When I was running 50 miles a week, I did very little cross training.  I’ve always looked to the HalHigdon training plans when I was preparing for a marathon, and when the day said “cross training” I would still just run.  Yes, I think overwork and lack of stretching caused me to develop my heel spur.  Now, I cross train regularly.

I got my 10 miles on the treadmill yesterday.  Yay!  I walked a mile when I was done.  Did some stretching, did some squats, lifted my free weights for a few reps and called my workout done.  Today, I focus on strength.

My number one priority on any given day is getting my exercise in.  I should mention that I have lost 120 pounds in my history.  Just 5 years ago, 120 more pounds ago, if you asked me what I wanted for my birthday or for Christmas – the only thing I would wish for?  To lose weight.  And so I took the proverbial bull by the horns and FOCUSED.  The best art about running?  The weight STAYS off.  I will tell you about my weight loss journey soon.  But today?  On any given day?  I MUST exercise in some way.

Today, I focus on cross training.  I start each day with some time on the treadmill.  Then depending on the day, depending on the goal, I will get up at 5:30 AM and walk, jog or run on the treadmill.  Exercise is a top priority for me.  I value the weight that I was able to lose.  So, I like to make sure I get the exercise in.

On a cross training day, I hit the gym.  When I first developed my heel spur I spent so much time at the gym on the bike.  I don’t like to bike.  I don’t have a pool at my gym, so I don’t swim.  And I sink or doggie paddle anyway.  I love the stair stepper and the elliptical machines.  I put in a good 30 minutes on one of those and then hit the weight lifting circuit.

I really got into weight lifting this year.  My friend asked me to join his Tough Mudder team, which I did (I’ll tell you about that later).  I had had little interest in doing a Mudder, but I am so glad I joined.  ANYWAY – I didn’t want to be the weakest member on the team.  I was the only girl of 7 team members, and I wanted to hold my own.  So I focused on arm strength this year.  I’m 40 years old and I’ve got nice arm muscles.  I like that about me.   I go to the gym and focus on:

  • The Seated Chest Press
  • The Shoulder Press
  • The Lat Pull Down
  • The Seated Row
  • The Bicep Curl
  • Triceps

On any marathon I have run, my legs have ached.  So I do some exercises just for their strength, including:

  • Leg Press
  • Leg Extension
  • Hamstring Curl

My legs are stronger, my arms are stronger, I continue to eat healthy and keep the weight off.  I continue to follow Hal Higdon’s marathon training plan, even with my heel spur, and I always CROSS TRAIN.  It helps my running muscles rebuild and makes me a better, stronger runner.