Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Cross Training for Runners

In the pre-dawn hours between 3am and 4am an epic battle ensued between more sleep and my alarm clock. Sleep won...

Fortunately this was not a running day (it's my recovery week so I don't run again until Sunday), but it was a cross-training day.

I'm a strong believer that Cross Training is a vital part of any runner's training plan. The number of cross training days that I, or (as I have been discovering) any of my running friends, incorporate into a training plan varies. There seems to be no "magic number" but usually there are at least a few sessions each week.
Over the past few weeks I have not done much cross basically I've been paying my 24hour gym membership for nothing. But what it also means is that I have been able to sleep in a little later on the mornings that I haven't been running (yay for sleep!). However, all that changes tomorrow. Had my alarm clock won this morning I would have done my cardio workout today. But it didn't so tomorrow (I promise) will be the start of my cardio workout for this week.

The goal for tomorrow is to complete a minimum of 30 minutes of cardio (but I will do more based on how my knee is feeling). My cardio sessions are usually split between the elliptical and upright bike, and sometimes the stair climber (if my knee is feeling ok). I have spent a lot of time pampering my knees over the past few days. I have been massaging them with topical pain relief ointments/creams, giving them "pep talks", and whispering words of encouragement & motivation in preparation of re-starting running on Sunday. I really want to avoid this...

Back in the day I did weights/strength training twice a week as part of my cross training. But I'm staying away from weights for right now and trying to focus on improving my endurance (I was exhausted during the half last Saturday).

With my new training schedule I will have 3 days of running, 2 days of cross training (cardio machines or swimming), and 2 days of rest (the day before and after my LR).

I really want feedback on my new training plan so I am going to talk about it in a later post. I have a focused goal for the rest of the year (to build up my endurance), which will ultimately form the foundation of my training plan for 2015 aka LeAnne's 2015 Chicago marathon training plan.

What are your cross training days? 
What do you do for your cross training workouts?
How often do you incorporate strength training in your marathon training plan?

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