Thoughts on cross-training

Every time I go through a training season I try to integrate something new into the plans. it can either be a new type of workout or a different weekly line up or a new technique--anything different. this helps keep the training interesting. sometimes it sticks, sometimes it doesn't, but I like to think the end result always improves my running and overall health.

The major things I've worked into this training season is cross-training and ab work. I always had cross-training on my training plans because everything I've read has told me that's the smart thing to do. Actually, if you look through my old schedules you will see "Cross Training" written for every single Sunday. Sure enough, Sunday would come and I would be too exhausted from the the previous day's run and too busy with the errands I neglected on Saturday to do any type of cross training. I realized that if any type of cross training was to be done, it wouldn't be on Sunday.

This time around I moved cross-training to Mondays. Oh Jesus, that first Monday I didn't want to go--so I didn't. The second Monday, I still couldn't talk myself out of bed to go. But the third Monday I shut up the voices in my head that, from a lazy Christmas break, had gotten used to sleeping in.

I mostly lift weights, concentrating on my upper body for no other reason than the idea that I work out my lower body enough through running. Then I finish off the workout with several ab and lower back exercises to help with breathing and posture. I try to do other ab work throughout the week, but on Mondays I dedicate about 15-20 minutes.

It's been a couple of weeks of this cross-training business and truth be told, in terms of running performance there really haven't been any benefits. I don't feel faster or stronger on hills or like I have any more stamina. I figure I have to wait until race day to see if really helps. However, I can say that my stomach has never been flatter--which Wifey seems to like.

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