non running workout ideas
NonRunning Workout Ideas

As most people know by now, after the April Fools half marathon, I experienced a serious running burnout.  In fact, I wrote about it here. It wasn’t the race itself, but more of running hard for 6 months and not achieving a goal.

My personal friend Steve asked to write about other things to do outside of running!  To be honest, I’m still not running, but I am enjoying doing other things.  Don’t get me wrong, running is a great workout, but it’s not the only one.  It’s important to take the time to look at other things to do.

Right now, I have no goal races I’m trying to maintain fitness for.  Thinking out loud, I have no need to hit up the gym daily.  Do I like working out?  Yes.  Do I need to workout for several hours daily?  No.  Do I care if I missed a workout?  No…

Ideas for Cross Training to Maintain Fitness:

Here are a few things I like to do to preserve cardio fitness:

Elliptical:

I might be one of the only people who doesn’t hate the elliptical.  If you workout hard on the elliptical, then it will simulate running.  If you leisurely pedal, you aren’t going to get the same benefits as having a higher heart rate.  There are a lot of programs that you can adjust based on ability and how hard you want to workout.  My heart rate is never as high as running, but I can say it has gotten pretty high during the elliptical.

Alter G Treadmill:

Finding an Alter G treadmill can be hard.  If you’re in Southern Jersey/Philadephia area and want to use one, let me know, and we have one at RunningCo.

Admittedly, I haven’t used it right now.  That’s only because I don’t want to run.  The AlterG is running without the pressure of body weight.  It takes body weight off so you can simulate running without putting the extra pressure and weight on your body.  The chamber fills with air, so you are essentially free floating around. Here is a more in-depth post about the AlterG when I was using it!

Alter G
After my metatarsal stress fracture, I used it frequently

Swimming:

Before picking up running in 2010, I was a competitive swimmer.  I swam through college.  While I no longer swim regularly (and have no interest in Tris), I will frequent the pool.  Swimming takes all of the pressure off your body will still allowing for a great cardio and strength workout.  It’s one of the best workouts you can do.

Strength Work and Core:

To be honest, right now this is what I’ enjoying the most.  I’m going to several body pump and core classes as well as lifting weights myself.  It may not “burn calories, but I am enjoying the constant state of feeling like jello and feeling stronger.

Running is a great sport but it’s not the only workout.  There are plenty of other activies that are equally as fun to do.Other Running Related Posts:

Are Losing Toenails a Runners Rite of Passage?
How to Prepare for Running in the Heat:
Why 5ks are the Best
How to Race Well
How to Race in Unfavorable Conditions

Questions for you:

What are your favorite nonrunning activities?

 Do you like to cross train? 

A Few More Weeks of Rest

Incase you missed last week, I was having a little bit of ankle pain.  After several tests including an MRI, the doctors were able to figure out I have a fifth metatarsal fracture.  I haven’t run in close to three weeks, so I’m well on my way to healing.  It’s interesting because I posted I mentally felt like I needed a break about 2 weeks ago, and it could have been my bodies way to signal about my foot. This means I’m no longer training for anything, but I will be working out.  Since I have the whole MRI on my computer, why not attach a photo for blogging right?

MRI foot

This will be a two-part post since I feel like I have two separate thought processes to go along with the injury. The first is this post dedicated to my training which is obviously affected. 

The second part (which I’ll post tomorrow) is my thoughts on how I got this injury.

It was incredibly shocking to both my doctor and myself to discover a minor crack in my fifth metatarsal.  They guessed it was a sprained ankle or something muscular in the peroneal tendon.  It was shocking to me as well considering I have normally been living for the past month.

So how long do I have of no running? 

Right now about three more weeks.  Since I haven’t run for three weeks, I have three more to go. My fracture in my fifth metatarsal takes 4-6 weeks to heal.  To give you the reality of my foot is it doesn’t hurt right now.  I’m walking, moving and being an average person (minus the running).  I do think that’s part of the problem; I don’t feel or even appear to be injured.

Right now I feel as if I could honestly run.  I’m not doing anything stupid to hurt myself more, and I’ll continue to rest.

What do I plan to do for the next few weeks?

I stopped feeling sorry for myself and started to plan my “attack.”

Recovery/Bone Building Plan:

Is that a thing?  #bonebuilding
  • I’ve already upped the necessary vitamins to continue bone growth.  While I already take a Vitamin D and Calcium supplement, I’ve increased the amount.  Before my fracture, I took Vitamin D and Calcium supplements.
  • Bone Stimulator: I’m lucky my father in law has a bone stimulator in his back pocket.  This isn’t necessary, but it sure is helpful.bone stimulator
Workout Plan: 

As far as a bone break goes, it’s the best case scenario.  I’m not training for anything during the summer; I’m already about halfway healed, and I have a lot of different resources to keep me working out.  It doesn’t feel like I’ve broken anything.  I’ve never been in pain, and I’m already three weeks into healing.

I don’t have a need to complain about my injury because I’m able to do other things.  If everything goes well, I should be running by the end of the month. Running being minimal miles, not in full training mode.  If it hurts, I won’t do it.  So far, the only thing that bothers me is running, but I’m not doing that.

I’ll take some workout classes, elliptical, swim and do core.  I’ll do things I didn’t “have the time” to do while running.  

I’ve already gone to my first spin class which wasn’t too bad. 
spin class

Figuring Out Causes…Plan:

I’ll ramble away tomorrow, but I’m prone to metatarsal fractures.  Why is that?  I received a bone density test and (shockingly) everything came back normal.  To be honest, I expected to have low bone density or be deficient on something!  While my last fracture was two years ago, I’ve had a few fractures in the last six years, and it’s a few too many.

So I’ll continue working with my orthopedist and doctor to find the root problem.  Once I can run in again, I’m going to get a full gait analysis.

Questions for you:

How was your week of training?

Have you ever had a gait analysis? 

cross training on the amt
AMT Cross-Training

Cross Training with the AMT

On Tuesday, I posted about cross-training using the AMT.  Something I struggle with (both in real life and internet life) is assuming people know precisely what I know.

First, what is the AMT? AMT stands for Adaption Motion Trainer (AMT) and it’s from the brand Precor (an Amer Sports Brand). I’m not sponsored by Precor or AMT machines, I just like the product. If you’re injured from running, it can help to cross-train and keep some fitness there.

A visual reference of my cross-training on the AMT (watching grimy reality TV with no nose):

amt me
Cross Training on the AMT

What is the AMT?

Cliff notes: The AMT is another cross-training tool similar to an elliptical.

Before I ran, I would use cardio machines in the gym during the swimming offseason.  I also used the elliptical to supplement miles when I was injured from running and coming back from injury.

I’ve used many different cardio machines, including:

  • Standard Elliptical
  • Stationary Bike
  • The Arc Trainer
  • And now the AMT

So why the AMT for Cross-Training?

The AMT stands for Adaption Motion Trainer (AMT) from Precor (an Amer Sports Brand). If you’re injured from running, it can help to cross-train and keep some fitness there.  The AMT is one of the most versatile pieces of equipment in the gym. It’s a mix of a stair stepper and elliptical with a huge variety to hit multiple different muscle groups.

Since the AMT for cross-training is so versatile, there are several different workouts you can do. When cross-training, the AMT is a total body workout. You can use your arms, legs, and even engage your core. It’s a piece of cardio equipment in the gym with a vast variety to get your heart rate up and calorie burn.

Like a treadmill, there are many programs on the AMT but you can always design your own. The AMT measures your stride length and reacts accordingly. There are several different ways you use it from an open stride to a short stride to a long stride.

On any elliptical, I like to do one of the pre-programmed workouts.  I don’t like to mess with the buttons once I begin my workout. There are several different programs from cardio to weight loss to hill workouts.  Personally, my favorite is to do the cardio setting.  I usually click the program and then work out an hour.

Honestly, a lot of people make cross-training a lot harder than it has to be.  Yes, it stinks being cooped up inside, but most have a TV, music, or something to keep you entertained.  It isn’t as if you are staring into a blank wall.  If anything, you can buy a relatively inexpensive music player to bring for yourself if your gym only provides a wall to stare at.

You cannot expect to cross-train for 10 minutes and think it’s equal and going to preserve the fitness of a 7-mile run.  It won’t.  You must put in the effort.  I’m not saying go crazy and pretend you are running your fastest mile ever, but you do have to commit to putting in the time and effort.  Otherwise, like anything without effort, you won’t see results.

Cross-training does work if you put in the time. If you dedicate the time that you normally would be running (or doing whatever), it will work.  If you half-ass it or dedicate less time…it will work for the effort you put in.  The AMT is the closest piece of fitness equipment to running, without running. If you spend time on the AMT and put the effort in like you would for running, you’ll be able to maintain fitness.

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. There are often giveaways as well as discount codes.

Questions for you:

Have you tried an AMT before? What is your favorite type of elliptical?

On another note, I’ll be writing an “all about me” post soon if you have any random questions (about anything in life, favorite movie, color, college, high school, did I collect pokemon cards (yes)…feel free to ask.

 

Base Building Week 2 (76 miles)

This became another week of quality training.  I haven’t gone 2 for 2 since the summer. 

Monday: 11 outdoor, easy recovery  
Tuesday: 12.3 outdoor easy recovery  
Wednesday: 11.55 Treadmill Progressive (8:14 pace overall) Nike Training club Abs
Thursday: OFF NTC Abs+Arms
Friday: 12.4 miles (8:34 pace) with Tim NTC abs
Saturday: 16.5 miles 7:50 pace with Greta and Meghan  
Sunday: 12 miles recovery P90x
Total: 76 miles  

 Training: 

It started off with recovery runs after my race last week.  I wasn’t unusually sore but I was sore and I definitely knew that it worked muscles my legs were not used too.

I was able to get outdoors Monday and Tuesday and for the most part both runs were uneventful.  They were just east recovery runs.

On Wednesday, the weather prevented me from going outdoors.  When I first got on the treadmill I decided I was going to do a hill workout.  Around 8 minutes into the run I was not feeling it so I went to a normal (for me) 1.0% incline.  Around 15 minutes the treadmill shut off randomly.  Within the first 15 minutes I had lost all motivation to run.  After restarting the treadmill, I realized I felt pretty good so ended up doing a progressive run.

Thursday I decided to rest.  I wasn’t feeling as if I desperately needed a rest day but wanted a day for myself. In my training this Spring I want to take a rest day most weeks whether or not I have a race.

Friday I had the rare opportunity to run with Tim so we did a nice and easy shakeout run. Saturday I went up to Princeton to run with one of my Oiselle teammates Greta and Meghan.  I was a little bit nervous because I knew the pace would be moving (for me) but it ended up going by really quickly.  Princeton is a lot hillier then Browns Mills so I was happy to be able to get some hills in too.  It was definitely a run that put me outside my comfort zone (speed wise and with the hills) but it was a run that made me stronger.

gretameghan
Success. Myself, Greta, Meghan.

Sunday (today) I plan to do a nice shakeout and easy run.

Cross training/core:

I’ve been actually doing it and I’m proud of myself for that.  My core has been feeling stronger. Nike training club is still my favorite (free) app for core workouts.

Next week:

I hope to get in about the same amount of mileage.  I am running the Virginia is for Lovers 14k back in VA Beach on Sunday.  Living about 5-6 hours from VA Beach now there are a few races I will drive back down for.  The majority are run by J&A Racing (the directors of the very well known Shamrock).  I always enjoy driving down to VA and seeing my friends as well as their well put together runs so I’m rather excited.

Finally, please vote to send me to Napa Valley.  There are 2 weeks left in the contest and every vote counts. 

Questions for you:

Would you rather run hills or a speed workout?

What was your favorite/best workout of the week? 

Base Building Week 2 (60ish miles)

This could be the first time in a while that I chose to take two days off of running this week instead of one.  I don’t regret that decision because I had a pretty solid week.

Monday: 12.2 outdoors (8:13 overall pace) P90x Ab ripper
Tuesday: OFF
Wednesday: 11.55 Treadmill (8:23 overall pace) Nike Training Club Alpha Abs
Thursday: 12.3 outdoors fast finish (7:43 overall pace) P90X
Friday: Cross train
Saturday: 12 miles easy (untimed, recovery) P90X
Sunday: 4 mile race

Each run I had this past week has been productive.  I cannot complain about any of them.  My body recovered really well.  I blame part of that on good nutrition and part of it on sleeping inside because it’s so cold.  It was very hard for me to take two days completely off of running.  My “junk/easy” miles were just completely removed from this situation which resulted in much lower mileage.

On Monday, I was able to get outdoors for a warm run.  Warm! I was wearing shorts.  I honestly didn’t believe the weather man when he said it was supposed to be zero the next day…

rundrawing
Incase you wondered those are large snowflakes

He wasn’t lying though and it was too cold to run outdoors on Tuesday.  I didn’t sleep well and felt really tired and sluggish.  I was a bit upset but knew that it wouldn’t be beneficial for me to run.  I talked about that being a top reason I like rest days here.

Then Wednesday I ran on the treadmill.  I didn’t feel bad nor did I feel great.  I felt bored.  After spending all of last winter logging 70 mile treadmill weeks,  I’m tired of the treadmill.  It has been boring lately.  Not even the Beibs, the Maury show or Ellen can keep me entertained right now.

Thursday I decided I would get outside.  I was not taking no for answer. I started off around 8:50 pace.  I had hoped for a faster paced run this week to work on my turnover.  I can’t really explain it but around mile 7 I just took a leap of faith and decided to push down from an 8:30 mile to 7:30 and hope I could keep it going.  After a 7:30 mile felt good I pushed further and ended up running the last four miles at 6:49, 6:44, 6:49 and 6:42).  I was really proud of this run and couldn’t be happier.   This is my favorite run of this training cycle.

Friday I decided to do easy cross training.  I had been back and forth about it because I knew taking 2 days off would equate to not running a 70 mile week but decided it was okay because I was hoping for faster runs. Then Saturday was easy to stretch out the legs, nothing remotely exciting.

Today (Sunday) I am doing a 4 mile race so I’m hoping it goes well!  It’s rather hill so anything under 6:30 pace will be good with me.   Although the race is hilly, it will serve as a nice baseline.

Finally please don’t forget to vote for me for Napa.  Enjoy the Superbowl!

Questions for you:

How many rest days do you take weekly? 

I normally either take one complete rest day or cross train for one day…but this week I did both.

Which team are you going for in the Super Bowl? 

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