Lesson Learned: Cross-Training is Not Optional

Most of the reasons I didn’t meet goals in 2017 were because of injuries, and most of those were preventable had I been cross-training properly.

I wasn’t cross-training properly.

The bad news: I paid for it with a gap between what I did and what I could have done had I hit my training cycles well.

But that also means I got the lesson beaten into my head before my big marathon challenge: Cross-training isn’t optional.

I’m in week 2 of base-building this winter, and my first real week of cross-training. Normally, that’s going to mean BodyPump classes — thank you, Les Mills On Demand — and BodyFlow or BodyVive DVDs from when I used to teach. This week, since I’m on vacation, I went over to a local gym and took BodyVive and BodyFlow after my run today.


But I enjoyed the classes and my legs don’t hate me quite as much as I thought. Tomorrow, they might hate me more. I’d wondered how my less-stable knee would hold up during the agility tracks, how I’d do with all the up and down from the mat in Flow because I’ve been stiff and my knee hasn’t been as stable, how much I’d lost from when I used to teach these classes back before I returned to the northeast.

My challenge during this “season” in my training cycle is the same as my challenge at this point last year: Get consistent. Running regularly is so baked into my brain now that it just happens. I find a way to do it (well, 95 percent of the time). By the time I start really gearing up for my first 2018 race (Jan. 21, Fred LeBow half-marathon), cross-training needs to be in that same category.

That means no excuses. No whining. No “I don’t have time” for something that’s not running. As Coach B pointed out in a #toughlove blog post, cross-training is part of running. Recovery is part of running. Sleep and nutrition are part of running. As I continue to settle into my new work schedule and relax a bit from serious training for a race, fitting all of these puzzle pieces into my day is key to a successful winter training cycle.

Will I still whine? Yeah, probably. Progress, not perfection.

Today’s workout

Run: 30 minutes easy (treadmill)

XT: BodyVive and BodyFlow, although I took child’s pose a few times in Flow because my legs were toast.

Nutrition: I had a protein shake ready after my classes, and a banana in between running and Vive/Flow. I’m short on vegetables today except for some peppers and onions in my breakfast (bacon, eggs, home fries, toast), although I did also have red grapes with my ham and swiss sandwich and some butternut squash soup at the coffee shop. Dinner TBA, but my dad’s cooking so there will be some kind of vegetable.

More #RunningToNYC posts

Finding a New Routine as Things Change

NYC Marathon: The Biggest Block Party for Runners

Lessons Learned in a Year of Change

Beginnings and Endings, On the Road and Off

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