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Mixing It Up

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Cross training is important for marathon and half marathon training. Believe it or not, running gets old. Fast. At least it did for me. So it’s good to mix it up and do some cross training.

Some of the suggested activities include: aerobic exercises, swimming, cycling, walking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, etc. Obviously the last two aren’t really options this time of year.  Swimming is also out for me. I can swim, but I don’t really like trying to do it in the swim lanes at a pool. I’d rather watch more athletic people make it look easy during the Olympics.

So far I’ve tried a few different things: walking, the elliptical, yoga, spinning, and hot yoga. Spinning and hot yoga were new experience for me this past week thanks to Colorado Springs Fitness Week (hopefully you got to enjoy some new activities with it too!).

Spinning was a cool experience that provided a very hard and energetic workout. I knew that my legs were working hard and getting some good training. The music was upbeat and fun. The instructor was so excited and enthusiastic about the workout and that was contagious.

My only issue with spin was my knee. It’s never been the same since I walked like 1,000 miles (literally) across Europe a few summers ago. It now cracks when it bends too much. It doesn’t hurt, the noise just makes me squirm a bit.  Spinning involves the knee bending a lot. Thankfully I couldn’t hear the cracks above the loud music during the workout, but I certainly heard and felt them by the end of class. I’d absolutely try spinning again, but I’d be a little more careful about how my bike is set up and avoid bending my knee too much.

Hot yoga was not a cool experience. It was a hot one. Haha. In all seriousness, I’d been wanting to try Hot Yoga for a long time. The room was like a sauna, which for some reason still surprised me. I’d read a lot about Hot Yoga and thought I knew what to expect, but going from A/C into basically a sauna is always going to be a bit of a shock.

I’ve done yoga before so I was expecting a very challenging class, but I was surprised. None of the poses were incredibly difficult. They were more focused on breathing and balance than I expected. Despite the relative ease of the poses, I was sweating buckets very quickly and kept sweating for the rest of class. It may seem gross, but I don’t think I’ve ever been so sweaty in my entire life. That’s how you know you still had a good workout!  

Bottom line, mixing it up is fun!  Variety is the spice of life!  Trying new things is great. Running miles and miles on the treadmill everyday gets boring. Case and point… I’m super not excited to do another 4.5 miles on the treadmill after I finish at work today. However, it’s currently 89 degrees outside so in the interest of surviving the run, I guess I’ll have to suck it up and find something good on YouTube!

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