I really had the best of intentions. This marathon training cycle would be different. I’d keep up with the swimming and cycling fitness I acquired last summer training for two triathlons. What better way to start next summer’s triathlon training than to maintain a base in my other sports, after all?
But good intentions are never enough. Like always when I get immersed in marathon training, I’m pretty quick to cut back on the cross training. This time I’ve pretty much eliminated it, in fact (strength training the exception). I get in the pool once or twice a week, sure. But the bike? Can’t tell you the last time I even looked at the trainer. I just have no desire, and frankly, I’m at an age where I’m just not going to spend my free time doing something I don’t enjoy, even if skipping it does leave me feeling guilty. Right now I’m loving my runs, so that’s where I’m putting my focus.
Here’s the good news, though. As much as we like to think that cross training has an infinite amount of benefits, the best thing for increasing your speed in any given sport is more time doing that sport–not others. It’s the law of specificity. Want to be a better runner? Run more. A better cyclist? Same thing. So if you are focused on one sport, don’t exchange a sport-specific workout in favor of another thinking it will help your primary sport.
I’m not too concerned about my lack of swimming or cycling. Right now I’m all about running. After mid-March, mood provided, of course, I’ll start getting back to some cross training. If my heart leads me to running, though, I’m going to follow it. Life is too short to do otherwise.
What about you–are you a dedicated one-sport junky or do you like mixing things up?