repertoire.
  • Maintain fitness when injured: Cross training can help you maintain your fitness while you are injured as long as you can still train without affecting the injured area. For example, if you have a stress fracture in your leg, you can most likely swim. Always check with your doctor beforehand.

So where do I begin?

  • Make a cross training schedule based on activities you’ll enjoy. There are some things that I enjoy doing, but there are some things that I loathe doing. I love biking and I actually really like swimming now that I have been doing it for a few weeks. If you engage in activities that you enjoy, your more likely to stick to a cross training schedule.
  • To keep things enjoyable when I am cross training, I like to mix things up. Some days I’ll bike, some days I’ll swim, and some days I’ll use cardio equipment. Variety is the spice of life.
  • Make sure you have the proper gear. For example, don’t go for a long ride without bike shorts. You will regret it ;)
  • Cross training can also be designed to help your body recover from a tough workout. This is my personal opinion, but I believe more in active recovery than rest days. Cross training with fun, low intensity exercise between formal exercise days will help your body recover, but still keep you active.
  • Try something new. Have you ever been to the rock climbing wall at your gym?
  • Combine cross-training with running to maximize fitness.

What cross training activities do you enjoy?

This mornings workout was all about taking it easy.

Friday Workout

Arc Trainer: 70 minutes (easy pace and resistance)

My legs felt extremely heavy for the first 30 minutes or so, but the easy workout really helped to rejuvenate and stretch out my legs.

Sometimes an easy workout is just what the doctor ordered! I get very uptight and OCD when I don’t get in some form of activity, so a light workout is just what I need on occasion.

Yes, 70 minutes felt “light” ;)

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