May 10, 2010

The *real* reason runners cross-train

Today, on the advice of my crack coaching/advisory team (more on that later) of Herb and Tony, I cross-trained for 45 minutes.

So this morning, I had my first xtraining workout in probably a year. I give cross training the rather wide definition of "anything that isn't running."

I wanted to warm up with a little cardio. There were probably 3 or 4 different types of cardio machines to choose from (treadmills notwithstanding), so I chose this thing, whatever it is:
What the frick are these things, anyway?
Lasted 5 minutes. Here is what I wrote to Tony and Herb:

Warmed up for 5 minutes on some machine with a weird movement. felt totally unnatural.

Then, I lifted weights with Will and Barry for 45 minutes. W&B are friends of mine who work out at that gym a few times per week, and I had arranged to meet them there. They had a routine that they did, and I went along with it: four sets of four different workouts, all compound joint. Two focusing on chest, two focusing on back.

This being my first time lifting in a year, I made sure to lift light and focus on form. I'm no expert by any stretch of the imagination, but in my early 20s lifting was actually my exercise of choice, and the experience I gained is still alive and well. One technique I used to use and rarely (then and now) see anyone else do is focus on the eccentric contraction - that is - go nice and slow when lowering the weight. So I did that as well, and, as long as I could handle it, I went for twelve reps per set.

On the drive home, I had difficulty turning the steering wheel. Seriously.

Here's what I wrote in my report:
Then, lifted weights for 45 minutes. Haven't lifted in a year.

Can't move my arms now.

I concluded the report with what I learned today:
I now know why we x-train - to remind us of how awesome running is.

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