Experience Tip – Cross Training to Improve Running

ShelleyTo many of us, a fitness lifestyle is a must. And that lifestyle often includes the art of RUNNING. Yes, I’m addicted to the sport… with many marathons, half marathons and 25ks under my belt. A note of caution. Nothing in life comes without a few bumps, bruises and… PLANTAR FASCIITIS!

This inflammatory condition often is the result of overtraining, improper footwear, lack of stretching, etc. As a former physical therapist, how could this happen to ME? It did, and my competitive spirit had me running “with” pain as I “worked” on the healing process. This is not the answer. What IS the answer is cross training. Luckily, I eventually did wise up to my own advice. I jumped in the pool, I leaped onto the stationary bike, I bought new shoes, and with time, stretching and consistent icing, I got better.

Cross training is necessary for the complete athlete. Our muscles, ligaments and other body parts need balance. In life, MORE is not always better, and our body reminds us of this with that invasion of the “itis”or inflammatory state. Variety is the spice of life and it can also be the  prevention of injury!

Personally, cross training introduced me to the sport of triathlon. With three half Ironmans completed and a long list for 2014 adventures, I’m GLAD to be able to shake up the routine of the long run now and then.

Listen to your body and prevent those injuries that may keep you on the sidelines. My advice from personal experience… shake it up with cross training.

 Shelley Irwin is a member of the Gazelle Girl Advisory Committee and host/producer of the WGVU Morning Show and WGVU TV shows Ask the Expert, Community Connection and Family Health Matters.