Friday, July 13, 2012

Cross-Training On A Budget

A couple of weeks ago, I almost signed up for a gym membership.  For $50/month plus more for childcare for my 3 boys, it felt too much like another car payment.  This stay-at-home momma is on a budget, so thanks to very generous moms and the internet, I was able to find a variety of cross training workouts that work best for my schedule, best with my kids, to supplement my running, all for free.  Yes, FREE.

Free Is Really Nice.  I feel blessed and grateful every week for two amazing moms who offer free workout classes every week at their church just because they love sharing their passion.  Yes, FREE classes - yoga and a cardio/abs/plyometric class.  The best part?  I can bring my kids with me too!  We bring out toys from their church nursery room and set them out on the far corner of their gym while we work out on the other side of the gym.  The only catch is that kids roam around the gym freely, and when we do sprints, some days we have to run around and between toys.  I'm not complaining, since it is free, and I get a pretty good work out.  

How To Get It Free.  Don't know someone who offers free classes?  Perhaps you can bring a group of friends together - at a park, or someone's house - and either follow an online workout video or make up your own.  You can take turns leading the class and watching the kids.  One nice day we took our workout outside.  We pushed the kids in joggers and did a power walk, then we jogged, and finally we ended our workout at a playground park doing lunges along the perimeter of the playground, planks, push ups, dips, you name it - while our kids happily played.  It was a nice change to be outside.

Pool Time For Free.  Of course if you have a neighborhood pool, you can do a couple of laps for cross training.  I don't swim.  I can't swim.  I want to know how to swim but that's next year's goal.  Obviously with kids in tow to the pool, it's not a good idea.  My first 2 boys can swim, but are not strong swimmers, and my youngest can't swim at all, so I always keep my eye on all 3 of them even though there are lifeguards there.  You just never know.  This cross training is best when your husband/significant other is with you and you can take turns swimming laps while the other watches the kids.

Free Online Videos are nice when the only time you can get a work out in is at home at 10:30pm or 5am and you have to be home with the kids.  You can find many workouts - yoga, abs, strength, cardio, etc.. on YouTube that it is almost impossible to get bored.  I am currently loving these three videos:

1)  Jillian Michaels' Yoga Meltdown, Level 1 - 30 minutes.  I have the entire DVD too and one of these days I will actually follow it all the way to Level 3.  What I love about this is that you don't go into the poses right away and hold then hold it.  This is dynamic yoga where you warm up muscles before sinking into the yoga pose and holding that pose.  This could just be my body, but the traditional static yoga hurt me more, or maybe I'm just not doing them correctly.  I'm not very flexible.  Anyways, I've grown to love dynamic yoga thanks to Jillian.  Check it out and see for yourself!

2)  Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred, Level 1 - 25 minutes.  I usually follow up the yoga meltdown with this video.  I also have the DVD for this and will try and bring this all the way to level 3 also.  This is a great combination of cardio, strength (weights), and abs.  

3)  Yoga For Runners:  Injury Prevention With Fiji McAlpine - 20 minutes.  On my other cross-training day, I double up on the yoga.  I do Jillian Michael's Yoga Meldown and follow it up with this more traditional static yoga.  I'm not very flexible at all, but I find that if I do the dynamic yoga (Jillian Michaels' yoga) first and end with the static yoga poses, the poses gets easier and I am more flexible in the end.  

4)  Yoga for Runners:  Post-Run with Fiji McAlpine - 15+ minutes.  I do this video if I can/have time after my long runs.  It's a nice way to stretch out any sore muscles and it's not too long either.

So my summer training schedule for Marine Corps Marathon looks like this:

Mondays:  6am - 5 mile run
                  9am - Yoga (free class) for 1 hour

Tuesdays:  Jillian Michaels' Yoga Meldown
                  Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred

Wednesdays:  11am - Cardio/Abs/Plyometrics (free class)
                         7am - Track Workout plus miles I need to do to get to 5 miles total.

Thursdays:  Jillian Michaels' Yoga Meltdown
                     Yoga for Runners:  Injury Prevention with Fiji McAlpine

Fridays:  Total Rest Day

Saturdays:  Long Run
                    Yoga for Runners:  Post-Run With Fiji McAlpine

Sundays:  Total Rest Day 
This seems to work for me right now.  I am hoping to get a bike trainer to add to my cross training schedule to keep from getting bored. I have an old bike that I could take out for a spin, but I don't have a lot of time to get outside on my own, so a bike trainer would work out well.

The marathon training plan I am following is a cross between Hal Higdon's Novice 2 plan and Jeff Galloway's plan.  More on that on another post.

Your turn.  What do you do for cross training and what are your favorites?

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