Best Cross-training? (Read 1381 times)

    Hi everyone. I'm running about 6 days a week, 40 miles per week total mileage. Usually I run in the mornings. I'd like to add some cross-training a couple of times a week when I go to the gym in the evenings. The idea would be to get in a little more cardio training without more pounding on the joints. My gym has all the usual cardio stuff -- ellipticals, stairmaster, bikes, rowers -- any comments on which would be the best? Thanks for any ideas.

      Of those things, the one that is "best" is the one that you like most... because you'll be more motivated to do it. And it doesn't have to be one... change it up. Just make sure that if you already have 2-3 "hard" running workouts a week, you don't add a bunch of cardio-intensive "hard" cross training thingies. And if you do, watch out for the spectre of overtraining. All that said... your time you can put towards this is limited, of course. You probably are getting quite a bit of cardio goodness running 6 days a week. I'd put the gym time towards improving strength and maybe flexibility. So, add some lifting. "Flexibility" is a point of contention. Some runners never ever stretch. Some runners who have tried yoga have hated it or gotten hurt by it. Then there are the rest of us who swear by yoga for lots of reasons. Aside from that, my favorite cross training is SPINNING. Not the regular stationary bike. If your gym has spinning classes and you can afford the intensity in your overall plan, give it a try. Beyond that... SWIMMING! Great cardio, easy on most joints. Then after that, I'd go for the ellipticals and stairmaster-y stuff. I personally don't like row machines. But that's all personal preference. Other people will respond to this thread with different stuff. Totally different stuff. It's worth pointing out that my frame of reference doesn't come from "joint pounding". As long as my shoes aren't dead, that hasn't been an issue for me.


        Swimming is the perfect compliment to running. Both are full body workouts...however being running focusing on your legs and swimming focusing on your arms. Running is high impact and swimming is low impact... prefect companions. All that being said... if you run 40 miles a week I think you have a very good solid aerobic base built up. You should really consider some time of resistance/anaerobic work.
          If you hate swimming as much as I do, you won't listen to that suggestion. But wait! Reconsider! The worst part is getting in the water. After that, it's OK! Great cardio without the impact. Builds your upper body so you look hawt and all that. I have continued to improve as a runner while swimming and occasionally biking. It's all good.
            Thanks for the input. Yes, I already do resistance work usually 3x a week -- free weight upper body stuff, pull-ups, dips, abs, etc. -- and will definitely keep that up. I can see swimming would be the perfect complement to running, but don't have easy access to a pool, and have never been a very good swimmer. Guess I'll try different things and see what works best. Thanks again.

            Asics' Benefactor

              Probably not the best to complement running, but--I do love resistance training and plan to compete in a powerlifting meet in the fall!
              2008 Goals:
              Run 5k (Naked Juice) 07/13/08 - 28:39
              Run 10K (San Diego AIDS) 09/28/08 - 51:59
              Run a 25 mile week Run a 100 mile month

              CPT Curmudgeon

                More running.
                  I've been injured with PF and a rolled ankle, and bought an aqua-jogging belt this week. So far I like it better than biking or the elliptical, and I suck at swimming. I do aqua-jogging "intervals" in the pool (looking like a total dork by the way) and it's a great workout. I still mix it up with the other forms of cross training. http://pfitzinger.com/labreports/water.shtml http://pfitzinger.com/labreports/9wkH2O.htm