Friday Ramble 01/14/22
This week: What to do when you can’t run. Plus: A short racing update, and a farewell to my old car.
Normally, the Friday Ramble is when we talk about what I’ve learned from running during the past week. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been any running since Monday. The trails are too icy and my heart simply isn’t in pounding asphalt, although that may change if this lingers much longer.
In the absence of miles, my focus has turned to dialing in strength training and hopping on the spin bike for some hard intervals and a taste of cardio. While I enjoy both activities, three days without running is obviously less than ideal from a training perspective.
Nevertheless, I’ve learned the hard way over the years that cross training during down periods is essential to maintaining my fitness, as well as my mental health. If I could give everyone reading this any piece of life advice, it would be to move your body purposefully in some way, every day.
We haven’t talked much about cross training in this newsletter, mainly because I’d rather be running than biking, swimming, hiking, or literally anything else. Still, the benefits of incorporating cross training into your exercise routine are many.
In addition to maintaining cardiovascular conditioning and working multiple muscle groups that running may neglect, low impact cross training can help reduce your chances of injury. The pounding your body absorbs from running takes its toll on everyone eventually, so diversifying your aerobic options can pay dividends down the line.
Psychologically, cultivating a cross training option you don’t hate can also help prevent you from going coo-coo bananas – as my 8-year-old likes to say – when you can’t run. Like now, for instance. Here are three workouts that helped get me through this tough stretch with some semblance of sanity.