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Take It and Run Thursday: Cross Training

Today’s “Take It and Run” theme over at the Runners Lounge is cross training. It’s an interesting theme for me considering that I really only recently discovered the benefits of cross training. For four-plus years I’ve thought running was just the thing to do to get or stay in shape. For a brief time in ’04 I lifted weights, but I thought it only made my arms look better. I didn’t realize that it could help my running.

If you’ve followed my blog, you know that in the past month or so I’ve taken up bike riding and weight lifting after back-to-back injuries this past winter. Now that I’m pain-free again, I am feeling the best I have felt in a long time when running, and I have cross training to thank for that. By mixing in a little bit of weight lifting and a little bit of bike riding, it’s taken my focus off running a little bit. My running is feeling more care free these days, and that’s a good thing. Running feels more natural than it ever has before — I always felt I was thinking about it too much.

I know I have a long way to go to get back to the shape I was in, but I can guarantee that cross training will be a big part of my training this summer for Virginia Beach’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon. I hope in three months I can revisit this subject and actually offer some advice on what to do. I’m already considering taking part in 2009’s National Duathlon Festival, so getting in better biking shape will be key to me later this year.

Oh, and if you’re wondering why I haven’t mentioned swimming … well, to put it simply, I don’t swim. I’m not totally ruling it out — I did do a marathon after once saying I never would — but I highly doubt it’ll happen anytime soon. In addition to needing lessons, I also would need to join a gym or join my neighborhood pool this summer, both impossible considering things going on in my professional life.

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  1. merrymishaps
    May 22, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    I’ll be running VA Beach this summer, too. It’ll be my fourth year running it; it’s a great race.

    It’ll be interesting for me this year — it’s a week after my first sprint triathlon. I’ll see how all this cross training works out!

  2. Tree
    May 22, 2008 at 1:57 pm

    I am nodding my head to everything you have written! Ditto to needing swimming lessons, too.

    You have made a fantastic journey so far.

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