Will Cross-Training Help Improve My 5K Time?

Cross-trainingI started running about three years ago when my kids participated in their first season of cross country. Up until then, we were strictly a track and field family. My daughter and I did our first 5K road race about two years ago and I never really got much faster. Even this last winter and spring when I tripled and some weeks quadrupled my mileage running with her in her off-season, my times stayed about the same. Then I had a thought:

What if I try cross-training to improve my time?

Simply running isn’t working so now that school is back in session and my daughter is running with the high school and my son is entrenched in his sprinter/lifting workouts, I am trying something new. I was a swimmer as a kid and the year that my daughter was swimming on a year-round swim team and running cross country was one of her best seasons yet. So that is what I’m going to try. Here is my plan:

Cross-Training Videos – I’ve talked about my Jillian Michael’s video before. I really like this video. I am doing Level 2 on Mondays and Level 3 on Thursdays.

Swimming – Twice a week, Tuesdays and Fridays, I’m going to hit the pool. Today was actually my first day back and I managed to swim 2000 yards pretty much non-stop. I did take a couple of quick water breaks but I actually swam pretty steadily. Boy, though, my arms are tired today! Hopefully, I’ll get over that in a few more swims. It’s awful feeling so out of shape for a sport that I spent over 12 years of my life doing.

Running – I am going to do two runs each week for the next couple of months then closer to our next 5K in December, I will probably add a third. I’m going to try a mix of easy runs and speed work. We’ll see how that goes.

I will report back how this is working out and I guess we will see in December if I can finally have a PR!

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