I’ve been really bad about cross training since I started prepping for my half marathon. And by really bad, I mean the most exercise I get on my non-running days is lifting the remote to press “play next” at the end of each Downton Abbey episode.
BUT! That ended yesterday. I’ve asked several runners I know for advice on increasing speed, and every single one of them has stressed the importance of cross training to build muscle. Because muscle = power, or something smart that I can’t remember because when I hear the word muscle I stop listening and start picturing shirtless Chris Hemsworth.
I’ve dusted off my Jillian Michaels DVDs and plan to alternate doing “30 Day Shred” and “Ripped in 30” on my non-running days, mostly because they do a great job of combining strength training and cardio. Also because they’re over in just 20 minutes, which doesn’t seem like a long time until you start doing pendulum lunges and then 20 minutes takes roughly the same time to pass as a Nicholas Sparks movie, which is to say, SO LONG, PLEASE GOD LET THIS TORTURE END SOON OR I WILL I DIE.
Last night I did Level 2 of the Shred, and the worst part (aside from the lunges) is that it used to feel easy to me. I used to blow through all the pushups with no problem. This morning, I almost didn’t wash my hair because it hurts to lift my hands above shoulder-level. My abs feel fine, but my quads are tighter than Paula Deen’s grip on a tub of butter. The four miles I have planned for after work should be interesting. I’m kind of re-thinking this whole cross training thing … imagining chasing a shirtless Chris Hemsworth might be a more painless way to increase speed.