Cross training is good for more than just your body

Good Afternoon Fellow New Runners!

This morning I woke and attempted to do a yoga DVD.  Attempted would be a stretch because about 10 minutes into the DVD I pretty much just gave up.  It was way too much to attempt within 10 minutes of just getting out of bed.  The instruction was faster than I expected and the poses weren’t held for long enough to really help my muscles stretch.  I was pretty bummed as Monday was supposed to be “yoga day” in my cross training routine.

So I thought I’ll just go for a run.  However I have had a string of not so good runs lately.  Yes, my time has improved and I am running farther, but the runs have been HARD.  On Saturday it was, literally, 100% humidity out and instead of wisely slowing my pace to accommodate the weather, I tried to run faster through it.  This was a terrible mistake and resulted in me having to walk a bunch, which I don’t like to do.  So this morning that memory only added to my now almost surly mood and I thought “what is the point, I am not even going to enjoy the run anyway”.  Then I remembered my neighborhood gym.  I decided to get dressed and head up to use the bike.  Running friends told me that cycling really helps runners improve leg turnover.  Plus the last time I road a bike I had a blast.

The minute I left my house my mood improved.  It was a glorious morning, perfect weather.  I decided to try some sprints up to the gym.  It was hard, but fun!  I got to the gym and immediately hopped on the bike, read my book and kept peddling for 20 minutes.  Then I jumped into some weights, not stopping in between, rather alternating arms so my heart rate would stay elevated.  Then it was back to the bike for a higher level for 15 more minutes followed by even faster sprints home.

I walked through my front door a completely different person than when I left.  I was happy, energized and smiling.  Cross training sometimes does more than just work out your body.  Sometimes you need a break from running.  Sometimes you need to do something different, something that gets your endorphins going and gives you a break from your routine!

So if you are in a rut, try something different!  Maybe a workout DVD or a class.  Or even some weight training or swimming!  You won’t be disappointed!

Enjoy the Run (and cross training days!)


Question: What is your favorite cross training exercise?



  1. Very good point! I’ve been diversifying my workouts too. Not only that it is important to let other muscles rest, but also it helps you run better, farther and faster! Haven’t done peddling in a why, so thanks for the reminder 🙂


  2. Variety is the spice of life, no? Workouts that are high in intensity, vary movements and force you (me) to try your (my) best will yield the best results. Scott Jurek a champion ultra marathoner and author of the book “Eat and Run” advocates for runners to not only run, but to train with weights as well do whole body exercises. He points out that the exercises will not only tone and strengthen your body but help your running form. He also says when your in a rut to shut off the tunes and run like a kindergartener. Watch a dog run and see the joy in it. Then You go out and run for fun and remember why it is you started running in the first place. Because you enjoy it! It’s fun! Yeah sometimes it’s painful but it doesn’t have to be. It’s still fun!!!

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