Category Archives: Cross Training

Two for Tuesday : And a new record

Run followed by Yoga again tonight. 

I haven’t been running much lately, and tonight I was running late and wanted to get 5km in before yoga so I had to go quick. I went out reasonably slow for the first kilometre (it was 0 degrees C after all) but once my Garmin chimed at the 1km mark I opened the taps and just RAN.

I’m not sure if it was the cool weather, the chocolate bar I ate late in the day, my recent light running load or the hip flexor and glute work I’ve been doing, but I took 55 seconds off my PB for 5km, finishing in 22:52. And that was with a first kilometre 30 seconds/km slower than the others. And it wasn’t a race. I really, honestly, have no idea where that came from. When I was running I felt good and knew it would be a good time, but it was only in the last km that I twigged it could be a PB. I certainly wasn’t expecting to take almost a minute off my PB time.

Anyway, that is more than enough self adulation. After my run was yoga. Always guaranteed to bring me back down to earth. Tonight it turned out to be literal…

Even ‘yoga fail panda bear’ did a better headstand than me. Mainly because he didn’t fall over half way through his headstand like yours truly. At least I wasn’t in the front row of the class. No, wait…


Actually, I’ve just realised that I could technically claim that it’s ‘Three for Tuesday’, I did my hip flexor and glutes challenge workout this morning as well.

So there you go. 3 workouts in one day, a new PB, and a new level of yoga class embarrassment. All in all a good days work.

Happy running everyone!


Get Going, Get Running!

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Two for Tuesday : A back-to-back workout for runners

I winced, coupled with a swift exhalation of breath and a small hiss of pain as I felt a sharp stretch in my hamstrings. “That’s better”, said the yoga instructor as she corrected my downright awful downward dog. Yep, Yoga. In case you didn’t already know, range-of-movement is not my strong point. In fact, it’s probably the weakest area of my running. So tonight I went to yoga.

I’ve known for some time that yoga has great benefits for runners, flexibility, core strength and balance just to name a few, but I’ve just never really got around to doing it properly. I’ve done the odd class here or there over the years, but I’ve never seen it as an addition to my training schedule. Well, it turns out the gym I have been a member at for a year has yoga classes. Who knew? I learned this yesterday, thanks entirely to my girlfriend joining my gym on Sunday and immediately booking herself into classes for the next seven days. Including the Tuesday night yoga class.

Come this evening I was at home and about to go out for my run when I realised I’d be finishing about the same time that my girlfriend’s yoga class would be starting. I recalled a comments exchange I had with Angela of where she told me yoga was a favourite exercise of hers and recommended I try it. Plus my girlfriend has been doing yoga for years and has excellent flexibility. I asked her if she would mind if I joined the class also, and could set up my mat behind her so I could copy her in the moves. Complete newbie thing to do I know, but the best way to learn is to ‘see’ and then ‘do’.

How I hoped I looked in the class

How I hoped I looked in the class…

I turned up at my gym after my run, found the yoga studio and nervously entered. Turned out I was the first person there and was able to talk to the instructor where she reassured me that as a newbie she would go easy on me (Liar!) and that I would be fine. Well, every single muscle and joint which had been slowly building up gripes as I peak for the marathon let me know of their existence during the class. And every single one was stretched, pushed, pulled and twisted in all the right ways. Unsurprisingly to me, poses requiring hamstring and calf elongation were the most difficult for me (and therefore most useful for my running), however I was pleasantly surprised how well I was able to cope with the balance poses and the ones requiring core and upper body strength. All that cross training must be doing the job!

How I actually looked...

How I actually looked in the class…

Going to a yoga class straight after a short run was a revelation for me. It’s basically an hour of stretching with some strength/balance work thrown in as a bonus. I did more hamstring stretches in all the downward dogs than I do in a normal week, not to mention the other areas stretched in other poses. Overall, a fantastic way to complement a run and get a back-to-back workout in for a Tuesday. Next weeks session is already booked in and you never know, I might just make this a habit.

Who else does Yoga or Pilates as part of their exercise routine? Do you find it helps with your running? 


Happy running everyone!


Get Going, Get Running!

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Cross training : not just injury prevention and strength


My cross training was just like this. Except for the the gloves, the helmet and the bike. Oh, and the outdoors

Image credit

Today was a cross training day for me. And I was glad! After four runs last week I need a break from running to mentally regroup and help ‘work out the kinks’, especially in my calves.

I’ve recently read a good Runner’s World article on cross training and it lists eight (well, seven if you’re a bloke) main benefits, and after doing virtually no cross-training for my first marathon, I can attest to the help it gave me for my second. Most of my cross training for the second marathon was cycling and football, however I’m now adding strength exercises to my cross-training as part of the build-up to my third marathon in October.

My cross training today (well, tonight after work), consisted of 30 minutes on a stationary bike, plus squats (normal and Bulgarian), lunges onto a stability pad, and bridges. I followed all that with a good stretch session, with extra attention on my calves and hip flexors – my usual problem areas. My calves feel better after getting the blood flowing, I feel ‘reset’ and ready to get running again.

Onwards to tomorrow!

Strong running everyone! What do you do for cross training?


Get Going, Get Running!

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