Experiencing the blessings and curses of cross training at Way Too Cool | SierraSun.com
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Experiencing the blessings and curses of cross training at Way Too Cool

Peter FainRunning on Snow

I learned a valuable lesson this past weekend about cross training. Some disciplines donandamp;#8217;t translate as well as you might think.Iandamp;#8217;ve spent most this winter learning to Nordic ski. I also rode my bike (in the garage) and did very little snowshoe running. Since Iandamp;#8217;ve been plagued with injuries, this was the time to heal.I went down to compete in the Way Too Cool 50K last Saturday. The field of competition is always fierce and the race is incredibly hard to get into. Knowing my fitness level was good from Nordic skiing but my running form may have a bit to be desired, I toed the line a bit more nervously than I usually am. It was off to a fast start, with a sub 6-minute-mile pace for the first couple of miles. I got caught up in the energy and went along andamp;#8212; long before I realized my legs werenandamp;#8217;t ready. About mile 8 I started to have strength issues and by mile 17 my pace had slowed tremendously. The tough part was that my heart rate remained low and I felt good. It was just my legs. Running was almost foreign. Mile 21 was the only point to make a tough choice. I dropped from the race. Even if I shuffled the last 10 miles at a 10-minute pace I would have still been in the top 30, but that was no longer the point. Learning to listen to your bodyandamp;#8217;s cues will give you a better opportunity to come back another day, stronger, more fit and hopefully injury free. Even though the snow is still falling and Iandamp;#8217;m dreaming of single-track trails, I need to be spending more time on my snowshoes. Iandamp;#8217;ve forgotten about the shear power I gain from each step and the relatively low impact andamp;#8212; things Iandamp;#8217;ve preached but forgotten about for myself. The good news is my injuries are slowly improving. My plantar fascia feels better with each PRP treatment Dr. Chez administers, and I have near full range of motion in my shoulder, thanks to Lad. Last great tip leading into the spring running season: I just bought the Crosslite shoe by La Sportiva. Itandamp;#8217;s the summer version of the Crossover GTX. Well, the race I did was near all mud with almost a dozen knee-high creek crossings. My feet werenandamp;#8217;t dry, but the drainage was great, the fit remained snug and I had no blisters. I still believe in cross training, but the key is to not neglect the muscle group of the sport that you are most passionate about. If itandamp;#8217;s running, you should be snowshoeing. andamp;#8212; Peter Fain of Truckee is a competitive runner and 2009 National Snowshoe Champion. He may be contacted at runonsnow@gmail.com.


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