In order to figure out how to fit all the pieces of your training in we need to establish a few standards. Cross Training (XT) is NOT doing a few push up and sit ups then going for an easier, slower run. XT is not just going to a spin class, boot camp class, or other aerobic based effort in-spite of the fact that it “gives you a good sweat for an hour”.
What is Proper Cross Training (XT) in as few words as possible:
Includes Strength Progression
- Some type of strength progressions are used, moving the athlete (you) through a series of lifts (movements) over the course of 6 – 24 weeks increasing your range of motion, power, and applicable force.
- Lifting (relative) heavy stuff in a progressive manner so you get stronger.
All archetype movement patters are practiced
- Hinge – Deadlift, Kettlebell Swing, Broad Jump…
- Push – Press, Floor Press, Push Up…
- Squat – Back Squat, Front Rack Squat, Bodyweight…
- Pull – Bent Over Row, Renegade Row, Pull Up…
- Rotation / Anti-Rotation – Suitcase carry, throwing…
All energy systems / time domains are stressed
- Phosphagen – Lifts in the rep range of 1-3 and sprinting are good examples of exercises that use mainly the phosphagen system to provide us with energy
- Glycolysis – activity lasting anywhere from 20 seconds to 2 minutes
- Oxidative -used mostly when activity lasts longer than 2 minutes and is relatively lighter in intensity
Defining Endurance Session types and how they interact with each other and your XT:
Low Intensity – Purpose is to build Aerobic Base and spend “time on feet”, shorter ones may be done directly after a XT session.
- MAF – Maximum Aerobic Function
- AE – Aerobic Effort based off of RPE
High Intensity – Varying purposes, should NEVER be performed directly before or after a XT session. A minimum of 3 hours between should be used to recover properly.
- Intervals – Both Short and long teach speed and turn over
- Tempo – Teaches pacing at (generally) uncomfortable speeds
- Time Trial – Used for testing to find maximum speed at varying distance
General Rules for fitting it all together:
- Where you are in a training cycle will determine how much XT you should be doing. If you are in an offseason cycle the 4-5x p/week is appropriate. If you are nearing your goal race running volume will be higher, but XT should still consist of 2-3x sessions p/week
- Do not perform High Intensity running session back to back with a XT training session
- Leave at least 1 day a week for active recovery. Go for a hike, finish some general yard work, play with your children
- Perform mobility work DAILY