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
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.