Runner’s World December 2004
By Jeff Galloway
Q. How can I cross-train this winter and still stay in shape for
running come spring?
A. When the weather gets downright nasty, cross-training can keep
you fit, condition muscles you usually don’t use while running,
and leave you highly motivated to get out on the roads whenever
you can. Alternating short winter runs with other forms of exercise
can also eliminate any nagging aches and pains that may have accumulated
during the past year of running. To maintain your running form and
basic conditioning, you really need to run for only about 15 minutes
three times per week. You can add one longer run of up to and hour
(or more depending on your fitness) every 14 days to sustain your
endurance. This minimalist running routine should leave you extra
time to try other activities. Keep the following cross-training
strategies in mind.
Start Slow: If you haven’t biked in ages, don’t just
hop on a stationary bike and pedal for hours. Your body needs time
to adapt to the unique stresses of any new cross-training activity.
Start with just a few minutes at a comfortable pace and build up
Mix Things Up: You don’t have to do more than 10 minutes of
any one activity to reap benefits. So if you have access to more
than one type of cross-training equipment, pick a few you like best
and rotate them. For example, begin with 10 minutes of cycling,
try another 10 minutes on the rowing machine, and finish up with
10 minutes on the elliptical trainer.
Revisit Weekly: You need to do any cross-training activity at least
once a week to maintain a level of conditioning in that discipline.
The Excuse (And How To Beat It)
Running takes time away from my family.
Family time and running time need not be mutually exclusive. By
including family members in your active pursuits, everyone wins
- you get more time together and they get healthy, too.
1) Join a family-friendly health club with a range of exercise options
that meet everyone’s needs. Runners need treadmills or a track.
A pool is great for kids.
2) Designate family exercise time once or twice a week. Head out
to a park, track, or playground, and encourage everyone to shoot
hoops, whack around a tennis ball, or climb on the jungle gym. One
parent can run while the other plays with the kids.
3) Get a running stroller (load capacities vary, but a child must
be at least six months old). This gives busy parents a chance to
run - and talk - with the little ones.
4) Take older kids to their sports practices and run around the
field as you watch.
5) Select a 5-K race connected with a fun local festival or one
known for its quirky prizes that you and your spouse (and teenage
kids) can get excited about. Schedule it far enough in advance that
everyone can train properly and swap experiences.
(Say What?) Running Jargon, Translated
Metric Mile: The 1500-meter race. It’s called the metric mile
because it’s the international racing distance closest to
the mile. A true mile equals 1,609 meters.
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