Running vs. Cross-Country Skiing

I like running a lot but also skiing when the winter season hits. With both sports you get the same endorphins, a change of  scenery, and some time outside. With running you get your calves and lower legs used more. With skiing however, you get your quads working extra hard! Skiing is for sure a good alternative for those cold temperatures especially if dressed warm enough and ready to work hard with those different muscles which can really help your chances of improving better at running the following summer.


Skiing helps those legs bend more throughout the duration of movement and your need to balance. Being able to balance well on skis when gliding downhill or along a straight forward path works the core really well. In addition the arms and shoulders get a workout if using your poles for propulsion. However, poles are only a substitute towards maintaing your balance. The key to properly skate ski is to skate without poles by pushing forward your whole body and gliding from side to side.

Cross-country skiing is a great full body workout and a great alternative to running!

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Winter comes…run outside or workout inside?


I don’t think there is a yes or no answer to this. Everyone exercises differently and at their own pace for that matter. I usually tend to workout inside and running on the track in the SRC on campus. I haven’t yet developed a tendency to run out in the cold on a regular basis except maybe starting to as early as late March or early April. I think for my own body’s sake, I like to do more than just running around the track indoors because Its good to get your other muscles working like your arms for instance plus trying out new exercises for stretching. If I do start running outside it would be a gradual thing because the cold air is very high and can hurt your throat if you breath in too much. These are just some things to think about when continuing to run.

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Adding hills to your running workout

Hill workouts are designed to strengthen your legs. For starters start with a small hill around 40 to 50 steps in length. As you approach the incline, slow down your pace and shorten your stride. By maintaining your leg cadence gives you more confidence going up hills no matter what height.

I remember going back up the hill leading up to Ester Dome one time during a training day with Running Club North. Even though by sight it doesn’t look much like a hill winding its way up, it gradually gets steeper as I keep running. There was at one point it look like a flight of stairs but without the steps and I could see the very top. So by the time I made it up to the top my legs felt like lead, they were shaking, and my muscles were screaming in pain. Yeah, running up hills is not as easy as it looks but if you maintain a good stride you might just reach the very top.

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Winter Running (audio blog)

Winter running is much more of a challenge than say during the summer or fall. Some runners though like to test the waters and strive to continue running no matter what the temperature is. Local CBS news reporter Tom Hewitt and musician April Jaillet decided to continue run throughout the winter season. 🙂


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How many miles should you run?

Distance running requires run lots of miles. Like most runners, I like to link my fitness level to the number of miles I run everyday during the summer. During the winter I vary because I also do skiing as well. To being able to increase endurance and speed is to learn to swing your arms back and forth with your fists slightly clenched but not too hard. Your arms help drive your body forward faster. Thats where all the mileage comes in because endurance training helps build more fuel or in this case glycogen which can be stored in your muscles.

So just how many miles are enough? Well the answer mainly depends on a number of factors, primarily your genetically determined propensity to adapt more mileage. In other words just how much running can you physically and psychologically handle? In my experience I think its best to do as much as you can without losing hope of running faster than you want, getting sick, or injured.

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4 Ways to use long runs for a Marathon pt. 2

Continued from pt.1*

Any runner can still finish a race, even if missing a day of training. Thats why its always best to plan ahead for the week. Runners easily miss a long run due to injury, illness, or time constraints. Don’t let it feel like its the end of the world for you if you miss a long run. Plan your whole week instead of planning an individual run. For me, I usually plan on running after work during the summers for an hour or so. I never try to let a day after work wear me down too much that I can’t run.

So I did a little research and found the following equation that can help you manage the long run component of training. For those that feel the need to keep track of their distance.

Your long run potential (LRP)= (total weeks of marathon training) x (average weekly run volume) x (mileage factor)

– the mileage factor is determined by your weekly average run volume. Lets say for example you run 35 miles a week or less, your mileage factor will be 0.625.

– So say if your in week six of your program, averaging at about 35 miles a week, your math would look like this: (6 x 35 x .0625)= 13.1 miles.


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4 Ways to use long runs for Marathon training pt.1

I for one never knew what it was like to train for a marathon and since I started my own blog about running I decided to look for ways to put in more time for running longer distance and then keep track of the distance for the week. Thats where this info comes in. The 4 ways to use long runs for marathon training

Many runners question the idea of wanting to know the best distance to run for a weekly long run when the question really means: “How far do I need to run in training to be ready on a race day?”

The long run is the product of the all work you’ve done up to now. Think of it this way, a marathon training as a pyramid where the shorter runs create and build onto of the foundation to allow you to run more miles. Therefore being prepared for a marathon is less about the distance and more about running frequently and consistently. I as a runner have run frequently in the summers and consistently but I haven’t run longer distance, no more than 4 miles total in a day therefore my total running distance for the week was at its lowest.

The first 6 to 8 weeks of marathon training are about building fitness in your legs and focusing on your total weekly mileage and not worrying about each individual run. Here are the first two ways you can start with your marathon training.

(1) run a 36-mile week by doing three, 6-mile runs and one 18-miler OR

(2) run 36 miles in a week by doing 6-mile runs six days a week. This second option though requires less recovery time and presents a less demanding schedule.


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