Since the first of the year I’ve been changing things up. It’s been a long time since I had the time or energy to cross train or do anything other than running. But this year my goal was new year new me, so adding in new activities was a must do. I have access to many activities at the amazing places I teach, so for once I took them up on it.
I’ve started spinning, lifting and doing other cardio workouts. With doing a variety of things, I feel like I’m enjoying running more than ever, I feel like my running is better and my body is recovering better than just running. My run this morning felt effortless even in the high winds. I attribute that to the HIIT spin classes and strength classes I’ve been taking. It’s keeping my body in shape, recovering my muscles by working them differently than just running and clearing my mind. I tackle runs with such excitement now.
Cross training has such benefits to running. It can help your endurance by working your heart and muscles differently than just running. It keeps your muscles guessing and they don’t get into a rut. Also, XT can help with preventing injuries. Opening up and strengthening the weak areas from running and keeping your ROM at its best. It eases stress on joints that running can cause, keeps good blood flow and correct running imbalances. I already feel my hips and glutes are getting stronger. My pace has improved some without extra pain or effort! My knees and hips and adductors feel strong!
Cross trying helps with recovery after runs too. It works your muscles differently than running, giving rest to the major running muscles, promotes blood flow and balance to muscle load. Spreading the work around the muscles!
Cross trying builds endurance too. I found with adding spin and the exertion it takes, the power and endurance I need for running is stronger. Spin class works more HIIT and build my fitness level much more. I’m training in a better cardio zone while running now and can add in bursts of power to my running without pooping me out too early!
Overall, mentally the cross training has given me new life. No matter the physical benefits, it’s the mental that’s helped me the most. I long for run days now and have found love of running for fun rather than having to run. I feel like I connect better with my running more than ever now! I do miss the 50 mile weeks sometimes, but the new fitness I’ve found already outweighs that!
What new things have you tried this year? Made a difference?