Wednesday, August 3, 2011

On cross-training.

"Invest in rest."
"Incorporate cross-training into your plan."

I've read this advice again and again. And, again and again, I've tried to take it, with varying degrees of success. For me, the cross-training and rest thing came together when I was pregnant. I needed to rest and I needed to give my body a break with cross-training in a different way than I did when I wasn't pregnant. So I appreciated rest and cross-training for the benefits that they provide.

After I gave birth in October and starting running again, I knew that rest days would be more important than ever. I wasn't getting much sleep (sick of hearing that yet?), was trying to adjust to life with an infant, breastfeeding, and fitting in half-marathon training with work deadlines, laundry, preschooler activities and the rest of life.

Since then, I've tried to keep up on rest days and make sure to cross-train. So far, so good. I've been cross-training at least once a week -- definitely more if you count playtime with the preschooler! Most of what I do is workout to some exercise tv on demand programs, because they are convenient -- I can do them in the comfort of my home, whenever I want to. Lately I've been enjoying Jillian Michaels' Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism (DVD available on Amazon HERE), her kettlebells workouts (HERE) and her 30 Day Shred (HERE). I've also been checking out some of the other programs and I like some of the Cindy Whitmarsh programs but not the Amy Dixon ones. I don't know why. Something about her bugs me.


Anyway, I've been doing some cross-training at least once a week and I think it is helping me with my running. My arms and core are stronger and that should mean they'll help me to maintain my form late in the half-marathon when I'm starting to tire. At least that's the plan!

Do you like Exercise tv on demand? What's your favorite way to cross-train? 
Share away -- it's great to hear about new things!

Cross-training was for yesterday. Easy run tonight -- might even get a friend or two to run my hilly route with me! Yay!

Have a good day, everyone.

~ Felice

10 comments:

Denise said...

i've always been a huge fan of cross training and actually didn't like it when my mileage would be so high it was hard to fit it in. now w/ the tris, i'm only running 3 days a week but my runs are so much better. i really think it's the cross training. and not only does it help your running, but it uses muscles that are otherwise neglected!

C├ęcy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
trailrunningchick said...

I don't do TV.
For cross-training I do three things: yoga (at home or a class at our non-profit-free yoga center), I ride the bike, and I also do some at home workout: a mix of lunges, pushups, pullups, etc.
It's hard to find the time and or motivation for it at times but I know it's good and helps me stay free of injuries.

Marlene said...

I have NEVER been a cross-trainer. I just always wanted to spend all the time & energy I had RUNNING.

Even now, I've started cycling and swimming - but that's with a tri in mind, so I don't suppose I can call that "cross-training" anymore. It's just training!

trifitmom said...

i just can't get into tv workouts...

Shellyrm ~ just a country runner said...

I am doing better at adding cross training. I'm doing Insanity right now. Rest days are active for me as in I run every day (day# 451 today I believe) but I do try to have 1 or 2 days with shorter miles and easier paces. Might not always be that way but I believe in daily purposeful exercise for life. I'm going to be that 80 yr old crazy lady still finishing ultras!

Melissa said...

I'm pretty good about getting in cross training and I actually tried exercise TV on demand for the 1st time this Monday! I was SHOCKED at the amt of content that was on there...it was actually overwhelming.

I really went outside of the box (for me) and tried belly dancing and hip hop dance. I was HORRIBLY bad at the belly dancing and slightly less horrible at the hip hop but I really look forward to checking out other programs. It was an optional rest/cross day in my training so I didn't want to tackle a Jillian workout this particular evening!

Marisa @ The Pace of my Life said...

i use exercise tv on demand, too, and have used a few yoga download.com workouts, too.

merrymishaps said...

I do yoga regularly, and swim and bike when tri training ... but I haven't been doing much strength training lately. While I've had the 30-Day Shred forever, I did it for the first time in a long time yesterday. Um, ouch!

Yeah, that's a good workout ...

Erin @ Create or Go Crazy said...

I work out two days a week with a small group of women and a trainer. For half of the hour we do a mix of cardio--lots of functional stuff and very few machines. For the other half, we hit the weights--hard. We do lots of core work, both in cardio and weights, and I notice a HUGE difference in my running. I just feel strong, and that's a good feeling, especially after 12 miles in this heat!

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