Crossing Off Cross Training
[ 1. the action or practice of engaging in two or more sports or types of exercise in order to improve fitness or performance in one's main sport
2. the bane of my existence ]
...can be such an important part of training, especially when you're putting a lot of impact on your body by training hard or when you're trying to increase your fitness level/mileage. For years, I have been trying to get good quality cross training in- mainly by biking or hopping in the pool. I emphasize these words because I have for the most part actually failed and less than half-heartedly completed these off days...
And that's ISSUE NUMBER ONE.... calling my cross training days "off days". This auto-categorized these workouts in my head as less important than my other workouts, as something that can simply just be skipped. WHOOPS. Yes, it can be a recovery day. No, that does not mean I should skip it or go one-cycle-per-minute pace just to move my legs.
Finally grasping the idea that breaking a sweat on the elliptical can actually replace or supplement long runs (um what? now I'm listening) has done wonders for my motivation. I wish as a sprinter sprinter I had been a bit more serious and consistent with it, but now as an 800-sprinter (hehe the denial is real), I feel like its even more important.
Because I didn't care about it (among other reasons, like, if I have over a minute in a workout rep my mind starts wandering to anything and everything) I was instantly bored and had no desire to go longer than 5 min. Here are my tips for getting through:
1) OWN IT as a workout:
When I look at my week's training plan, I acknowledge my Wednesday and Saturday cross training workouts as a valuable part of my fitness and schedule my days accordingly.
My Spotify now has a playlist labeled "Cross Training" where I specifically put songs that motivate me (and/or distract me from what I'm doing) and I use this for my cross training and also when going for some of my runs. Its honestly made a huge difference and made it a little bit fun. Pro tip: When on the elliptical/bike pick up the pace on the chorus or certain upbeat parts of the song every time they occur to simulate hard and easy reps!
A few recent additions to the playlist:
Teeth- 5 Seconds of Summer [I literally get so amped up]
Pon De Replay- Rihanna
Dance Monkey- Tones & I
3) MAKE IT A CIRCUIT:
I don't always do this, but it was definitely helpful when I was starting out and couldn't fathom biking for 40 minutes straight. Also nice for shaking things up a little. Goal is to still keep your heart rate up and get some easier endurance, but breaks up the workout so its easier mentally. Example of something I would do:
10 minutes bike- 2 min easy 2 min hard (or a variation)
Set of V- Ups or other ab
Set of pull-ups or push-ups
Set of rocket jumps or squat jumps
Another ab drill
Repeat until 45, 60, 90, however many minutes of cross training you may be going for! :)
Any and all Cross Training tips will help ya girl out. So please share!