Cross Training and Running.

Today is Thursday and that can only mean one thing! It’s the Runners Lounge “Take it and Run Thursday” series where they ask writers with a running problem to share their insights with the rest of us. Today’s topic: Cross Training….

Cross Training has always been another “should” on very long list of other “should’s”

I should floss more

I should get my hair cut

I should vacuum regularly

I should cross train more.

It’s just one of those things I’ve never LOVED or understood. Once I joined a gym, my dislike for cross training only grew. I was intimidated by bulky men, the big machines and I felt shy in staking a spot on a bench during peak gym time.

I lacked Cross Training Confidence. I knew how to run really well. I had that down. Cross Training. Not so much.

Very recently several things changed

1. I built confidence running the Boston Marathon. I’ve done Boston, I thought, I deserve to lift weights just as much as anyone else in the gym. Does that sound funny? But it was true. Before I would get so intimidated I wouldn’t so much as go for a dumbbell if I thought I might be in someone’s way. I had zero confidence. Now I remind myself that I pay my dues, I can use the weights too.

2. I made weight lifting the priority. Before I would tack weight lifting exercises onto the end of an hour of cardio (elliptical or stationary bike). I felt like I’d already done enough and it gave me an excuse bow out. Now I get to the gym first thing twice a week and start with weight lifting.

3. I made friends with medicine balls. I LOVE these things. I do big body movements with the medicine ball. It gets my heart rate up and I don’t get bored.

4. I steal moves. Lately, I’ve been spying gym goers – those who look like runners or who are sporting a recent race t-shirt – then I steal a few exercises they do. Genius!

5. I set up everything in one place. I stake out a corner of the gym and set up a box, a mat, a few sets of dumbells, a medicine ball and I go to town. I don’t follow a series of exercises strictly, but I do powersets and move quickly between each set. I don’t always feel sore, but I think I’m starting to see some change.

6. I try not to get too serious about the whole thing. Cross Training shouldn’t be a “Should.” I am trying to change perspective and realize that I “CAN” cross train and that the more I do it, the more I’ll start thinking, “Yay! I GET to Cross Train today!

7. I remind myself that every little bit counts. Not every session has to be awesome – I just need to try and learn from my mistakes.

And secretly, I kind of dig my new and improved biceps and shoulders. And as an added bonus, I’m starting to see improvement in my running. My back doesn’t tire out so quickly on long runs, I have more umph in legs during hill climbs. Those results are reason enough to continue.


About heatherdaniel

I'm a runner, writer, eater and traveler.
This entry was posted in health, running, Take it and Run Thursday. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Cross Training and Running.

  1. Hey Heather, nice article. I feel the same way about cross-training. I like running…but cross-training? Hmmn…not so much. But then again, I haven’t done Boston yet, so maybe I have an excuse to be intimidated? Nice job overcoming your fears. I, on the other hand, must wait for that confidence builder. It’ll get done, one of these days!

  2. merrymishaps says:

    I was resistant to cross training at first, too. But I’m trying to turn over a new leaf!
    (A pending triathlon is forcing me to! But I’d also like some better definition in my arms …)

  3. RazZDoodle says:

    I think if you ran Boston you should get a lot of free passes.

  4. Teresa says:

    Nice words of wisdom. You have inspired me to try a bit more. I *really* need to buy a fitness ball, I think!

  5. Nat says:

    Medicine balls… I should get one. You are right of course…

    Maybe I should wear my running shirts to the gym.

  6. quicksilverrunner says:

    Liked your post Heather!

    Have fun showing off those muscles. Maybe a six-pack soon.


  7. Amy says:


    Nice post and so true!

    Would you mind if I shared it with runners by adding it to the Know How section on the Lounge? ( I would, of course, credit and link back to you.



  8. Lake Louise Nutrition says:

    Great, data artificial, specially from the major news corperations with the big slants to the left or right. Did you see last nights Late Show? haha, that was hilarious! Sorry, I am rambling along over again. Have a Great day!

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