I’m about to gove a talk about cross training to a virtual group of half marathoners, and thinking about it has got me to thinking about what lead me to thinking about what – and whom – got me here, to where it’s all about cross training…..it’s never all about just running….
I’ve never been that A-Type person that always had/has to lead….I can when needed, but most often I just follow someone/anyone going in the direction the most, interesting?
I think I mentioned this before, but I have never actually trained specifically for anything…not for Ironman triathlons, marathons, whatever……I just took up the challenge whenever someone else said, hey, let’s g to Penticton and have some fun……and yes, you do have to train to swim over 4K, bike 180 and then run a marathon…..but that’s so much fun, as is race day……the most fun you can have with your clothes on…or at least some of our clothes.
The secret, my secret has been the power of friends…..surrounding myself with a fantastic group of people, inspiring, motivating….or simply, some that made me want to get up every Saturday and Sunday morning to do whatever, had me out and about on every other day or evening to do more of the same..
I’ve always found that this stuff is a lot of like just being a kid again…..you know when someone knocks on your door and asks you if you wanna go for a bike ride, or to throw a football around, maybe head to a tennis court, maybe for an afternoon at the swimming pool or lake…….well now, we do much the same…..just now we call fun, well, training?
One of my fave memories is a bunch of us, hopping on our mountain bikes, I think we were all in our 50s, the middle of winter, the trails so full of snow that just peddling was a challenge, and just having a blast, while still getting fitness, endurance out of the endeavor…..was it specific? was it hill repeats, speed training, intervals, whatever, nope…..but did it make me stronger, a better, stronger, runner, rider, swimming…in every way possible.
That time, from about 1998 to 2010, I have to say was when I was the fittest ever……..I still have some of that……every day is a new adventure….not building a tree fort, not building a raft, but just as much fun….and everything, everything, adds to the total….
Every action adds stength to where the others can’t, add elements another one can’t….a swim, breathing, core strength; biking, mountain biking…..leg strength, and of course, core strength,…..cross country skiing, well, benefits pretty much everything…….
The other element though I think is fun…it never gets boring, and there’s proof of this working. So many racers have proven that fast comes from variety…yes, weights, maybe yoga…….all around strength training, and for sure cross training….there are examples on top of examples, triathletes decided to just training for marathons, using marathon training, only marathon training, thinking they’d be quicker, just running a marathon, without the warm up of a swim and a ride…and, well, the proof was, they were actually slower..without the benefit from cross training…..so there!
I’m not going to say that all this fun has made me fast, but I will say always fitter, and way happier….
I have kind of fallen off of that hobby horse a bit, but I still run, I still ride, I still swim…..I hit that mountain bike and the cross country skis as often as I can…….yep, variety is the spice of life, and a vital ingredient.