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Half in Half: The Beauty of Cross Training

Welcome back! This week, I am very excited to dive into all things cross-training. Believe it or not, cross-training is a huge part of half marathon training. I have been able to strengthen my endurance and have also had the chance to try some pretty awesome workouts! Let’s talk about some of my new favorite workouts and the benefits of cross-training.


The Rundown

My training plan has given me two days to fully commit to cross-training. I used to be under the impression that to be ready for a race, I had to be running every day. The fact that I am only running four days and still at a point where I am confident in my ability to complete the race is amazing. I also have a full rest day on Sundays! I have found that adding in two extra days when I am not running has allowed me to feel refreshed and ready for all of my scheduled runs. I am also not burnt out when it comes to my endurance. If anything, I am feeling stronger. Cross-training has been a game changer for me both physically and mentally. I get excited for my fun workouts and excited to crush my run the next day.


Cycling

I have been cycling consistently for two years now. It is amazing to see the improvements that come from showing up for yourself on the bike. I was excited when I realized that I could incorporate cycling into my routine while half marathon training. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to cycle as it could be too much cardio for training for this race. Luckily, that hasn’t been the case at all. Cycling has helped me keep up my stamina, and work muscles that I don’t when I am running. It is also a great workout for strengthening quads, glutes, and hamstrings. Not to mention it's basically a dance party on a bike! If you are looking to improve your overall stamina and not worry about a high-impact workout, cycling could be your new favorite!


Zumba

This workout has been the highlight of my cross-training. I LOVE Zumba. If you haven’t tried it, do yourself a favor and sign up for a class! The energy is amazing. Also, let's make sure we are all on the same page. I am NOT a dancer. I am the farthest thing from being able to dance or have really any sort of coordination. With that being said, Zumba is a fast-paced dance. It is such a fun way to get in cardio and shake out any remaining sore muscles. The Latin-inspired dances also target different muscles and make for a great sweat! Grab your friends and go tear up the dance floor, you will be so happy you did!

Yoga

Yoga has been amazing for the days that I am tired, sore or just looking for a more relaxed workout. I specifically love Vinyasa yoga as it is breath-centered and slow-movement-focused. I love lighting a good candle, dimming the lights and finding a yoga video online. I have been very intentional with stretching before and after runs and doing yoga often. Having 30-45 minutes to stretch out has made the biggest difference in my overall soreness.


Walking

In the past, I didn’t consider walking a workout, but it really is! Ever since getting my AppleWatch, I have seen how much walking I do on daily. Whether it's walking 3/4 of a mile to class or taking a stroll to run errands, walking has become an integral part of my routine. When I am walking I typically wear the same shoes I train in. This allows me to continue to grow accustomed to my shoes and be in touch with how my foot moves in them. When I am walking, I pay attention to my stride and the direction my foot moves. This has allowed me to be more aware of my form when I am running and prevent injury. Walking intentionally is such a great way to connect your mind and movement. It has also helped me have a new sense of gratitude for the ability I have to move.


Thank you for sticking with me through this journey! I have loved getting to share everything that I am learning during this process. Stay tuned for next week where I will talk about the mental strength it takes to run. See you next week!

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