I am training for my first ever half-marathon May 20th and am super nervous and super excited! I know I could learn more about running and even if you've been running awhile, you never really know it all. So I decided to have some guest posters on the blog to help me (and maybe you) out!
Check out the other posts so far:
I have a guest post from my new friend-in-real-life Andrea who blogs over at Life is Beautiful. I met her in person at my first 10K, but we have been chatting on DailyMile and Twitter for quite some time now. It's so fun to meet bloggers in person!
Check out her post below on one way to not injure yourself in training. :-)
Cross Training by Andrea Morton
When I first started running, that's all I wanted to do. I loved the feeling of pounding the pavement, the joy of finishing the same loop a little faster, and hey - the calorie burn was nice too.
As I made runner friends and started to read running publications, I learned about proper hydration and fueling, why I needed some shoes suited to my specific needs, the use of speed workouts and long slow distance runs...and cross training.
Most of which sounded super duper fun. Except the part about sacrificing one of my running days to ride a bike, take a swim, or use an elliptical trainer. Boo! And why would I need to lift weights to run better??
It's been stated that 60% of runners are injured each season. That was me! I thought that injury was just part of running more and more miles. Each summer, I would go to my doctor (a Triathlete) and get a list of strengthening exercises to perform, and a prescription to ride a bike, take a swim or use an elliptical trainer instead of running for a while.
I finally decided, that cross training and weight training on a regular basis might prevent my injuries.
Here's what happens when you cross-train.
- You get injured less! Running uses, primarily, the back of the legs musculature. Cycling uses your quadriceps (the front of your legs). By working the opposing muscle group, you support your fabulous running muscles and can run more with less injury.
- You can breathe easier! Aerobic fitness is increased every time you lace up - BUT - you can only run so much. By doing other things that raise your heart rate, you can increase your aerobic fitness without risking injury.
- You are more flexible! Lifting weights, doing core work and even branching out in to some Yoga or Pilates can spell big dividends in the flexibility department...both physically and psychologically. Physical flexibility is super important for a safe running stride - but who hasn't gotten to the gym and been missing a vital part of their running gear. No problem - hit the mat for some core work, or even wear your street shoes and pump some iron.
- IT'S FUN! If you're new to running and are loving it - you can be new to cycling or swimming, or yoga and it will be fun as well - promise. And remember how fun it is to shop for running gear - whoa Daddy - you'll have 3x's the fun with cross training. :)
So far so good!
Since I've started cross-training, I've not been injured and I completed my first Triathlon. While I will always probably identify myself as a runner, I'm having a blast being a triathlete. I've found that Yoga is great for a long-nagging back issue, and my arms are looking good for tank top season. :)
So set aside one day a week for cross-training. You'll be glad you did.
Now it is time for me to go to sleep before I die.
Okay a touch dramatic...but I had to work at 4:45am this morning! On a Saturday!!
That should be illegal.
I have 9 miles on the run today so wish me luck!
Have a great weekend friends!
*~Amanda aka Semi-Health Nut~*
What's your favorite way to cross-train?
Do you have any races coming up?