Training TipI have been asked if there is cross training incorporated into the marathon training which makes up the New2-26.2 program. The short answer is no. It’s not that it can't be of benefit – which it can – it’s just that all of you come into this training program with varied backgrounds in running and we have to cater to the most common denominator; we make the assumption that you are running your first marathon.
This doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate cross-training into your marathon training, but there are a few things you need to consider:
First, the training schedules have days off incorporated into them for the true purpose of giving you a day off from running. If you choose to use your off days as cross-training days, then you need to think about the type of cross-training you will be doing. Will it be something non-impact like Nordic skiing or pool running, or will it be an impact exercise like Cross-Fit or aerobics? Some of you may be able to handle either type, but you need to ask yourself where your rest will be coming from.
Second, I don’t consider strength training as a true cross-training activity (at least the strength training which involves core or very light circuit training). Any strength training you are considering should be a compliment to your running and not a replacement. If any of you work with a strength coach or personal trainer, ask him or her to work on a routine which can be part of your running schedule.
Lastly, I can’t emphasize enough the need for rest days. It is through rest and recovery where the training adaptations come from. If you are not giving your body enough rest because you are using your off days for other activities, you may find yourself becoming more fatigued which can ultimately lead to illness or injury.
My best recommendation is that if you have the desire to cross-train and it involves an aerobic activity, then substitute one of your running days for it instead of adding more workouts to your training.
Training Weeks 3 and 4 - February 5 - February 18Weeks 3 and 4 Intermediate Training
I hope this helps!