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.