17 August 2011

Cross-Training Workout #2 -XT#2

The Run Less Run Faster program is designed as a 3plus2 training program- 3 quality runs and 2 cross-training workouts each week.  I have mostly been using the bike for my cross training because I am not that great of a swimmer and my gym does not have a rowing machine (which is really annoying by the way).  So what is the deal with cross-training anyways?  Here is a list of the "essentials" about cross-training according to my handy book:

-Increase aerobic fitness and help reduce the risk of injuries
-Replace easy run days (junk mileage) with cross-training
-Reduces overuse of a particular muscle group while allowing for increase in cardio fitness
-Allows for greater daily training intensity- even though the same muscle groups are being used, they are being used in different ways
-Non-weight bearing activities give the legs and running muscles a well-deserved break which promotes recovery
-Provides variety and reduces boredom
-Can be based on time rather than distance

Cycling is non-weight-bearing and low-impact and helps develop the quadriceps.  This is important to help balance out the strengthening of the hamstrings and calves that results from running.  Cycling can also increase hip and knee joint flexibility and interval work on the bike can help increase leg turnover for running and ultimately improve running speed!  It is also more beneficial for runners to "quick pedal" at rpm's of 80-90 for strength workouts and 90-100 for tempo or recovery efforts rather than cycle slowly with heavy resistance. 

Today I got to the gym and realized that I left my headphones at home- so that meant in addition to my lovely cross-training I would get to work on my mental toughness as well!  My workout (without music) was a 10 minute warm up with easy spinning, 15 minutes at moderate to hard effort, 5 minutes easy, 15 minutes moderate to hard, then 5 minutes easy as a recovery- all at cadence of 95-100 rpm.  Overall it was a good workout, I think I will stick an extra set of headphones in my car though!  Some music would have made it much more enjoyable- as much as I enjoy listening to the lady behind me singing to herself about how much she loves Jesus, and the 500 excuses the guy doing lunges  with the personal trainer in front of me had for why he is so out of shape!
My completed workout- NICE!
And last but not least- here are 2 of my favorite snacks right now.  The first one is more like a treat, but I figure it is better for me than a candy bar.  I eat it when I have a major sweet tooth.  A graham cracker square with peanut butter and a sprinkle of mini chocolate chips- good stuff!

My pseudo peanut butter cup!
Peaches are my latest obsession- I keep them in the fridge so they are nice and cold!  They can get a bit messy but are definitely worth it.  We bought some from the farmer's market and Tacoma Boys last week, and Terra Organics brought me some more in our fruit/veggie box this morning.   Yum.

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