Wednesday, March 3, 2010

I Cross Train, Therefore I Am

Running tip: Cross training makes a difference. It helps prevent over-use injuries, gives you greater running fitness, and helps minimize running burnout. So, find something you like to do – cycling, skiing, swimming – and make it part of your routine. Just because you’re not running doesn’t mean you’re not training hard for your upcoming race.

Today I got on my bike. It’s 55* in my fair city. Here’s me getting ready to go. This is the stance I always take right before getting on my bike:


And this one, too:


Some of you may not know this about me (and may not care), but I was a cyclist long before I was a runner. I started cycling in college, then got into more distance riding in my twenties. I did a century ride while living in Richmond, VA. After moving to CO, I did the famous Ride the Rockies tour which covered 410 miles over six days, and took us over several major mountains. That ride was a trip because every night after riding 60-80 miles you would rinse off in group showers (not unlike jail) with lots of other naked people. You may think that because people are able to ride 60-80 miles a day they are in shape and have rock hard bodies. Such was not the case in the group showers. Lots of this (only, in color):

That ride was also crazy because every night you would pitch a tent in a high school football field with thousands of other people. Literally, tents were no more than three feet apart. Nothing like the great outdoors. Actual photo in Pagosa Springs. Look closely and you can see Ken in the middle holding two water bottles by our tent (the tent of love) :

Being inside your tent you have the illusion that you are in your own space, and that no one else can hear you. A head's up: Just because people can’t see you doesn’t mean they can’t hear you (got that those of you having loud sex and doing other things that should not be done in a tent city?). Try sleeping in that shit then getting up at 4am and riding all day. But, we did finish (Fred, Ken & I):
When I got pregnant and had kids, I stopped pretty much anything that resembled exercise. It’s hard to work out with a child hanging on your tit all the time. Plus, my motivation fell to the wayside as I was absorbed in the world of diapers, sleepless nights and little people with big demands (who I love very much). Between my two kids, I did one measly triathlon. That’s it. I really didn’t start working out again until I started running in 2008. I know. Lame.

Oh yeah, today I got on my bike. I got on my bike because I am supposed to cross train. I know this because my doctor and the FIRST ("Run Less Run Faster") book told me. I do not really like to cross train. I like to run. I only cross train so that I can run. And because I don’t want to get another stress fracture. These days I run 3x per week (about 30-35 miles total), do Bikram yoga 2x per week, and either swim, elliptical or bike one day. I don’t rest a lot. Maybe one day a week.

Here’s what I noticed on the bike:

  • No stomach upset. Nary a fart.

  • It’s much colder riding a bike than running.

  • Lots of people in Colorado like to cycle. At one point I’m spinning along and I hear this sound approaching from behind (not from my behind). All of a sudden, they were on me like flies on shit. This peloton of dudes whooshing past me. Millions of them. They all had a comment: “Good morning” (it was actually afternoon) “On your left” (no shit) “How’s it going?” “Nice ass,” “Kiss my ass,” “Kiss his ass” (I made up these last three. Any fans of Christmas Vacation?)

  • Miles go a lot faster when you ride vs. run (I’m genius)

  • Running is harder than cycling (okay, triathletes and cyclists if you read this blog please don’t rape and pillage me and my children. I know cycling is tough when you go really fast and when you climb mountains and when you have a headwind and when you ride 100 miles, I’m just saying that I find running much more intense. IMHO).

I finally programmed my Garmin to sync with my cycling. That made it a tad more interesting. Overall, it was nice to be outside. I guess it was nice to do something other than run. And it was definitely nice to not have to take my panties in the shower with me to clean them up for a change.

Do you cross train? Do you like it? What do you do and what benefits have you seen?

Drinking: Starbucks Pike Place Blend


53 comments:

  1. LOL. No one said "nice ass"?! BOO!!!

    I think you are awesome for looking the way you do after kids! No biggie that you didn't work out much between them!

    I like to cross train, but miss running when I do it. I think the benefit is that I am NOT running, and letting my body rest. Hee hee.

    My friend did Ride the Rockies last year! I wonder if his experience was anything like yours!

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  2. Oh yea girl, I love to cross train by riding my bike. I love to ride, yet I agree that running is much harder.

    We definitely need to get together to ride. My husband rides too. However, if you take that stance right in front of me, I'm going to kick you right in the ass. No joke.

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  4. I act like and talk about needing to cross train but haven't gotten past yoga in my living room and saying I will do that PX90 sitting on my desk.

    Love Christmas Vacation!

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  5. My cross training consists of twice weekly torture sessions with a personal trainer who has me crawling all over the floor, rolling stability balls off the walls, and giving him a ride on the leg press sled. Compared to those sessions, running is definitely easier. Maybe that's why I've learned to like it so much :)

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  6. I love to cross train! I use weights or my TRX. I do bike every once in awhile. I also love to rock climb. Cross training makes me look forward to running!

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  7. I'm loving that you just quoted Christmas vacation!

    PS I need to crosstrain more, I mean at all. I only run and I'm sure that's not great for the shins.

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  8. So even if you don't mention farting, you post a picture of you in a "passing gas" position. Sweet...

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  9. Does Tiger Woods Golf on my Wii count as XT?Actually, I can't wait for golf season, cause walking a course is about 4 miles with 50 pounds on your back definately counts as cross training.

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  10. sooo cool how hardcore you are with the riding stuff!! i don't cross train nearly enough but i've definitely noticed that i have wayyy less GI issues when i'm xting. i think my innards just get jostled too much running and keeping my torso relatively stable helps lots

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  11. I do P90X and hope to get a bike soon. I also swim.

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  12. Christmas Vacation is one of my number one favourite movies. I can pretty much quote any part of it!

    Everybody is talking about biking these days. Guess I've gotta get mine going soon.

    We rode 600 miles in 6 days over the Rockies in Canada, on mountain bikes. First time I got pregnant on the trip. The second time I was 3 months pregnant. Just me and hubby and whatever gear we could carry (tent, sleeping bags, cooking stuff, clothes, all our food).

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  13. I haven't mixed in cross training yet. I probably should...maybe I'll start swimming again or something. I bet it would help in the weightloss department.

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  14. First, THANK YOU for the Christmas vacation reference. I was finishing those quotes for you before I even was done reading. Awesome.

    I swim one day a week (or every other week). It's like yoga to me - I always get out feeling loose and stretchy. And it's really nice to work my arms more for a change. Cycling and any other cross training (elliptical of stupidity) bores me and is really hard to get motivated to actually do a decent workout on.

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  15. Did Jill or Tara give you that picture of my buns?! Please return it as soon as possible!!!

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  16. I go to the gym and pretend I do lots of weights...does that count? I also try to drown Tara at the pool once a week when her lung fungus...but have no fear, triathlon-man is always there to save (flirt with) her. You'll hear a lot about "periodization" in your RRCA class where cross training isn't a huge factor in marathon training. I just try to do a lot of weight training and stretching and damn, I wish my gym offered a Pilates class other than 10:00 on Tuesday cuz I'd go to that as it's great for runner's muscles.

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  17. OMG...I can't believe you put a picture of my ass on your blog! I honestly believed that someone told you "Nice ass" :)

    I do crosstraining...bike and elliptical. I am trying to work in swimming. I have found my joints just feel better if I alternate running and cross training.

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  18. I love to cross train. However, in the city where I live, there are no bike paths and a lot of country roads. It is not that safe! I miss riding my bike :( When I lived in Arizona I would do it all the time with my dad in the desert and they had all of the nice bike routes.

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  19. I love cross training. I think getting into triathlons was the best thing I did for my running!

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  20. 55?!? AHH jealous! its gonna be 50 here this weekend and i cant wait!!! :) :) :) :)

    i just started doing more cross training and im loving it!

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  21. I actually want to get a bike for this very reason! I pretty much only run and do yoga, but I know mixing something else in there would be a good idea ;-)

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  22. Being a FIRST girl from the beginning of my "serious running" era, I've always been pretty good about XT. I do yoga 2x/week, cycle once or twice, alternate between lifting weights/kettle bell/plyometric intervals to keep the old bod guessing. I also ice skate quite a bit. And since the advent of my latest injury, I've become a pool running connoisseur.

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  23. I'm a tennis junkie. If that counts. I also strength train. We'll, *ahem* I'm starting that next week.

    Winks & Smiles,
    Wifey

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  24. I *heart* cross training too, or i guess that's why I like the triathlon world. i should dabble into the yoga/pilates world a bit more..but baby steps right?

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  25. I started riding my bike regularly as cross training last summer and feel the same way about it. I also like that I can wear a regular bra if all my sports bras are in the wash. That sure as hell never works with running!

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  26. You are funny...I love your what you wrote! So true about biking vs. running.

    I love to cross train. I only do it once a week and it's not outside and a bike but wish it could be. It breaks up the running days for me and gives my kind of a free day even though I'm still working out on the eliptical and the bike. I like being able to talk to someone or read a book. Can't read a book while running....

    Thanks again for a fun post.

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  27. ummmm the poses are hot...I should try these!

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  28. I'm backwards to you. I started running first and, then, added cycling to cross-train. I was diligent about upper body training (weights and erg.) until I had children. My goal for this year is to develop more upper body again.

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  29. your pictures crack me up! i don't really like to cross train but i know i should. if i do i usually take a aerobics class or one of my dvd's. Not really one for the bikes! I love how you said running is harder!

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  30. oh noez!! bike cleats on hardwood floors!!~~ lol and love that ass pic (not the actual ass in it, just the pic)

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  31. I am a triathlete, but I won't rape and pillage your family :-)
    I think running is way hard, harder than statistics (that I had to take twice in college).
    All my training is cross training, which is nice since I have ADD...
    What was I talking about?
    Oh yeah, and now I do plyometrics and that stuff is hard too.

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  32. 55 degrees! Are you serious? Envy, envy!

    Another hilarious post, btw. You crack me up!

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  33. Guess who's going to bike tomorrow? Thanks for the reminder that I have 2 wheels out there - and KS weather is just 24 hours behind CO weather! Yahoo!

    It's okay to give the credit to my butt in that photo. really.

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  34. That ride through the rockies sounds amazing! I'm adding that to my life list!
    I've been reading that book to (run less run faster) too. I plan to do A LOT of cross training this spring. I'm injury prone, so it just makes sense. It's nice to mix it up anyways.
    I'm kinda new to biking (just bought a road bike last summer) so if you have any tips for beginners I'd love to hear them!
    -Alyssa

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  35. I'm using the FIRST training also. Started swimming more and doing circuit training with my husband. Love it so far!

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  36. You said the "P" word! :/ LOL!

    I had no idea you were such an avid cyclist... sounds like quite the adventure in tent city.

    Way to keep up with the cross-training. Hopefulyl your body will appreciate it.

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  37. Cross-train, yes I do! I do strength/lifting on alternating days. I also do martial arts which helps me get some different exercise in. Loved your bike story!

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  38. Hilarious!!
    and I agree on all points... I too was a cyclist before I became a runner and just this week dragged out the ole bike for a spin. It was nice!

    Thanks for the laugh!!

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  39. You should train for Ragbrai - it sounds much easier than your mountain rides. Cross-training consists of carrying kids on my back, lugging them here and their, carrying both kids at the same time (43# each), and all those darn exercises my PT is having me do daily. Eventually I'll get back to yoga, but I'm not counting on it being anytime this month or next.

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  40. Wait. "Pitching a tent" at a high school? If I did that, it'd be creepy!

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  41. My regular training is a swim-bike-run schedule with pilates thrown in. My cross-training consists of elliptical but more so stretching, ART and foam rolling. I know that sounds off-norm, but for me, it works.

    My friend lives/trains in CO and I am soooo jealous! You guys have it great out there!

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  42. All I can say is - I hope my butt doesn't look like that. ;-)

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  43. Man oh man! That butt was not a pretty sight in my google reader! Thanks!
    And thank you for the Christmas vacay reference - I LOVE that movie!
    You were badass even back then - very cool to remeniss with you :) Good job on the xtraining :)

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  44. I hate riding...I guess that is why I do judo and/or weight lifting as my cross training. But mostly I run.

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  45. I agree. Rnning is harder than cycling. You see so many more fat men in lycra on bikes than you do running. We runners do it all under our own steam. We don't get any help from momentum and we don't have gears.

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  46. I run and swim lots with a little weights thrown in....and I like them all. I could never say one is harder than the other. I think that's pretty silly since every workout serves a purpose. Some runs are easy, I think they're called recovery runs :), and some swims I'm totally lactic for 85% of the workout....it's all relative. It makes sense that people who have running injuries (ahem, like stress fractures) also say running is harder. Yeah, it is harder if all you do is run hard. It's also not smart. Just sayin.

    Happy Hanukkah! I love sparky!

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  47. I love my cross training days which are either Elliptical trainer or stat. bike. I wish I could get outside with the bike but I'd need snow tires. ... as much as I like cross training, I never feel that I got the aerobic workout that I would have if I ran.

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  48. i love my bike! i think it is amazing...everything you have accomplished. you go girl! by the way...i love "christmas vacation" too. thank you for always inspiring me.

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  49. Cross training is the best. I have 4 things that I absolutely love doing. Some days I actually do them all in one day!
    My other "loves" are kettlebells, biking and swimming. Throw in some running and it's all bliss for me! I like them all the same, OK, I'm a little more infatuated with my kettlebells! Being a trainer, I have to promote! Promote good stuff, not that shit Jillian Michaels is trying to get away with.
    These days, your blog is the only one I make sure I read as soon as I see it's a new post, I need to laugh these days and you pull it off every time! Thanks!

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  50. I cannot believe I am just now reading this post! I know it is about cross training, but you are so hardcore (as a runner) that the thing that stood out to me was having a child on your tit nonstop. My third recently stopped breastfeeding at 17 months, and suddenly I'm running one marathon, possibly two. It is so freeing to have some time without the kids. (And I love them.)

    I am currently biking for another week or two (nonstop) as I have an ankle sprain. (Hoping the bone scan shows me fracture free!) I love to lift weights and do Yoga at least once a week, and cycle once a week (when I can actually freaking run).

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  51. Wait, I'm confused.... So, when you were in the prison biking league, you had to shower with lots of dimpled peaches? Very confused.

    I SHOULD x-train more than i do, but alas I don't. Is it too late for new years resolutions?

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  52. Hm...I don't know, Beth. I ran 10 miles with the girls today. And we were passed by several cyclists on the downhill. But I remember saying, "I would rather propel myself (run) up the hill than propel a bike up the hill. That looks much harder."

    I am participating in my first tri next year. At some point I am going to have to actually buy/ride a bike and swim in a public pool. Both of these things freak me out. This might would have been something to consider when I decided to do a tri... (not a genius.)

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