I'm a firm believer that if you want your running to progress, there is no substitute for running. I'm in Florida. The summer heat is killing me. I don't know why but I feel as though I don't have the tolerance I have in years past. My training has been going awful. Track workouts are miserably slow. The 5-6 mile token weekday runs are hard to finish at times. I'm considering, for the first time ever, some cross-training. My question is, if I start hitting the pool almost exclusively throughout the summer, will there be more or less of a benefit to my running than if I had just continued to tough it out on the roads?
I think the problem is that swimming is not a weght bearing activity. So over time your body's adaptations to the stresses of running on joints, tendons, ligaments, etc. will be lost. Mixing the two - getting in a couple runs a week - can help reduce or prevent that loss.
Excellent point. Thank you!
To build on that point, anyone have any experience, positive or negative, cutting back to the bare minimum for several months, say a couple runs a week, but mixing in consistant cross-training? What were the results come race season?
Out of curiosity, when do you typically run?
I'm a canadian currently in florida, and I have been running through the summer. My runs typically end at sunrise; there's no WAY this cool-weather gal would be able to go out in the afternoon. Just walking to the car after work is deadly.
Cross training is always important! Swimming is a good low impact way to train and use mucsles you dont use running. I run in the IL heat which may not be as brutal as FL or Tex but 95 degrees with 90 percent humidity is still rough for running. I prefer to bike ride for my cross training as well as weight lifting to maintain muscle strength. The bike really works my legs in a low impact way and I get a little breeze from the speed even when its hot. Most of my strength training is done before a race or in the winter when its cold outside. I should probably strength train more but tend to run alot more when its warmer. There's only so many hours in the day for me and running is my favorite. Running in the heat is hard for everyone. If you remain in FL you'll adapt to the heat, if not then just take it for what it is. Its hard running in the heat. Good running!!
4/30/11 IL Marathon 10K 57:43
5/14/11 Kirby Derby 10K 57:49 3rd place in div
7/4/11 Freedom 5K 28:59
Lost 80lbs since 6/17/10 starting wt 280lbs
Joined Second Wind Running Club 9/2011
8/27/11 13.38mi 2:32
9/17/11 13.45mi 2:27
Habitat for Humanity 5K 12/31/11 26:42 PR
4/28/12 IL Marathon 1st 1/2 2:10:38
Cycled 1600 mi summer of 2012
Cycled Hilly Hundred 10/25/12
April 2013 1st full marathon..
I have also had a similar problem lately. I live in Pennsylvania, but I have been working in Puerto Rico and I have found that my performance is worse in the heat than when I am back home. I have found that wearing compression clothing helps me from overheating longer than anything else. I also run in the last 40 minutes of light because it is a little cooler. Carrying extra water and dumping some on your head from time to time helps too.
I have read quite a bit about the benefits of cross training and have read that it can even improve your running. With that being said, I have also read that you must still run from time to time to not lose your running legs and performance. If you don't want to exclusively swim, running in the pool can help with your regular running because of the increased water resistance.