Sunday, 11 April 2010

Cross training

When athletes reach their peak fitness level and want to make new improvements they turn to cross training. I am not an athlete, and have not reached my peak fitness level. So here is my cross training over the last 2 weeks, which have largely been spent in Mallorca

Cross training 1: building sand castles
If I am ever in a fell race where I have to run up a long sandy incline, I now think I will be better at judging how steep it gets before it starts to slip down hill under its own weight. We also briefly tried to build sand bridges, but I can see why this idea never really took off.
Usefulness for fell running: 2/10

Cross training 2: road running
Although there are lots of mountains in Mallorca, most are too far to drive from the villa when the kids are asleep. So we did a fair bit of nice road runs.
Usefulness for fell running: 7/10 (but it's probably not really cross training)

Cross training 3: snorkeling
If I ever see some small fish on a fell race...
Usefulness for fell running: 1/10

Cross training 4: mountaing running
We did get one day without the kids to run up Massanella which is Mallorca's highest accessible peak (the highest one has a military base on it). It was good training running up but very sharp and stony to run down. We were also a bit lost with navigating from a walking guide without a map.
Usefulness for fell running: 8/10

Cross training 5: road biking
I hired a road bike made out of expensivium and carbon and we headed off for what seemed like an ambitious but feasible 85 miles. However, after 60 miles, I remembered that biking stamina does not rely on memory, and I should have done some biking in the last 6 months. This sort of training probably would be useful, except I can't think of any training programme that tells you to completely deplete your legs' supply of glycogen and then do another 30 miles.
Usefulness for fell running: 7/10

Cross training 6: drinking beer and eating chorizo
I could probably argue that alcohol is a carbohydrate and therefore I was 'carbo loading', or that chorizo is an excellent protein source to build bigger muscles. Again, I can't find any training programmes based around this.
Usefulness for fell running: -2/10

I'm now feeling slightly behind schedule, so might have to concentrate on some training rather than cross training.


  1. I reckon you've under-valued building sand castles and drinking beer. I've had some cracking runs following a skin-full and once on the beach so this could be cross cross training!

  2. my garmin says 8300 feet of ascent for the bike ride. thats got to do some good?

  3. The beer drinking is crusial to the post-race recovery, therefore I reckon it needs at least another 8 points added!

  4. I'm liking how this is developing. Next year I obviously need to be cycling up a sand castle while drinking beer. Maybe I should also be wearing a snorkel mask?

  5. Ah, that's a whole different area of interest, I think.................