I know a lot of runners who are obsessed with running. Like, run every single day, rain or shine, without taking a break. I am not one of those runners. I firmly believe in the power of cross-training and I know my body’s limits. If I were to run every single day, I’d be injured quicker than when I have to sprint to the bathroom after completing long run (what? You don’t have that problem?)
For example, even though it’s a beautiful (albeit brisk) fall morning, I’m going to a conditioning class at my gym with my dear high school friend, in an effort to catch up while getting in our requisite cardiovascular activity. Some runners might scoff at this but I say “phooey” to all those who would.
Since I’m on my feet almost all day (I teach physical education,) my shins and arches can only take so much pounding. So about two or three times a week (depending on my motivation) I cross-train. Sometimes I elliptical, sometimes I do strength training, sometimes I do the stairmaster and today, I’m taking a class.
Personally, I think cross-training actually improves my running ability. This way, when I hit the pavement tomorrow, my step will be springy (or fall-y? HA!) and my shins won’t ache.
Does running only three to four days a week make me less of a “runner?” Not in my mind. Something to consider to those of you out there who are hesitant to call yourselves “runners” because you think you don’t run “enough.” Do you have a pair of running shoes? Do you frequently go outside of your house in these sneakers and put one foot in front of the other in a motion that is faster than walking?
If you answered yes to these (silly, rhetorical) questions, then you’re a runner, just like me.