I am new to cross-training.
Yes, I know that runners are supposed to do it (so says The Gospel According to Runner's World), but seriously who has the time? There are plenty of days that it's hard enough to fit running in, without my "off" days becoming "on" days.
Well, this year I decided I was going to do some kind of non-running activity twice a week - step class, Shred, yoga, whatever. And I've been good 5 weeks into the year - 3 runs a week, 2 other workouts. I'm finding ways to fit these into my week, thinking about my extra curriculars in the same way I plan out my runs: what am I going to do, when am I going to do it. It helps that Claire likes to at least start exercising with me at home, even if she doesn't do the whole 25 minutes of Jillian Michaels torturing me.
I've been feeling in great shape and yesterday proved it for me. I went for an 8 mile run, my longest in 4 months (my half marathon being that longest run). Eight miles was 2.5 miles longer than my recent long runs, and I know I'm not supposed to increase my mileage that much at a time, but I wanted to go long. The weather was almost spring-like and I had the time to do it.
And my legs feel awesome! They felt great an hour after running, my cranky right hip has stayed silent, and I woke up pain free this morning - no stiffness even. I can only attribute this miracle to the cross-training I've been doing. It's kept my cardio up during the winter and I'm using more muscles, better.
So, apparently, those in exercise science DO know what they are talking about!