I have a couple of product reviews in here for you but first let me start by saying that for many runners those two words pull mixed reviews. At first, for me, "cross training" days meant "taking it easy." Yoga, half assed elliptical workouts, just doing some weight work... those were forms of cross training for me in my early days of training. But then I realized that those exercises weren't doing anything for me... they weren't making me stronger, they weren't really working different parts of my muscles, and they often made me lose focus on my training. I got a new perspective on cross training when I joined GrooveRyde last year, and this year when I got BeachBody on demand for the first time. My training plans have just two days of cross training built in but I'll sometimes incorporate double workouts (a run and something else) into my day to make sure I'm really working ALLLL of my muscles in the best ways. Because that's what cross training is all about. It's not meant to serve as a rest day. (I save my Sundays for those) And don't get me wrong, when done correctly, yoga is an amazing form of cross training... I just struggle (or am too lazy / get bored with it) to do it correctly most of the time. My favorite forms of cross training? Spin classes, Bootcamps, and most recently, Beat Box, a combo boxing and boot camp that GrooveRyde offers which I took for the first time today.
So let's start with GrooveRyde.
This place means more to me than I could ever fully put into words. It started as something I found out about on the radio from my now instructor and friend and now I'm there 2-3 times a week. I had originally taken a spin class with another studio before and knew it would be a great opportunity for some low impact workouts to mix up into my marathon training. So I started coming. And this place became like my family. They even let me use my skills to paint the mural in their lobby! I look forward to every single time I get to come to GrooveRyde and get on the bike. Not just for the workouts but also for the community... But don't get me wrong the workouts kick butt too. All the classes are tuned to the beat of the whatever playlist the instructor has come up with which make them that much more fun and difficult. You're not just cycling, you're doing choreography on the bike, pushups, tap-backs, tricep dips, crunches, all while riding. It's challenging, awesome, and easy on the knees and ankles which my running joints will forever be grateful for.
But that's not all GrooveRyde offers. In addition to some crazy Bootcamps which incorporate rowing machines, TRX straps, and kettlebells, they now offer Beat Box - think boxing meets bootcamp meets hell... in a good way - which after my first class tonight, I can't wait to take again. It was also a great way to work my arms, which I often fall short on with all the running I do. And the whole class ended with 10 minutes of insane core work, which I also struggle with. I think it's safe to say that Beat Box is a good cross training tool to have in my toolbox for this year's marathon training season. I'm so excited to get punching some more in the future.
It's safe to say I give GrooveRyde exactly a one gajillion out of ten on this review of them... but then again I might be a little biased.
My second review is on BeachBody on demand which I purchased at the beginning of this year. I got an amazing post new year deal! $200 for a month of Shakeology (which I'll get to but it's amazing) and every program BeachBody offers on demand for the next year. I haven't had the opportunity to try all of the programs yet but I know from experience that T25 is pretty solid and the workouts from 21 Day Fix that I've tried have also been solid and are good ways to cross train on my off running days, especially the arm and ab workouts. My real review here though is Shakeology. This stuff is nectar from the gods - I swear and every marathon trainee should try it out! It's so much more than a protein shake (and it tastes 20x better!). I even put extra veggies in it for even more added nutrition! And no matter what I put in it, it still tastes like a chocolate milkshake! The best protein shake I've ever had (and I've tried just about every one)!
My review of Beachbody is still in progress but right now I'd say I give it a solid 8/10 and I'd give Shakeology a separate 10/10 maybe more because it's so awesome and really has made me feel so much better post run.
Those are most of the ways I cross train. I'll occasionally take a yoga class on a day where I'm really struggling or in addition to a run but in general, I like to really work on my cross train days. I like to make them just as hard if not harder than my run days... just in different ways!
Don't forget to make a donation to Bright Pink through Miles for Mom: https://www.crowdrise.com/team-bright-pink2/fundraiser/leahbacko
And keep following along for updates on my training and fundraising!
Happy running (and cross training)!