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Tips from the Pros: Cross Training

 Saturday, February 09, 2013

February can be a tough time of year for those of us in the northern climates. Spring races are coming up soon, your training is more focused, but the weather can be unpredictable. Snow and ice make for difficult footing, especially for up-tempo running.

We asked some of Minnesota’s elite distance runners – as well as our own National Training Manager – for tips what to do when it’s difficult to run outdoors. Here are their winter cross-training and indoor workout suggestions:

“I love to cross country ski or play hockey outdoors. When it's too cold outside, I get on the elliptical machine or stationary bike.”
~ Jamie Cheever

“I definitely hit the treadmill if I can't run outside. Sometimes I break up the run and do part of it outside and part of it inside on the treadmill. For instance, if I need to do a hard workout, I do the warm-up and cool-down outside and the hard part on the treadmill.”
~ Katie McGregor

“When it's too icy to get a good run in I like to do intervals on the indoor track. Doing intervals breaks up the monotony of going in circles. The treadmill also works, but try to break up your run into stages. Maybe start outside for two miles, then go inside to the treadmill and do a few mile repeats with a half mile easy in between, then cool down for a mile or two. Before you know it you've got 8 or 9 miles in.”
~ Michelle Frey

“Cross country skiing is a very aerobic sport, and elite Nordic Skiers typically have higher VO2max (oxygen utilization) levels than elite runners. Strap on some skis to put in base “miles” and you will get a great aerobic workout. Nordic skiing is also terrific strength training, as it builds strong arms, core muscles & legs. Classical style skiing is fairly similar to running in movement patterns, but skate skiing also provides a great aerobic cross training workout.”
~ Rebekah Mayer, National Training Manager, Life Time Run