Four Alternatives to Running and Maintaining Fitness

It’s been four weeks. Four looooooong weeks since my last run. I’m not going to pretend that I’ve been handling it well either. I’m annoyed and anxious and desperately want to run. I’m pretty sure the words “I miss running” slip out of my mouth at least 50 times a day. How much do you want to bet J is so sick of hearing it? The only saving grace has been that our weather hasn’t been that awesome. There’s been a lot of rain lately and SNOW last weekend. Not exactly ideal running weather.

Injured-runner1

Truth.

In order to maintain my sanity, and the sanity of all those that have to deal with me on a daily basis, here are the few things I’ve been doing to maintain fitness. I don’t have a gym membership, so these are all things you can do in the comfort of your own home!

1. Walking

As soon as I was able to, I leashed up Ru-dog and we went walking. It was short at first, just up and down the street–a quarter mile at the most–but it got us outside and moving. We’ve done easy hikes, and yesterday went on a two mile walk in the sunshine. Even when the weather has been crappy, we’ve made it a point to get outside for a short walk.

walking

2. Pilates

This has been my saving grace. I started pilates right away, since everything else was too difficult with a bum ankle. My core has gotten so much stronger in the last four weeks, its insane. Even though I know I’ve lost some of my endurance, I’m confident the strength I’ve been building will help me when I’m able to run again. I really enjoyed this workout. It’s an ab burner!

3. Yoga

For strength training and peace of mind, yoga has been my go to. Once I was able to put some weight on my ankle, I start incorporating yoga a few times a week. One day I did one routine that left me SO sore. It felt amazing!

yoga

If you can’t get to a studio, I’ve found some great videos on youtube, and the routines on YogaDownload cover everything!

4. Free weights

It’s so boring, but you can’t beat a regular ol’ strength routine. This is my favorite 10 minute arm workout and it’s a doozy!

If you DO have a gym membership, here’s a few other options for cross training:

Swimming/Pool Running

I am not a swimmer, but in college I hurt my foot and was sidelined from running for a few weeks. I took to the pool and it’s an awesome workout. I looked into the pools in town, but the few available have ridiculous guest fees. So, it’s not in the cards for me this time around. Another option if you have access to a pool is pool running. If you want more information, Janae at the Hungry Runner Girl trained for the Utah Valley Marathon in the pool.

Elliptical/Bike/Stair Master

All boring in comparison to running outside, but useful to maintain your fitness. I used to LOVE using the Stair Master a few times a week as an alternative to running. It’s a killer workout and keeps you accountable! Everyone (I’m sure) has used a bike or elliptical before, so those are self-explanatory.

Group Exercise Classes

Depending on what your injury is, look into some group exercise classes. Spinning is always a great choice, and I have a personal love for Step classes. If your gym offers them, take advantage! The atmosphere is (usually) always encouraging, and having other people around you pushes you to do your best! I know that in group exercise classes, my competitive side comes out and I typically push myself to workout harder then I would alone.

So there you have it. Several options to maintain your sanity while you heal up!

What’s your favorite way to cross train? Do you incorporate it into your weekly training plans?

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11 thoughts on “Four Alternatives to Running and Maintaining Fitness

  1. Ugh, hate that you are still injured 😦 I’m glad you have found other activities that you like! I really need to learn to like yoga. I don’t have the patience for it, but I feel like it would really be good for me.

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    • One thing I found for me with yoga is the stretchiness is what I love. Yoga download lets you view their PDF files online for free, so I’ll keep that open and move through it at my own pace and have either TV or my own music on. I love a good class every now and then, but this lets me stay engaged and I can work on the areas that are tighter then others at my own pace. They have nice little 20 min ones you can try after a run for some extra stretching and strength work, that might be the best way to ease yourself into it. It’s SO good for your running! Definitely give it a try!

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  2. I think you’re going to come out of this injury even stronger.! That’s awesome that you’re still staying active and working on other areas like your core.
    Sorry that you’re still injured though : /

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  3. I’m impressed that you’ve kept such an upbeat attitude throughout this injury. It’s so easy to get sucked into a vortex of negativity when you are in pain and can’t do the things you love, but it seems like you’ve found plenty of outlets for your energy. I agree with Jessica above – you’ll probably come out of this so much stronger all around.

    p.s. I got the picky bars yesterday!!! Thank you! I’m so excited to try them!

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    • I’m so glad you got them! Let me know how you like them 🙂 and thanks! I definitely have my black hole moments, but knowing I’m getting stronger to get back running keeps me motivated!

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  4. Pilates and yoga are hard! I imagine doing all of this strength and core work is going to help you a ton. Strong cores stops you from getting other injuries, and I bet you’re going to jump back into running and be a lot stronger! Good luck with the rest of your recovery!

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  5. Pingback: Running Survey | Running High

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