The benefits of cross training?

I am having a ball.

Let’s put it out there. I HATE the cold and up until a year ago would choose a beach holiday over any other kind. Give me sand, surf, a whole lot of sunshine and I will smile all day long.

Last August I hit a turning point in my skiing. It was a matter of “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” as my husband and kids are all pretty good. After lots of panicked moments, adrenaline sweats and patient instructors, I finally was able to make it down blue runs in a semi ok fashion (by then of course my children were skiing black runs – doh!). More importantly, I was able to enjoy the peace of the mountainside and relish in the fresh, crisp air.

So when our friends asked if we would like to ski the States with them during our summer, I said YES! And it has been an experience. Due to the freezing temperatures I have not run for nearly a month now but for the last eight days I have been skiing, and skiing, and skiing.

With the particular ski resort we are staying at, it was formed by a glacier so it has these patches of flat parts after down hills. This means you have to use your poles to dig in and push yourself forward. So not only are my legs getting a work out on the downhill, my arms are getting a work out too.

Solitude Ski ResortAdd to this the difference in altitude and I am wondering if I am actually getting fitter while we are away! Ah, the benefits of cross training. My running muscles are getting a well deserved break and other muscles are taking up the task. Physically I feel really good and mentally I am almost ready to start marathon training again.

A side bonus is that I seem to be losing weight on this holiday which is amazing considering the quality of the food in the States (sorry guys, it is a bit questionable).

The benefits of cross training? Using different muscles, exercising a different part of your brain and mixing it up. All pretty perfect if you ask me.

Oh, and I still hate the cold. Lucky I have something to keep me occupied.

How and when do you cross train?

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