There, I’m glad we’re all caught up now with my mileage for the past two days! I downloaded the most recent version of the WordPress app onto my phone, so if this blog post looks a little different than normal, I apologize!
When I started to write this post, I intended to make it about both kayaking and cross-training (as in cross-training in the trails), but it started to get really long and out of control, so I’m breaking it down into Part I and Part II.
JP had asked for Giftcards to Dick’s Sporting Goods for his birthday. He originally had wanted to get an elliptical, but since the one he wanted is pretty costly, we’ve put our dreams of buying that on the back burner for now. Instead, he got another kayak. This one is for me to use (and I did not ask for, not put him up to this, I swear!). I didn’t really show any interest in kayaking until he asked me about a week ago if I would go with him if he got one for me, too. So yesterday, we hopped in the car, went to Dick’s and got a lovely bluish/greenish kayak for me, along with a paddle and life vest. When we got home, we walked the dogs, both went running, and in JP’s words, “We GOT it!” (My new running mantra).
Around six o’clock, we decided to take our kayaks out on the lake, which is literally two minutes away from my house. It took me a little while to get the hang of kayaking, but I managed to get it after about 15 minutes, and was paddling along in no time. The lake near our house is pretty large, with a dam, an island you can kayak around, and even a tunnel you can go through!
The weather was perfect – a little chilly, but great for if you’re breaking out in a sweat. My arms started to burn pretty quickly (did I tell you I have no upper arm strength), but I just kept paddling. JP and I are pretty competitive, and I knew he wanted to turn this into a race, but this is one I wouldn’t be able to win. We paddled around the island, where people can actually rent out to go camping on, and the people staying there’s Pitbull chased us by running into the water, swimming towards us, and tried to hop into my boat. It was actually pretty scary! My first time out kayaking, and I get chased by a dog, lol. I’ve barely ever gotten chased by a dog while running!
I managed to get away, though, and have lived to tell the story. Now, if you’re wondering what this has to do with running, there are a few ways that you can benefit from kayaking as a runner. Kayaking is a great form of cross-training. A lot of runners like to lift weights to help build muscle mass. If you’re someone like me who wants to attain some arm muscle, but doesn’t get all to trilled about picking up a dumbbell, this is a great way to help you build some muscle, by:
• Forcing you to use your triceps by paddling
• Making you use your core (you get a total body work out, minus the legs) while pushing yourself through the water and breathing in time with your paddling
You’re probably wondering how this helps you while running? Well, you have to use your arms to help you pump yourself up a hill – or just in general – while running. And if you’re running properly, you should be using your core, as well!
I don’t think that kayaking should be the only form of cross-training that you use, but if you implement it in conjunction with weight lifting and running, it will help you build muscle mass…and you’ll have fun while doing it!
Stay tuned for Part II of my cross-training series, to be posted within the next couple of days!
Also, if you haven’t already done so, don’t forget to enter my contest to win a pair of My Soxy Feet!
What’s your favorite form of cross-training?