I’m hunkered away at Starbucks waiting for my poor cracked feet to heal from wearing crappy quality flip-flops this weekend. You’ll see me as the super cool chick in the corner chair sporting white cotton socks (for protection) with sandals, applying Jergens to my dogs about every twenty minutes while sipping Zen iced tea and blogging like a madwoman. (Don’t tell my dad about the feet, it’ll worry him for Saturday.) Which brings me to the topic of the day. Taking care of yourself and cross-training.
As athletes, it is vital to take necessary precautions when tending to our injuries no matter how insignificant they may seem or how silly we feel during the healing process; especially if you want the opportunity to perform at your best when it matters the most. I’m in public right now and NOT even wearing a sign that says, ” I’m wearing socks with sandals for medicinal purposes only.” That’s dedication. Yesterday we talked about training for hills. Because our bodies are highly adaptable and able to become extremely efficient at performing the activities we partake the most, cross-training is important to improve overall fitness and increase our functional capacity. Cross-training changes the stress occurring to specific muscle groups because new movements engage the tissue in different ways. Ultimately the risk of injury due to the overuse of one muscle group (a repetitive stress injury) is greatly reduced.
Suggested cross-training for runners are swimming and cycling. Both activities permit a wide range of motion. Lord knows you’ll see me in the pool this week allowing my tootsies to heal shoelessly and when they do, you’ll find me at Loop. Cyclists work opposing muscles (i.e. quadriceps and hamstrings) differently in the saddle than they do when on foot. Plus it breaks the monotony of just pounding pavement every day. Loop Cycling Studio is a great place to log in some cool low-impact miles in the comfort of an air conditioned facility. You’re still getting an aerobic workout and you have the opportunity to build muscle by turning up the bike’s resistance and reaching for the three-pounders during the hand-weight regimen. Loop is a cross-training must for athletes of all fitness levels. Kim, Cathy, and Casey are teaching today so pop in and cross-train to add power to your Steamboat stride!