Running vs. Cross Training


A subject I have been weary to tackle. It’s so touchy to people. And fairly, no one really wants to hear what you have to say about doing more or working out on non-running days. The focus is 2-3 days short runs and one long run on the weekend. Right? Oh yeah – I know all too well.

On this amazing, sunny, beautiful, 57-degree day in Louisiana, I take off on my normal morning run. Legs, hips, ankles are a bit achy as usual until I get that first quarter mile under me and everything in this 45yo body starts to settle in. I start thinking, thank God I cross train. I am fortunate to be mostly a very healthy runner.

Think about your running form. Seriously… Review it now.

• Is your core engaged?
• Are your shoulders back? No slouching
• Are your feet coming off the ground? No shuffling
• Are your arms hanging low swinging out of control?
• Ladies, do you wear a good sports bra?
• Are your shoes the right shoes for you?

Core strength, yoga and weight training all help with these things (except shoes and bras).
Poor running form causes problems. If you’re going to do it, do it right or at least better.

Runners, especially beginners, are so afraid to pick up a weight or engage in some other activity other than stomping pavement. It’s all about mileage, or is it? Quality vs Quantity.

Running on tired legs… Do or Do not? Why not? It’s not race day. Get out there. When you are training, that’s what it’s about. I would rather run on tired legs any day and strengthen those bad boys up with a push. Training is the worst part. Race day… Is the easy day. You have one goal on that day… A finish line. You do not want to peak before the day of your race. Embrace every bad run you have.

Your legs are not the only part of your body that is doing the work. Think about your upper body and how much power it uses to move the lower half. Your shoulders, abs, obliques, lower back, chest, and even your arms. It’s an anatomy effort. Everything working together to move you forward. Strong core increases the stability of your hips, and pelvis.

Ladies, if you are chest heavy, I suggest you spend some extra money on a damn good sports bra.

If you are an overweight runner, your knees, hips, ankles, back and shoes should be priority. Running should NOT be your only preference of exercise.

I preach the words “full range of motion”. That means finish and end completely.

Squats – sit and stand. Extend your hips at the top. Just like you do when you are on the toilet.
Push-ups – lower your body in a plank position as low as you can get it to the ground and push yourself back up.
Sit ups – engage your core. Do not use your back to propel yourself up, use your core strength.
Lunges – do not fall forward into your lunge. Think about dropping that knee straight down, keeping that heel pressed into the ground and chest up.

Running is so much more than a 13.1 or 26.2 sticker for your car. It is respecting your body, the distance, and longevity of a healthy lifestyle.


Happy Trails,

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