I was that runner that ran hundreds and hundreds of miles and only cross trained or strength trained MAYBE three times a month.
That has changed.
I’ve become obsessed with cross training thanks to Kayla Itsines’ Bikini Body Guide and seeing improvements in my running. I had no idea running less would actually improve my running.
What do I do? I’m on my second consecutive round of Bikini Body Guide 1.0. Currently on week 5 (17). This program is three 28 minute circuit workouts a week. One leg focused, one arm focused, and one ab focused. This program is no joke. I’ve been sore for 17 weeks, but I’ve gotten so much stronger. This program is strength training, cross training, and injury prevention all in one. It’s amazing and I’m so glad I’ve stuck with it for this long.
I’ve also been getting in to yoga and spin classes. I try to practice yoga at least once a week. I get a private lesson at work once a month and I try to go to a studio once or twice a month and practice at home a bit. I’m not very good at all, but I love it. I always feel so much better after a yoga class. I’ve always loved spin classes, but I hadn’t taken many in 2015. I’m trying to attend a cycling class at least three times a month. They’re a great way to burn a lot of calories and get some cross training in. Plus I love the group environment. It’s so much fun!
Between half marathon training, BBG, yoga, and cycling I’m always sore. And I have tough days not knowing if I’m pushing myself too hard, but I try to always listen to my body. I take a rest day when I need it and I try to stretch a lot. My mileage has been lower, but my running has gotten better. Keeping my body guessing has been a wonderful thing.
Easy paced runs have gotten faster. Speed workouts have gotten faster. It’s easier for me to hold a sub 8 minute pace now more than ever and I don’t just think it’s a coincidence.
I love running so much. I’m ultimately doing everything I do to become a better runner (and get that BQ!), but I have found a love for my cross training time. I’m having fun.
So why cross train? (Based on what it has done for me the past few months)
- Injury prevention
- Keep your body guessing
- Get faster
- Get leaner
- Strengthen weak areas
- Have fun
It really is important. And fun. Promise!
If anyone has any questions about balancing it all, feel free to DM me on Instagram or email me!