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Cross training during Marathon training

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Author Topic:   Cross training during Marathon training
SB2001
Cool Runner
posted Aug-08-2007 09:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SB2001     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was interested in what others do for cross training while preparing for a marathon.

How hard do you work yourself on the on your cross training days, like how long do you train (like, biking - 1hr, HR or intensity).

My running schedule is: M, T, Th & Sat.

Saturdays are my long runs. Sundays are my day off from all exercise.

I go to the gym, so I have plenty of equipment to pick from. I'm just not sure how hard I should work myself on my days off from running.

Thanks,
Shannon

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GOLFNSKI
Cool Runner
posted Aug-09-2007 12:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for GOLFNSKI   Click Here to Email GOLFNSKI     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have one day "off" and one day XT per week on my marathon training plan. I must admit, I treat the XT day like another day off. I personally don't know of anybody who actually considers going out and doing something special for their XT. I'm sure the elite and serious athletes do, but if you are already going to the gym, I'd count it. I play golf, go hiking, ride a bike with my kid, but nothing intense; but I'm just an average runner.

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MM Hippo
Cool Runner
posted Aug-10-2007 12:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for MM Hippo   Click Here to Email MM Hippo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I run more trail ultras than marathons but my staple is high angle TM work: 12-15% grade at whatever speed feels comfortable.

I still seem to be able to bang out a road marathon a month without too much trouble doing this.

------------------
-Hippo-

We went to face our demons, but all we found were angels.
me

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tonya921
Cool Runner
posted Aug-10-2007 12:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for tonya921   Click Here to Email tonya921     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm training to run my first marathon, the Omaha Marathon,
which takes place September 23rd. I'm in my last 6 weeks
of training, and I feel great! My long run this week will be
either Saturday or Sunday, 22 miles.

I still work myself as hard on my days of cross-training as
I would with any other day of training, but I'm pretty hardcore about
my workouts.

The only cross-training I do is the elliptical machine, and I do it
at a very high intensity for an hour, that way I get at least 12
miles (according to the machine) and I get a good solid workout.

I do the elliptical machine no less than 3 days a week, and I run
no less than 6 days a week. So half the time I'm doing both
the elliptical and running. But if you really would like to see,
you can look at my log.

Hope this helps. Good luck!

------------------
tonya
My Log

First Marathon -
Omaha Marathon 09/23/07 -- Boston Marathon (Hopefully) 04/2008

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Nobby
Cool Runner
posted Aug-10-2007 02:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Nobby   Click Here to Email Nobby     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SB2001:
I was interested in what others do for cross training while preparing for a marathon.

How hard do you work yourself on the on your cross training days, like how long do you train (like, biking - 1hr, HR or intensity).

My running schedule is: M, T, Th & Sat.

Saturdays are my long runs. Sundays are my day off from all exercise.

I go to the gym, so I have plenty of equipment to pick from. I'm just not sure how hard I should work myself on my days off from running.

Thanks,
Shannon


As we all know, at least in our head, everybody's different. Some people, like,seemingly, Tonya, can do hard-hard-hard... Others,like Kenny Moore, might have to take 2 or 3 easy days in between. If you're training for the marathon, it makes sense to do cross training on your easy days simply because your hard day, and particularly and in the case of most audience here, should be running and most likely long runs..

I personally don't like people doing "workout" hard after hard after hard... Body's strengthening or recovery or rebuilding takes place during the recovery. Hard training won't even have a chance to take effect if recovery is not adequate. Some can recover within 24 hours (or less!), others 48 hours, some even longer. So you need to figure out which one you are and, since it makes sense to cross train on the easy days or recovery (from running) days, you should schedule XT days accordingly. You cannot, and should not, substitute those point workouts, most notably long runs, with XT to prepare for the marathon. I would usually do XT when I absolutely feel like NOT running. On those days, I would just take it easy so I'd tend to do them easy--even something like 20 minutes EASY stationary bike ride, while reading some magazine or something. In other words, that would be my day of "it's better than doing nothing" day!

Also be careful, if you're not used to doing those other exercises, not to start out too hard. Remember, some of them do use different muscle groups and, if you're not used to them or those "other" muscles are not strong enough, chances of getting those parts injured would be much higher.

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red73
Member
posted Aug-10-2007 03:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for red73     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I swim, and it makes my body feel great for my next runs. I also run four days a week, and try to get in swims between each of them-can't always do that many, though. It really helps all of my sore spots, and works the muscles that running doesn't.

[This message has been edited by red73 (edited Aug-10-2007).]

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runninirish
Cool Runner
posted Aug-10-2007 07:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for runninirish   Click Here to Email runninirish     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
lots of different advice here...when I'm in marathon mode, my focus is running, I take a day off about every 2 weeks from running...but throughout the week I ride the bike easy and swim easy whenever I can fit it in...when I'm not marathon training, I hit those two even harder and take more days off of running...

------------------
"Fortitudine vincimus"

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ca marathoner
Member
posted Aug-11-2007 11:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ca marathoner     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Usually my XT easy days only. I never substitute out key workouts. I usually try to keep it low impact nordic trac, roller ski,elliptical,aqua running, stationary bike. All my training is done in minutes not miles, I monitor my heart rate to guard against overdoing it, however all you really have to do is monitor your own internal feedback ie does this feel easy enough to be a recovery workout. I agree with Nobby's word of caution due to different muscle recruitment patterns with different forms of XT, ease into them to avoid uneccessary delays in your training. Working different muscles and recruitment patterns is not all that bad a thing as you are only as strong as your weakest link. It is a good idea to work muscle groups in a triplanar fashion as we move in all three planes of motion

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Tamara40
Cool Runner
posted Aug-12-2007 08:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tamara40     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi Shannon, I will preface my response with a big ole "i'm no expert on this stuff" but I will tell you what works for me. I think some of this depends on your goals of the marathon. I am currently in marathon training, and my goal is just simply to finish...I have no time goals (well, I have to run at least 16mm to finish w/in the marathon requirements). I am currently running 4 days/week, and I try to take off the day before and the day after my long run. On the day before, I will only walk, and that's with my dogs, so it's a lot of stopping and sniffing, but the point is I don't do anything hard.The day after my long run I do nothing but stretch. I'm too paranoid about injuring myself to work different muscle groups with the cycling and other machines. Swimming sounds good, and Red motivated me with his/her response.

I've read that I should be working on my upper body, and that makes sense to me, but frankly with all the time it takes to do the running I have had a hard time finding time to get to the gym for upper body work. Like everyone else is saying, the most important thing to me is that you listen to your body and see what works for you. Be careful and good luck w/your marathon!

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Nobby
Cool Runner
posted Aug-12-2007 11:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Nobby   Click Here to Email Nobby     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Tamara40:
Hi Shannon, I will preface my response with a big ole "i'm no expert on this stuff" but I will tell you what works for me. I think some of this depends on your goals of the marathon. I am currently in marathon training, and my goal is just simply to finish...I have no time goals (well, I have to run at least 16mm to finish w/in the marathon requirements). I am currently running 4 days/week, and I try to take off the day before and the day after my long run. On the day before, I will only walk, and that's with my dogs, so it's a lot of stopping and sniffing, but the point is I don't do anything hard.The day after my long run I do nothing but stretch. I'm too paranoid about injuring myself to work different muscle groups with the cycling and other machines. Swimming sounds good, and Red motivated me with his/her response.

I've read that I should be working on my upper body, and that makes sense to me, but frankly with all the time it takes to do the running I have had a hard time finding time to get to the gym for upper body work. Like everyone else is saying, the most important thing to me is that you listen to your body and see what works for you. Be careful and good luck w/your marathon!


Depending on a type of workout, it usually takes 48 hours before you feel the real effect of it. In other words, If you only run, say, 3 times a week and cross train 2ice, you might want to structure it so you'll have an off-day 2 days before your key workouts--long run. Not that you should do some rpetition work the day before (like I said, "depending on a type of workout...").

I actually personally prefer doing something the day after the long run just to stretch out and massae stiff legs. Easy jogging (and, when I say "easy", I mean "EASY") actually increases blood circulation, oxygen and nutrients along with it, throughout the body and massages tired muscles.

I take the whole purpose of cross training is to do some sort of exercise without the stress of pounding. Besides, If you go out and do a light jogging with a few strides the day before the long run, I think it might help you--I call it a prep work. Think of it as a part of warm-up. You should have a plenty of time during the week to take a complete day(s) off.

Also, I do have a bit of reservation about working on your upper body. Supposedly, it takes 0.17 milliliters of oxygen to move 1km of body weight 1 meter. In other words, if you put extra kilos on your body, it requires more oxygen to run (I can feel it!). So unless you have a very good reason why you should do weight training and know what you're doing, I'd be very careful of doing it (I do believe in core strengthening training though).

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jpgarland
Cool Runner
posted Aug-12-2007 11:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for jpgarland   Click Here to Email jpgarland     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't cross train because I don't think it is a benefit for running given the specificity of sport. I think you need more than 4 days of running for a marathon. You have your long run and one speed workout -- generally either tempo runs or repeats -- during the week, and the other days are for getting in running mileage.

I distinguish cross-training from supplemental training. The latter includes things like weight-lifting, which provide exercise the supplement your running, but are not a substitute for it.

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SB2001
Cool Runner
posted Aug-16-2007 03:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SB2001     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks everyone. Guess I'll stick with my weight lifting and will keep any cardio work I might do on an easy level on my non-running days.

Shannon

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