*Highlights from the NXN Heartland Region
Molly Born is a senior for Shawnee Mission Northwest, Kansas. Entering the cross country season, she had the sixth-fastest time in the nation, which came last year at the NXN Heartland Region, which she won. She's ranked No. 12 in MileSplit USA's Flo50 girls poll of the top 25 athletes in cross country nationally. Unfortunately, Born suffered an injury during her spring track season, and it's kept her out of preseason training. She has agreed to write a weekly blog on her injury, recovery, and progress throughout the season.
Cross Training: Adding Insult to Injury
Um, I signed up for this sport to run . . . so cross training . . . it's a love/hate relationship. It's the one thing that will keep you in shape when you're injured, but it's just not running. People sometimes say "cross Country: our sport is your sport's punishment." In my opinion, the closest thing to a punishment in cross country is cross training. Here's how to survive without going insane when cross training is your only option:
Find friends to cross train with you. Side note: you'll find out quickly who your true friends are when you ask who's down to aqua jog.
Netflix. Preferably an inspiring movie with a killer soundtrack. I've watched Pirates of the Caribbean three times through already! This is definitely an added bonus to cross training because watching movies is something you can not do on a run outside.
Music: just jam out. If you're lucky, you'll get so lost in the music you'll just forget that you're cross training at all. My favorite for when I'm feeling sorry for myself is "Cry Me a River" by Justin Timberlake. Quality song and the title says it all.
Workouts are everywhere, you just have to be creative. When you can only use one leg and two arms to get your heart rate up you have to think outside the box. Hopping up and down stairs on one foot is both challenging and surprisingly fun.
Picture your favorite cross country course (mine is Rim Rock Farm). It's almost like the real thing! Minus the fresh air, beautiful fall mornings, crowds cheering, etc.
Break it up. Mentally, it's impossible for me to elliptical for 50 straight minutes. However, it is possible to break it up and run for 10 minutes, five times.
Motivational quotes! The cornier the better. Pick your favorite, believe it, live it.
Remember that cross training is an essential part of any running program to stay healthy and maximize fitness. In other words, cross training is your friend.
Cross training is not my favorite, but if it will get me back to running with my team, not only will I do it, but I'll do it with a smile on my face :)
If I can find one thing about this journey that is true, it is that I will never take running for granted ever again.