This morning I did my usual cross-training workout: level 1 of 30 Day Shred followed by 40 minutes on the elliptical. After that I walked with the kids to the playground and then walked laps around the black top while they played, for about 20 minutes of walking.
I received my copy of the book "Run Less Run Faster" in the mail several days ago and have been reading through it. There are a couple of things I'm unsure about when it comes to my routine. One of the things the book says is that the key to the cross-training workouts is that they need to be high-intensity aerobic workouts without being weight bearing, so that the muscles used for running can get their adequate recovery time. The book lists the elliptical machine as one of the "not suggested" modes of cross-training because even though it offers a good aerobic and fat burn, it is still weight bearing. The book also says that weight training is not considered cross-training for the purposes of following the training method outlined in the book. Unfortunately, I don't have a gym membership or easy access to a bike, spinner, rowing machine or swimming pool - the elliptical is all I've got, so I have to make do. The core of the FIRST training method (as it is outlined in the book) is that you do 3 key runs a week and 2-3 key cross-training workouts, vs. other training plans that have you running 5-6 days a week. The premise is that the three runs each have a specific purpose - speed, tempo, endurance (long run) - and then the cross-training workouts provide additional cardio-respiratory fitness without risking injury or burnout. I like the plan so far, other than my hang up with doing the proper cross-training. Other than the minor foot injury/problem I'm currently facing, I feel great. The speed workouts I find to be kind of confidence boosters. I like feeling like a faster, stronger runner. Even though the weekly mileage is less, I feel stronger.