I’ve come to find that cross training, like running, is based very much upon your mental approach.
With past injuries, my overwhelming negativity about cross training led to workouts that were less than beneficial. I look back on the hours I sweated away and think I may have been better off just taking a full break from exercise. I literally loathed every minute I had to cross train.
With this injury, everything has been different. I’ve felt hopeful, grateful, challenged, changed. Now I’m super psyched for when I finally get to run again, but mostly just to be healthy in general.
One of the things I like to do now while cross training is visualize myself running. I try to relate the workout I’m doing to some running workout I used to do, or even past races I’ve run. I try to recreate the scene in my mind. I put myself back on a track, on a sidewalk, on a trail. I imagine the sounds my footsteps would make and I pretend my breathing matches those steps. I see myself maintaining my pace, making moves with competitors, and even kicking down various home stretches.
These are just some of my favorite places to picture myself running.
I don’t do it for the whole workout, but I do try to keep it up for most of it. It seems to help make the time pass as well as make my intervals a little more fun. I know I can make these strong running memories of mine a reality again. And I know this “in between” time is just that: in between. Hopefully I’m in between my mediocre running and some soon to be AWESOME running. I can’t wait to see what’s around my next corner or two.