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#1 of 20 Old 10-09-2008, 05:10 PM - Thead Starter
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i did search, so if this has been covered a bazillion times before, my apologies....

i'm just wondering what most ultra runners do for cross-training.

mostly, my training plan focuses on getting lots of km on the legs (duh), but i'm also biking 2-3X/week (once on my recovery day, and then 1-2 times as second workouts). i also hike a couple of times a month, and backpack as much as i can get away, even if it's just a weekend trip. i've always thought hiking was great cross-training, as recovery workouts, and just good for getting in trail time.

anyways, curious what others do....
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#2 of 20 Old 10-09-2008, 06:22 PM
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well I am not "officially" a ultra runner yet but I do log anywhere from 45 to 60 mpw...so I do run a fair bit

for crosstraining I weight train 3 times a week. i go to a crazy gym that is open 24 hours with like these very large people that compete in bodybuilding and it was very intimidating at first for me...but after running one day last winter during a snowstorm for 20 miles on the Treadmill...these bodybuilders started to talk to me and very quickly they helped me figure out a program and i have been working at it religeously since January. It has definately made me stronger...my core especially...when I started I could maybe do 10 ladies pushups...now I can do 100 mens push ups and I can squat a universal bar with a 45 lb plate on each end. I can also dip 60% of my body weight.

i also hike...but not as much as I like too cause of my running...and my running always comes first.

Whatever you can do,
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#3 of 20 Old 10-09-2008, 06:24 PM
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Welcome teags

I've always included some stretching/yoga type movements and a couple days of pretty easy upper body weight training.

I also use the stair climber sometimes. But mainly I do quite a bit of fast walking and hiking to XT for ultrarunning. I think those are the best, especially for a challenging 50 miler or or anything longer than that. They also provide the opportunity to gain experience and experiment with nutrition and other things such as equipment, clothing,
blister control/prevention, night moves ... all the basics...

have fun !

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#4 of 20 Old 10-09-2008, 06:51 PM - Thead Starter
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ooh, actually, i'm starting a free 8-week yoga course w/work in a couple of weeks! i've done yoga and pilates off and on but never really kept them up. i do light free weights and squats irregularly, but have a hard time getting into a schedule with them.

i love hiking and backpacking for xtraining. it's funny, i just got back from a week in near wawa (lake superior, so near lake superior provincial park and pukaskwa national park, we went to both, lots of hiking....i've backpacked the trail in pukaskwa before, though not this time). i went w/my bf, who had just done a 70.3 (half ironman), and who had existing plantar fascitis issues, and the hiking was a lot for him - partially the climbing, but also just b/c he's simply not used to being on his feet for that long....even in a half ironman, you're not actually on your feet for the majority of it. it's interesting to me though. i also think hiking is a great way to build up 'trail muscles' ....all those little muscles you just don't use on the pavement.

i mentioned in another thread, but in a couple of weeks i'll probably do my first all-night hike, just so i can train for being out on the trail all night and getting used to that. perversely, i'm so excited for it! i can't wait i was sad my camera broke when i was hiking in temagami a month ago, but heck, i don't think many of the night pics would've turned out anyways. i think i'll go to algonquin for that....i tend to avoid algonquin any season but the winter (it's a huge provincial park here and heavily used, so yech), but for doing a 86k hike at night for the first time, i like it. i won't be intersecting roads, and compared to killarney, which is a fave of mine, i won't have to be walking ridges and trying to find rock cairns in the dark.
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#5 of 20 Old 10-09-2008, 07:03 PM
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This time of year I like to cross train with firewood chopping followed by ladder climbing repeats/leaf tossing coupled with leaf raking sessions...and road biking as long as the ice stays away. I'll hike only if I can't run because I get bad DOMS pain hiking the same trails that I run pain free. Go figure!
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#6 of 20 Old 10-09-2008, 07:25 PM
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I only run every other day and I bike on the other days or take a long fast hike on a hilly section of trail. The best thing about cross-training is that if I get an injury running or something starts to hurt, I can maintain my fitness by running less and cycling (or swimming or whatever you do to cross-train) more until my injury gets better.
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#7 of 20 Old 10-09-2008, 07:28 PM - Thead Starter
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This time of year I like to cross train with firewood chopping followed by ladder climbing repeats/leaf tossing coupled with leaf raking sessions


i'm going to be dumb....what is DOMS pain?

when i was injured early this year i turned mostly to the bike to maintain fitness....it worked well for awhile, but after a few months i just couldn't take the long rides (on a trainer) anymore, when all i ever did was bike. i like it again now that i'm running again....go figure.
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#8 of 20 Old 10-09-2008, 08:26 PM
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i mentioned in another thread, but in a couple of weeks i'll probably do my first all-night hike, just so i can train for being out on the trail all night and getting used to that. perversely, i'm so excited for it! i can't wait ...i think i'll go to algonquin for that....i tend to avoid algonquin any season but the winter (it's a huge provincial park here and heavily used, so yech), but for doing a 86k hike at night for the first time, i like it.
i love Algonquin Prov Pk ! ! one of my faves, teags ! Are you doing either Uplands or Highland as part of your night hike ? That is sooooo exciting ! I hope you are not going alone though ...

 Smile, breathe and go slowly  ~ Thich Nhat Hanh 
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#9 of 20 Old 10-09-2008, 08:44 PM - Thead Starter
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I'm going with one of my dogs....I have 3, all rescues - 2 German Shepherds....my male is my running buddy, my female has hip dysplasia, so she hikes, does lots of walks and the occassional 1k run (whoo! but she loves it), but I wouldn't ask her to do that hike. Then I have a 6 month old husky/terrier puppy, who will be my running buddy when he gets old enough.

Anyways, so Luc will be coming with me. I've soloed trails before, so it's mostly the nightime that will be different. I have tonnes of trail/hiking/backpacking experience (as well as canoeing) and am very comfortable in the bush. I used to volunteer for an outdoor club and took a group on a 2-day backpack of the Highland (35k loop), but I think for this I'm going to the Uplands. I've done part of the trail before, on winter backpacks. I'm going to do the big loop and add in a spur to get 86.8k.

But yeah, I'm really looking forward to it. For safety, I'm giving my bf my itinary, when I expect to be out, as well as the 'okay, now you should worry' time cutoff I'm also taking a 1-man ultralight tent and ultralight sleeping bag (plus one of those ultralight emergency bivy sacks to make the sleeping bag warmer) that will all fit in my daypack (not my usual running pack), and the tent will fit me and Luc, so that if I find I have to sleep, I'll just pop that up. And 2 headlamps and lots of extra batteries

You're near the Finger Lakes trail? I always mean to check it out, I've heard it's a lot like the Bruce Trail (I do lots of hiking there and on the Ganaraska Trail....well, the Ganaraska Wilderness Section).

My bf is FINALLY starting to post pics of our trip up in Lake Superior....there's lots I'll have to post the link in the hiking section when he's done
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#10 of 20 Old 10-09-2008, 08:51 PM
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I like to get horizontal and swim 3-4 times a week to give my poor achin' bones and joints some easy time. Bike and hiking also, with a little more hiking in the fall and winter.
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#11 of 20 Old 10-10-2008, 10:05 AM
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I've soloed trails before, so it's mostly the nightime that will be different. I have tonnes of trail/hiking/backpacking experience

For safety, I'm giving my bf my itinary, when I expect to be out, as well as the 'okay, now you should worry' time cutoff

You're near the Finger Lakes trail? I always mean to check it out, I've heard it's a lot like the Bruce Trail (I do lots of hiking there and on the Ganaraska Trail....well, the Ganaraska Wilderness Section).

My bf is FINALLY starting to post pics of our trip up in Lake Superior....there's lots I'll have to post the link in the hiking section when he's done
Sounds like you have quite a bit of experience out there, you should do very well crossing over to the trail ultra thing Please just be safe about it

I am in Western New York (Buffalo area) and some nice sections of the Finger Lakes Trail are pretty close to home. If i travel a bit to the Finger Lakes Region of NYS there are also many hiking/running opportunities on this trail as well as some very nice race events. Come hiking some time !
I have done a little research on the Bruce Trail and have been meaning to get up there to check it out. The Niagara region is not far from me.

Happy Training !

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#12 of 20 Old 10-10-2008, 11:01 AM
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DOMS is delayed onset muscle soreness. For me, should I hike one day, 24-30 hours later will bring soreness to parts of my legs that lasts for days despite an excellent fitness level. It doesn't matter what shoes I wear, how big a pack, etc. Running the same distance or more does not create soreness the same way.
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#13 of 20 Old 10-10-2008, 11:37 AM
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I think core work is probably the best thing trail runners can do. I try to do various ab and lower back work 3 times a week. Lifting can also be very helpful, both lower and upper body.

If you have hilly/mountainous trail races coming up and don't have good hills around you, stairmaster can also be great cross training to get used to climbing.
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#14 of 20 Old 10-10-2008, 12:41 PM
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Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), we do a lot of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, shoot wrestling, catch wrestling, Judo, boxing, kickboxing, and Muay Thai. Muay Thia being my fav. aside from the black eyes like the other forms of cross training in the tread MMA is great for the core.
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#15 of 20 Old 10-10-2008, 12:41 PM - Thead Starter
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ahh, patrick, that makes sense.

just curious - how many people were hikers before they got into trail running? i was, since i was a kid my mom would take me out, and since 12 i've been hiking w/the bruce trail and other clubs.

runNYtrails, cool....i'd love to check out the finger lake trails sometime. i'm in toronto, so niagara is pretty close - if you're ever hiking there and want a buddy, let me know. the bruce trail in niagara can be a bit close to people, but it's got some nice spots, and there's a provincial park (non-operating, but it's nice) that has nice trails - i've taken hikes out there when i was volunteering for the outdoor club, but they'd be nice trail runs as well....very well kept up trails.
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#16 of 20 Old 10-10-2008, 01:27 PM
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Everything counts.
I used a coach a couple of years ago (an accomplished ultrarunner himself) & he was a big proponent of cross training…especially cycling. I use my mountainbike as my main cross training tool, but I also use canoeing, spin cycle (lousy weather days), weights, hiking, even skimboarding.
In the winter, I telemark ski. It all counts for something. I completely ignore miles, & use a time based strategy (hours per week or session).
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#17 of 20 Old 10-10-2008, 01:33 PM
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just curious - how many people were hikers before they got into trail running? i was, since i was a kid my mom would take me out, and since 12 i've been hiking w/the bruce trail and other clubs.
One of the most successful master runners out there…William Emmerson was a through-hiker (AT, & PCT) who decided to give ultrarunning a try after completing the Pacific Crest Trail.
He holds several records, and he is a consistant performer on the ultra circuit (one year, he ran 22 ultras & finished no less than 2nd place in any of those events).
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#18 of 20 Old 10-10-2008, 04:16 PM - Thead Starter
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interesting. i've actually noticed that for several ultras, the cut-off times are within my hiking speeds....i had been wondering if hiking was wasted cross-training, should i only trail run, but after i did that math i decided both had a place. though i still want to mostly run all my races, of course
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#19 of 20 Old 10-10-2008, 07:31 PM
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runNYtrails, cool....i'd love to check out the finger lake trails sometime. i'm in toronto, so niagara is pretty close - if you're ever hiking there and want a buddy, let me know. the bruce trail in niagara can be a bit close to people, but it's got some nice spots, and there's a provincial park (non-operating, but it's nice) that has nice trails - i've taken hikes out there when i was volunteering for the outdoor club, but they'd be nice trail runs as well....very well kept up trails.
Come on down ! I love to explore ! I'd also like to come up and poke around on the Bruce Trail with ya ! From the book that i read it kind of sounded like the Niagara region was more kind of ... i dunno .... urban ??. Not sure that's the right word but ... I'm game, nonetheless, to do any part of it and open to suggestions. Have you ever been to the Torrance Barrens Conservation Reserve in the Muskoka region ? That is also one of my favorite spots and i think it might be a good place for a night hike or run for You and closer to Toronto.

I;m a pretty good hiker but a slow runner ... esp on hills ... but keep me in mind as a potential trail mate !!

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#20 of 20 Old 10-10-2008, 08:27 PM - Thead Starter
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urban is a good way of putting it....

definitely, we should do a hike or trail run....i think you just described me with 'pretty good hiker but slow runner' (one reason why i've been working towards ultras....i think they will play on my strengths).

i've never been tot he torrance barrens conservation reserve - never even heard of it! i'll have to go google
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