Tuesdays on the Run: Cross-Training

Erika @ MCM Mama Runs hosts Tuesdays on the Run with April @ Run the great wide somewhere and Patty @ My no-guilt life!

This week’s topic is: Cross-Training

cross-training-workouts-300x274

What is Cross-Training?
 

According to Acefitness.org, “Cross training is typically defined as an exercise regimen that uses several modes of training to develop a specific component of fitness.”

All half marathon and marathon training schedules include at least one day of cross-training.
 
What are the benefits of cross-training?
  • Reduced risk of injury People who are particularly prone to lower-leg problems from running long distances should consider incorporating low-impact activities such as elliptical training, cycling and swimming into their regimens.
  • Enhanced weight loss  people who need to lose weight can effectively achieve a reduction in body weight and fat stores by combining two or more physical activities in a cross-training regimen. They can, for example, exercise on an elliptical trainer for 20 to 30 minutes and then cycle for an additional 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Improved total fitness –  Cross-training can include activities that develop muscular fitness, as well as aerobic conditioning.
  • Enhanced exercise adherence – Cross-training is a safe and relatively easy way to add variety to an exercise program.

Another benefit of Cross-Training is that you can explore different kinds of sports. Although, you are a runner, you may find that you enjoy biking or swimming. Also when you cannot run due to an injury, you can still cross-train. When I broke my ankle, I could not run but I was able to bike and use the elliptical.

What activities are considered cross-training?
 
1. Cycling – According to scientific studies, runners benefit the most from cycling.
(I have only biked when I was UNABLE to run. I should do it more but who has the time.)

bike
 
2. Resistance Training –  Recent studies have linked resistance training with improvement in running, reducing heart rates while doing so, and improving race times at distances from shorter runs to marathons.  It also protects runners against lower body injuries, and circuit training provides a great cardiovascular workout, and increasing muscle power.  The gym is the best place to do this, with the help of Personal Trainers.
 
Unfortunately I do not belong to a gym and the closest thing I have done is using these resistance bands (when I was recovering from an injury.)

red in pt & yellow at home

3. Swimming – It is an activity that is easy on the joints, supports your weight, builds muscular strength and endurance, improves cardiovascular health. It is also good for the lungs because of the breathing exercises you have to do while performing the activity. For runners who have sore legs, this is most recommended since it’s low impact, and it surprisingly burns a lot of calories.

I wish I were a better swimmer but I am not (and I do not have access to a pool.)
pooped after the race

my version of lake swimming

 
4 . Aerobic Exercises – It provides an outstanding cardiovascular workout, boosts quadriceps and hamstring strength, improves coordination, and can make runners quicker on their feet. In addition, the upper-body movements used in aerobic dance may even tone up runners’ torsos a bit. Zumba is pretty popular and there are many videos with aerobic exercises/dancing.
 
When I was younger, aerobics classes were popular & used go to them.  Zumba is something I want to try.
 
5. Other sports like Tennis, Soccer, or even Golf can also be considered as Cross-Training activities, as long as it benefits you in burning calories, toning muscles, building stamina, endurance.
I love to play tennis (tried golf but I stink at it.) and play doubles at least once per week.
 

playing tennis

Tips for Cross-Training:

1. Choose what you like – Try several things to decide what’s beneficial and best for you. Also consider your resources like time, money and energy.

2. Start slowEven if you are an experienced runner it doesn’t mean that you are already good at another activity or sport. Start at the beginner’s level of any sport or activity that you will engage into.

3. Do not strain yourself –  Try to stick with your training days but use a cross-training activity as an alternative on some days not allotted for running.

4. Chose the ones that will not use the muscles that you use during runningthat is why I do not play tennis and run on the same day (they both can strain your calf muscles) but I may do yoga after running.

5. Hydrate & Eat Well – Always make sure you hydrate yourself well especially if you sweat too much. Always eat healthy food. Avoid junk food and foods that are high in salt and fats. Try to eat more carbohydrates before exercise and protein after.

5. Have Fun! – You should always enjoy what you do because if not, you will not keep it up.

Happy Running!  Do you Cross-train?  What do you do as Cross-training?

runner-sig

 

July – Gettin Better All the Time…

I usually hate to rush the summer. But this year, the faster the time goes, the sooner I am running & racing again!!

2721%20WELCOME%20JULY%20SIGN-c8

July Goals:

  • Continue to heal the broken foot – YES but this is really out of my control.
  • Follow doctor’s orders and don’t overdo – YES for the most part.
  • Ditch the crutches – YES but I really did this last month.
  • Wear 2 of the same shoes – YES!
20130701-122501.jpg

wore 2 running shoes all month

20130709-092640.jpg

even wore sandals

  • Walk – Yes, started with the treadmill, then the track, then the road…

20130724-192745.jpg

  • Bike – YES, started with the stationary bike and then ended with a regular bike
  • Run a little (yes, I am being optimistic) – YES, 1 mile, then 2 miles, then 3 miles… 🙂
happy me at Brant Lake

running in Chestertown

AJH snapped this.

even ran/walked a 5k race

july 13

hopefully the mileage continues to pick up…

I also spent more time on our boat and on the islands of Lake George than last month.

logbay3

basinbay

I spent the weekend with tennis friends and even hit the tennis ball.

group photo

Me on the left on the court in Chestertown

august_bw

AUGUST GOALS (aiming HIGH):

    1. RUN (regularly)!!!
    2. Do not overdo and listen to my body…REST when necessary!!
    3. Play TENNIS!
    4. Start planks!
    5. Attend a yoga class!
    6. Start training for the Oct 13 half marathon
    7. Run a race 
    8. Run at least 50 miles this month

Happy Running! How was your July? What do you have planned for August?

runner-sig

Two on Tuesday

imagesCAWAHHCE

  1. Yesterday, I took an unplanned off-track walk. I planned to walk on the track but a field day was going on so I walked into town. It was very hot and it was also uphill on the way back (so I stopped at Starbucks as a reward).

I survived and it was a nice change from the monotonous track (hopefully my foot is no worse for wear.)

20130715-161136.jpg

the lake in Washington Park

20130715-161127.jpg

sunflowers, my second favorite after tulips

green tea frappuccino - yum!

green tea frappuccino (minus the whipped cream)- getting addicted to these

2. I also saw a great movie last night: 20 Feet from Stardom –

 In his compelling new film, director Morgan Neville shines a spotlight on the untold true story of the backup singers behind some of the greatest musical legends. Triumphant and heartbreaking in equal measure, the film is both a tribute to the unsung voices who brought shape and style to popular music and a reflection on the conflicts, sacrifices and rewards of a career spent harmonizing with others. 

Twenty Feet From Stardom

Go see this movie if it’s playing in your area!! You’ll listen to songs differently.

Tonight I plan to take my first bike ride (since my last injury.)  Yes, I only ride when I can’t run. I don’t hate to ride…it’s just a distant 4th after running, tennis, yoga…and there’s no time for everything.

Happy Running! Have you seen any good movies lately?

runner-sig

 

X is for X-training

cross-training-workouts-300x274

What is X-Training?
According to Acefitness.org, “Cross training is typically defined as an exercise regimen that uses several modes of training to develop a specific component of fitness.”
All half marathon and marathon training schedules include at least one day of x-training.
What are the benefits of x-training?
  • Reduced risk of injury –  People who are particularly prone to lower-leg problems from running long distances should consider incorporating low-impact activities such as elliptical training, cycling and swimming into their regimens.
  • Enhanced weight loss –  people who need to lose weight can effectively achieve a reduction in body weight and fat stores by combining two or more physical activities in a x-training regimen. They can, for example, exercise on an elliptical trainer for 20 to 30 minutes and then cycle for an additional 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Improved total fitness –  X-training can include activities that develop muscular fitness, as well as aerobic conditioning.
  • Enhanced exercise adherence – X-training is a safe and relatively easy way to add variety to an exercise program.

Another benefit of X-Training is that you can explore different kinds of sports. Although, you are a runner, you may find that you enjoy biking or swimming. Also when you cannot run due to an injury, you can still x-train. When I broke my ankle, I could not run but I was able to bike and use the elliptical.

What activities are considered x-training?
1. Cycling – According to scientific studies, runners benefit the most from cycling.
(I have only biked when I was UNABLE to run. I should do it more but who has the time.)
bike
2. Resistance Training –  Recent studies haved linked resistance training with improvement in running, reducing heart rates while doing so, and improving race times at distances from shorter runs to marathons.  It also protects runners against lower body injuries, and circuit training provides a great cardiovascular workout, and increasing muscle power.  The gym is the best place to do this, with the help of Personal Trainers.
Unfortunately I do not belong to a gym and the closest thing I have done is using these resistance bands (when I was recovering from an injury.)

red in pt & yellow at home

3. Swimming – It is an activity that is easy on the joints, supports your weight, builds muscular strength and endurance, improves cardiovascular health. It is also good for the lungs because of the breathing exercises you have to do while performing the activity. For runners who have sore legs, this is most recommended since it’s low impact, and it surprisingly burns a lot of calories.

I wish I were a better swimmer but I am not (and I do not have access to a pool.)
pooped after the race

my version of lake swimming

4 . Aerobic Exercises – It provides an outstanding cardiovascular workout, boosts quadriceps and hamstring strength, improves coordination, and can make runners quicker on their feet. In addition, the upper-body movements used in aerobic dance may even tone up runners’ torsos a bit. Zumba is pretty popular and there are many videos with aerobic exercises/dancing.
When I was younger, aerobics classes were popular & used go to them.  Zumba is something I want to try.
5. Other sports like Tennis, Soccer, or even Golf can also be considered as X-Training activities, as long as it benefits you in burning calories, toning muscles, building stamina, endurance.
I love to play tennis (tried golf but I stink at it.) and play doubles at least once per week.

playing tennis

Tips for X-training:

1. Choose what you like – Try several things to decide what’s beneficial and best for you. Also consider your resources like time, money and energy.

2. Start slow – Even if you are an experienced runner it doesn’t mean that you are already good at another activity or sport. Start at the beginner’s level of any sport or activity that you will engage into.

3. Do not strain yourself –  Try to stick with your training days but use a x-training activity as an alternative of
some days allotted for running.

4. Chose the ones that will not use the muscles that you sore during running – that is why I do not play tennis and run on the same day (they both can strain your calf muscles) but I may do yoga after running.

5. Hydrate & Eat Well – Always make sure you hydrate yourself well especially if you sweat too much. Always eat healthy food. Avoid junk food and foods that are high in salt and fats. . Try to eat more carbohydrates before exercise and protein after.

5. Have Fun! – You should always enjoy what you do because if not, you will not keep it up.

Happy Running!  Do you X-train?  What do you do as X-training?

runner-sig

2012 Recap (in Photos)

And it wasn’t all bad…

Here it is month by month in photos. ENJOY!

JANUARY

Jimmy Buffet-themed birthday party for one of my Lake George friends

FEBRUARY

I knit my first sock

MARCH

I started biking

APRIL

I started walking at lunch

MAY

I celebrated my birthday in Florida

JUNE

I started running again

JULY

I started playing tennis again

AUGUST

I cooled off every weekend in the lake

SEPTEMBER

I had a 2nd visit from Anna from Russia

OCTOBER

I spent time with my 2 fav little guys

NOVEMBER

I had a surprise visit from a friend who moved to Florida

DECEMBER

I got to go to Orlando with friends

Happy Running! Hope you had a good year! What was the highlight?

Thankful November

I wasn’t organized enough to do this daily but I really was thankful each day of this month:

  1. Thankful that my friend encouraged me to learn to knit.  It keeps me focused and takes my mind off of my injuries.
  2. Thankful for having learned to play Mah Jongg.  I have met new people and it is a lot of fun and keeps my “old” mind active.
  3. Thankful for our boat and the people who live in Lake George that we have befriended because of it.
  4. Thankful for my tennis friends and although we don’t play tennis often together, we do other things to stay connected.
  5. Thankful for my job.  Besides the salary, I enjoy helping people and feeling appreciated.
  6. Thankful for my right to vote.
  7. Thankful that President Obama was re-elected.
  8. Thankful for a new Grey’s Anatomy episode and no more political commercials to watch.
  9. Thankful for USAir frequent flyer miles and being able to fly to Florida for free on December 8, Jan 19 & Mar 12.
  10. Thankful for the bloggers that keep me entertained and motivated to run.
  11. Thankful for beautiful weather and scenic places in my area to bike.
  12. Thankful for my cleaning lady and that once a month, I have clean floors & bathrooms.
  13. Thankful for only needing a painless cleaning from my dentist.
  14. Thankful for working across the street from Starbucks and being able to run across for an afternoon pick me up.
  15. Thankful for free flu shots at work.
  16. Thankful for my Nov. Foodie Penpal and the delicious goodies that I received from her.
  17. Thankful for my BFF Judy who has been my source of calm and advice for over 35 years.
  18. Thankful for being able to run ONE mile (pain-free.)
  19. Thankful for those who have been graciously subbing for me each week in my Monday tennis contract.
  20. Thankful for the exercise bike & wifi at work so I can exercise & keep up the latest episodes of Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice & Nashville on my iPad.
  21. Thankful for my hairdresser and hair dye – both which keep me looking young(er).
  22. Thankful for the excuse to eat stuffing and pumpkin pie with a view & the company of my hubby.
  23. Thankful for a Friday off from work. Time to catch up on laundry, shopping & decorating for the holdiays (EARLY!)
  24. Thankful for UVA gel and now beautiful nails for the next month.
  25. Thankful for the junk food and left overs from hosting mah jongg (we never have junk food at my house.)
  26. Thankful for DVRs – now I can watch Sunday night’s Revenge & The Good Wife.
  27. Thankful for our anti-Thanksgiving lunch at work esp the Oreo Cheesecake Truffles.
  28. Thankful for hospitals, doctors, nurses and that soon, I will hopefully be playing tennis and racing again.
  29. Thankful for my hubby and that we can put up with each other’s ups and downs.
  30. Thankful for our annual work Christmas party…lots of food & drink and the opportunity to dress up.

knitting socks

playing mah jongg

me & my tennis friends at a restaurant

me & my Lake George friends

The Corning Bike Path (on the Hudson R.)

Dark Chocolate bar from my Foodie Pen Pal

BOGO for 3 days!

Thanksgiving with a view & my hubby

oreo cheesecake truffles

Happy Running!  Did you participate in Thankful November?  What were you most thankful for?

TTT: Injury Update


1. I have run 2 times – 1/2 mile each time in my neighborhood.  (Boy is it hard to limit it to 1/2 mile but I am taking the the doctor’s advice…for now.)

2.  I rode my bike on the bike path on Saturday (the weather was gorgeous) and rode the stationary bike at work during lunch (all caught up on my TV shows.)

3.  I have finished knitting a sock and reading 2 books..no tennis yet.

and I am no longer wearing the BOOT (at all)!

Happy Running! How slow have you started running after an injury?