The Benefits of Kayaking and Cross-Training, Part I

Yesterday’s Workout: 3.03 miles @ 29:07
Today’s Workout: 6.00 miles @ 1:14:56

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!

Not sure if you can see the tunnel too well, I took this picture today on my trail run!

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?


20 thoughts on “The Benefits of Kayaking and Cross-Training, Part I

  1. txa1265

    Kayaking is SO much fun – just saw a LivingSocial deal for 50% off we jumped all over. We’re not close enough to buy, so we do rentals as day trips or on vacation. Definitely a fave.

    I have also always found it to be a great ‘togetherness’ thing – for Lisa and I when we were younger before and after getting married, and now with the boys as well!

    1. 262x2 Post author

      I was thinking that, too! We haven’t been in the tunnel yet, and until I have a waterproof phone case, I unfortunately won’t be able to take any photos. For now, I am depending on JP to provide me with quality kayaking pics. I actually think his phone takes better photos, anyways!

  2. runningsouthern

    Looks like a blast! I will probably never be a kayaker because, well, the whole fish phobia thing would make me too uptight about accidentally ending up in the water with them. But I’m glad y’all have that to do together.

  3. kindazennish

    I love kayaking! I have to say, it’s pretty ironic that you would get chased by a dog while kayaking when it’s never happened running. I don’t believe I’ve ever heard of that happening before!

    1. 262x2 Post author

      I think my next cross-training adventure to try would be brick workouts with swimming and running combined. I’d love to try a tri someday!

  4. Montana

    I haven’t gone kayaking in forever, but it’s very fun! So far I’ve been doing yoga and kickboxing for cross training. Yoga helps me stretch and be more flexible while the kickboxing is a great alternative to cardio…it’s super intense and your body really never knows what’s coming next!

    1. 262x2 Post author

      I have a love-hate relationship with yoga: love how the stretching helps me with running, but I’m not very flexible or a huge fan of the rest of it, lol. I’d like to get back into it, though. Would also love to try kickboxing some day! It’s really expensive in my area, though!

  5. Pingback: The Benefits of Kayaking and Cross-Training, Part II | 26.2 x 2

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