Cross Training

Without being able to run I’ve had to resort to a lot of cross training to keep in shape. I’m not great at fitting in time for other fitness activities other than core strengthening when I’m running a lot since I like running so much, and tend to subscribe to the more is better line of thinking. Seeing as this might have a little bit to do with how I got myself injured in the first place, I’m going to make an effort to add in more cross training when I do get back to a run-specific plan.

My go-to cross training activity that I absolutely love is spinning. It’s indoors so weather is never an issue, it’s quick – usually less than an hour, and it’s an awesome, intense workout. However, spinning is still off limits for me, so I’ve had to look elsewhere. I’ve spent a lot of time on the elliptical listening to tunes or catching up on Hulu on my phone to stave off the boredom. I do the same on the recumbent bike at the gym. I get a little frustrated with how much longer I have to spend on these activities to burn the same amount of calories I do running, and just don’t feel the same cardio gains I do from running, but at least it’s something active.

I love to swim, but am not a big fan of the pool situation in this area. I’m used to most gyms being able to have pools, but get that there just isn’t the space for that here. I finally got myself back to the pool up at Washington & Lee though this weekend and it felt great. I love the exhausted but feeling great feeling I get after a hard swim workout.

W&L has a nice, relatively new facility, but it’s usually a bit too crowded for my tastes. I’m not a great swimmer so I much prefer when I can just split a lane with one other person rather than circle swim, which usually doesn’t happen here. I know I’m too slow for the fast lanes so I stay out of them, but when the slow lanes are filled with older folks doing the backstroke, that doesn’t work well for me either. I just purchased a deal for a month at the Crystal City Sport & Health, which recently renovated its pool, so I’m going to check that out soon to see if it works better for me. I’d love to fit swimming back into my exercise routine on a regular basis if I can find the right pool for it.

I’ve also gotten back to biking and am remembering why I used to love riding. I didn’t ride much my first few years down here as I got very nervous in areas I had to ride through traffic and eventually just stopped getting the bike out altogether. Capital Bikeshare rekindled my love of biking – especially the convenience of using it to avoid the metro. Now I’m getting back on my road bike a bit and really enjoying it. I’ve done a couple 90-minute to 2-hour weekend rides along the Custis and W&OD trails over the last two weeks and am getting back in the swing of things. As I continue to get more comfortable on my bike, I hope to join some group rides – something I’ve never done – to keep me motivated and out there riding through the cold winter months.

Tell me how you like to cross train or if you stick with just one primary fitness activity in the comments.