Figuring Out How To Cross-Train

I addressed this a tiny bit a few posts ago…I’m new to the cross-training world.  You might be thinking, “huh?”  Let me explain.  When I started running, I ran. Period.  I mixed in some leg lifts and crunches every so often, but that was my limit. It’s not that I didn’t want to cross-train, I just didn’t.  Now that I’m in the triathlon world it’s been easier to cross-train, mostly because I “have to”. 

Having joined the YMCA this is my first year I’ve had access to a pool, which has been terrific.  I am in love with the pool.  I’ve missed feeling like a fish in water and now that it’s back I find great joy in swimming laps.  I know, it sounds crazy.  In addition to the pool, having an indoor bike trainer has helped mix things up too.


With that being said, this off-season has me going in circles a bit.  I don’t have anything definitive that I’m training for, so I really have no direction per se. (I plan on starting my half marathon training schedule that last week of January.) I’m still experiencing the excitement of the newness of biking and swimming during the winter (something I’ve never done before) and find myself deferring to them instead of heading out for runs.  It’s easy to say to myself, “It’s cold outside, I’ll just stay in and ride the trainer.”  With nothing “threatening” me (i.e. race) it’s real easy to do this.  I admit, this laid back approach is nice.  However, as you well know, I like structure and have had a few anxious moments with my choices.  It’s no surprise that I will also admit that I look forward to having a set schedule that will hold me accountable to a specific sport everyday.

So, what do you do when you’re not training for a race?  Do you still stick with a strict schedule or are you more lenient and mix it up a bit?



  1. Thank goodness I have a personal trainer/coach. He sends me workouts every week and makes sure I include weights & a core workout in there at least twice a week. Before I had a coach/trainer though, in the winter, I’d still go hard core and swim at least 3-4 times a week as well as bike & run 3 – 4 times a week.

  2. I’m like you – I like structure. I like having a goal, a training schedule. So right now I’ve been a lot more lenient than I usually am. But I’ve been enjoying going to spinning classes the past few weeks – I like the change of pace!

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