Sunday, February 17, 2013

The BEST cross training

As someone who has had her fair share of running injuries, I know that cross training is important to give your body a break from running, while maintaining fitness. I've spent countless hours on the elliptical, aqua jogging and biking. Most of that time was spent cursing or crying. I mean seriously, the elliptical sucks. Don't lie and say you like it.

However. There is one form of cross training that I love, and that I will willingly give up a run to do instead. OF COURSE I'm talking about cross country (Nordic) skiing.

Look at that form! Actually don't, it's not a good example. 
If you are lucky enough to live in a state that snows enough to groom trails, I seriously recommend trying this exercise! Or come to Minnesota and try one of our lovely trails (I recommend Giant's Ridge).

Skate skiing is hard- there is a lot of technique involved, and you have to be able to put almost all your weight on one foot and glide, without falling. Classic skiing is a little easier, especially for runners, because it seems to use similar muscles and movements. In both techniques you get a full body workout. My arms were always jacked at the end of ski season and my cardiovascular fitness was off the charts.

I pretty much gave up skiing to run in college, and I didn't get out to ski more than two or three times in the past 6 years (pathetic!!). But last week some friends invited me to go, and now I am hooked all over again! I even talked Mr. B into going today. He struggled through about 4k and then hung out in the chalet while I did 5 more on my own. It feels so so good, and is a great workout in place of a run. Skiing uphill is way harder than running uphill but I think the fact that you can fly downhill makes up for it. Of course my hips/butt/ arms will be fired up tomorrow. But it was so worth it!!!
Oh high school Julia...where are the photos of you skate skiing??

Oh and I had my second personal training session yesterday- another fun workout, but I think I'm going to cancel my third. Call me naive, but I didn't realize that the whole "you won three sessions" was basically a sales pitch to try to get me to purchase a one year personal training contract (only $130 per month, for one day per week!). I'll just run on my own, thank you very much.

After personal training I ran about 7 miles with my friend Katie. She is a total stud and we have run thousands of miles together...and only have 4 more months to run together until she moves to Pittsburgh to be a doctor. How selfish.

Have you ever tried cross country skiing? What did you think?


  1. I've NEVER skiied/ snow boarded before..coming from Canada, I'm sure that should be illegal! That does sound like a great way to cross-train though. I dislike ALL thing cross training - ESPECIALLY that horrible elliptical!

  2. I have cross-country skied once, and it was so fun, and hard, and a workout, but man I sucked at it. Presented with a slight incline, I basically started rolling backwards. whoops.