Keeping My IT Band Happy: The Cross Training Edition

I want to tell you that for years I ran, just ran and did zero cross training. However, when I look back to when I first started distance running (7 or so years ago) I didn’t just run. I ran and attended boot camp classes and muscle pump classes at a local downtown gym for about 3 years. However, that gym eventually closed, then I solely ran and did zero cross training. I did not get injured but my running times didn’t get faster. Clearly running more was not going to make me faster.

2010 Perfect 10 miler
2010 Perfect 10 miler

I eventually (2010?) joined a new gym and started taking spinning classes. I fell back in love with cross training. I made sure to add 2-3 spinning workouts a week to my training plans. Nevertheless, I eventually fell so in love with running that I stopped doing cross training. I loved the rush that I felt while running so much that was the only thing I wanted to do. Cross training a couple times a week turned into maybe cross training once a month. I literally had to drag myself to cross train.

2011 Marathon number 9
2011 Marathon number 9

And then in 2012, after having the best training of my life and crushing races, I got sidelined with multiple injuries. All related to the dreaded IT band 😦 Looking back I see that I was doing 2 things wrong, running too much too fast and not cross training.

Do I hate cross training? No. I hate having to schedule and go to classes. I like running because I can do it whenever I want. Can I cross training without going to specific classes? yes. But do I? rarely. Until now.

Once I got healthy enough and my IT band was less cranky I started cross training. I have a spin bike in my living room so I have no excuse not to cross train.

My Spin Bike
My Spin Bike

I spin at least once a week, in the comfort of my living room while catching up on my DVR. It’s great and I love it BUT sometimes I start to slack and run out of motivation to do an actual spin workout. That’s where Psycle comes in. I went to a class with my friend Anna and my friend Beal and I got my spinning mojo back! I feel bad paying to go to a spin class when I have a spin bike in my living room already but I do try to go once a month to keep my spinning mojo up. If you haven’t been to Psycle, it is unlike any spin class I’ve ever been too. It’s freaking amazing!

Pure Barre:
In college, I took a couple ballet classes, I’m a weirdo but I also took some “ballet fit” classes. They were awesome classes for dancers at any level. It was as if you mixed Pilates and ballet together. You did actual push ups, sit ups etc but also turns, jumps and barre work. I have yet to find a class exactly like this but Pure Barre in Avon comes very close. I try to attend these classes twice a month or more. I consider it my strength training when I do go.

From Pure Barre Westlake's Facebook Page
From Pure Barre Westlake’s Facebook Page

Yoga just isn’t my thing. I’ve tried many times and I just can’t get into it. I’m not a very serious person and tend to find yoga funny. Many times I find myself trying not to laugh during “om’s”. Many times, I went to class just for the lavender or whatever oil they put on your neck. (and then I would try to not shower because I really liked the “yoga smell”). THEN I went to a class at Prana Bodhi. Apparently, this whole time I was just doing the wrong kind of yoga! Let’s not get all crazy and say that yoga is my thing or anything but I do enjoy going to these bikram style classes. 90 minute classes where I sweat my guza off and concentrate on different poses (that I have no idea how to pronounce). This is my kinda yoga! If yoga isn’t your thing I encourage trying this class out, it is extremely beginner friendly!

Nike Training Club App:
This app has come in handy so many times. It’s another “no excuses” cross training tool. If you are like me, your phone is attached to you at all times (or within a 2 foot radius). I choose to do the 15 minute workouts that focus on specific body parts. I usually do arms and abs one day and legs and butt another day. Ends up being a 30 minute workout and it’s another workout that I can do while catching up on the DVR!

What are your favorite ways to cross train? Does anyone run and not cross train?

****************If you are looking for entry into the Cleveland Marathon, head on over to Evan’s Blog, Close Confessions, he is hosting a giveaway!***********************

5 thoughts on “Keeping My IT Band Happy: The Cross Training Edition

  1. I like to strength train twice a week and then spin or go on the elliptical afterwards. I really don’t like classes, I don’t know if it’s just because I’m super self-conscious or what.

  2. I love that there is a yoga for everyone. That’s the beauty of it. I haven’t been to a spin class in years, but I loved it back in the day. My knees didn’t appreciate the jumps, but all in all – it’s always an awesome workout I enjoyed! Glad you were able to look back and see where you needed a little cross training balance, and you’ve had an injury-free startup for the running season this year!

  3. Good point on why you like running and it’s convenience. I thought you were good at yoga that one time we went! I also like the lotion/oils. Haha. But I enjoy the practice too.

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