Top 5 Cross Training Tips
by Allie Mac
Nothing crushes my soul yet brings me to life quite like being sidelined with an injury.
I started running in high school and quickly became a state champion and D1 college athlete. More than half of that time though, I was injured.
Coping with an injury takes time and often we go through a mental cycle. For me it starts with denial or oblivion, I think it'll go away and I keep running. It usually then hits me like a brick wall when it gets so bad I can't walk. Realization and devastation sets in which usually drains me of of any energy.
A week or so later comes ambition and enthusiasm to work as hard as I can in other ways to stay in shape. I also like to take this time to do my other hobbies, skydiving and dirt biking, even more and with less fear, cause hey I already can't run, right?
In all seriousness though, there are numerous ways to cross train whether injured or just needing supplemental workouts.
Here are my 5 tips for cross training.
1. USE IT APPROPRIATELY
If you're injured give yourself a week or two to start the healing process before hammering in the gym. Once symptoms are managable you can start. If you're cross training for additional workouts to your running, make sure they compliment your running and aren't wearing you out.
2. MIMIC YOUR TYPICAL RUNNING PLAN
Do workouts that match your training plan, for example add weights to your hard days and maybe a light swim on your easy days. If you're injured and only cross training, create workouts that mimic your typical running plan. For example, do a long elliptical session in place of your long run or do hard effort lap repeats in the pool on the day you would normal do a hard running workout.
3. REMEMBER RUNNING ISN'T ALWAYS EASY EITHER
When we are injured we often think of running as rainbows and butterflies but its important to remember that even when we are healthy its hard to get out the door somedays. If we can remember this, it reminds us that the feeling we feel getting started in the gym isn't anything we can't overcome.
4. UNDERSTAND CROSS TRAINING CAN BE MORE THAN JUST THE GYM
Cross training doesn't have to be confined to the gym. The first few weeks of an injury are usually pretty crushing to me but I realize I can stay active in ways that seem more like a social event such as walking with a friend, hiking, or rock climbing.
5. FIND SATISFACTION IN IT
Just because you're not running doesn't mean completing a gym workout isn't an accomplishment. Ive spent months in the gym and could tell you my PRs on all different kinds of machines and weight maxes! Sometimes its not all about racing but just competing with yourself and being better than you were the day before!
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