Smart and Cross Training

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Hi everyone!  So today I want to talk about two things surrounding training:  being smart about it and effective cross work.  I am signing up for my first half marathon post-baby.  It is on my birthday!  April 14, 2013!  It is the women’s More Fitness Half through central park (never been) and I am SUPER stoked!  How fun to run in the “city that never sleeps!”  I have run two halfs previously; the Disney Princess half and the Philly Half.  Smart training is NOT Run-a-Day-cember, which resulted in a sore shin.  But, hey, it was a one time challenge (that resulted in 130 miles in 31 days wooot!).  Smart training DOES include REST days, which tend to be super hard on me mentally as I derive a great deal of happiness and stress relief from running.  But in order to train smartly for this half marathon I NEED to take a rest day weekly and have vowed to do so.  I have 14+ training weeks and want to use them wisely. So smart training also requires cross-training. I want to ask you:  What type of cross training do you feel works best for running?  I used to do a lot of Elliptical as it took pressure off of my bum/troubled shin, but now I am beginning to resort to swimming for several reasons:

a.  It reminds me of being pregnant with Zach as I spent much time in the water with him in my belly. I LOVED it.

b.  I feel like it REALLY increases my cardiovascular endurance through controlled breathing which definitely helps with running

c.  I feel in another world under the water and need to escape sometimes. It is truly “me time.”  NO ONE is going to come get me!

d.  I feel like I am getting strength training as well as cardio (or at least my arms/shoulders bark like I am)

d.  I got a waterproof iPod and it is bomb.com

So tell me:  How do you train “smartly?”  What do you feel is the best cross-training for running?

Daily Zach cuteness:

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