Cross training: Because I still want to eat all the things

When the inevitable running blow out happens it is important for me to have something to fall back on (lets see there was the knee blow out, hip flexor strain, stress fracture, heart issue, tendinitis in various places, to name a few). Cross training helps keep my fitness level from falling to nothing, to get my daily dose of endorphins and because I want to keep stuffing my face like I am running 50 miles a week. Mostly the last one.

This time around I decided to actually try to limit even the amount of walking I was doing to let me posterior tibial tendinitis heal as quickly as possible. So I have been hitting the weights hard. Actually it feels like the weights have been hitting me pretty hard. Everything is sore and this has been a reminder of why I find it hard to lift regularly while running a lot. Lifting weights makes it really hard to move the next day. But I am doing my best to stick with it in the hope that I will be able to power through my upcoming runs even though I have not been running.....I am a dreamer.

Some things I have found necessary to embrace cross training even though what I really want to be doing is running.

  1. Join the gym that is most convenient. There are about five gyms I can go to for free on the military base here. I don't live on base and that would require about a 20 minute drive. You know what is 5 minutes from my front door. Planet Fitness. Done. Make it easy. Once I realized free wasn't enough to motivate me, I decided paying dues was and there is really no excuse to not go. 
  2. Create a plan. Much like it is easier to get out and run when you are following a plan. I used to find workouts. This works much better than just winging it. 
  3.  Be realistic. When I first got hurt I made all these big plans to get in the pool. I don't like swimming that much unless I am doing it with other people. I like it even less at 6 a.m. on my own. So instead I embraced the bike as my cardio option. The best kind of cardio is the kind you will actually do.
  4. Be consistent. Much like it took awhile for running to become a habit, cross training doesn't always stick on the first try. I like the reward system. If I stick to my cross training for the next three weeks I get a treat. New pair of running shorts, hat, whatever. The first week should be all about just getting it done. Getting used to a new routine. Instead of getting up for my run, I get up for the gym. This second week has felt better than the first and I am starting to enjoy it more. My hope is when I get back to running I can do better at incorporating cross training into my routine. Because that is how you stay injury free. You think I would learn some day....


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