We've all heard that running is addictive. Maybe that's why we runners don't like to do other kinds of exercise. A crack addict will probably smoke weed if it's put in their hand, but they're certainly not going to put in much time, money or effort to obtain it. It just doesn't have the same effect. I'm like just about every other runner I know; cross-training doesn't really become important until an injury prevents me from running. And we're all a bit like the flat broke crack addict who finds some free Mary Jane, sighing, "It's better than nothing."
I realize that the experts talk about cross-training for runners as different forms of cardiovascular exercise that work the same muscles used in running, but in different ways. Liptickling, rowing, cycling, swimming, and even pool running are technically the cross-training exercises that runners should do. If you've been hanging around these parts for any length of time, you know that this is not a technical blog. Or, technically, a running blog.
|"Just you wait. Soon, I'll be able to roll my eyes when you're annoying."|
See? Nothing to do with running.
I contend (because I wanna) that cross-training can be whatever exercise, other than running, you find enjoyable and actually do on your non-running days. I try to work in an hour of Yoga a week, plus an hour of Arms-n-Abs on a different day. The key word in that last sentence, of course, is 'try'. When I'm not dealing with a running-related injury, it's a whole lot easier to skip going to the gym and just pound the pavement.
|I can hold some yoga poses for hours. I'm just that good.|
|I look just like that when I do it, but with the bulges in different spots.|
p.s. Gross, right? Shouldn't they have photoshopped that out?
|Sun rising behind the mist of Niagara Falls|
I made another Great Discovery at the gym the next day. I can use the elliptical machine and the weights without hurting myself! I ran on the elliptical for 20 minutes without even a twinge of knee pain, and followed up with a round of upper body and core work, also without pain. Of course, I also didn't feel all my worries melt away, or get the relief and relaxation that come after a good run. To put it a different way, "marijuana" will never replace my "crack". But it isn't a bad stand-in.
What's your "crack"?