Cross training 2013
So when I was in the army, physical fitness was a necessary rather than a luxury [though I have exercised/played team sports since pre-teen]. But as your life gets busier it is all too easy to skip basic fitness regimes, even if you are still very active as a runner and stretch daily. Core strength though is something that is overlooked at you peril. Having upped my mileage whilst training for my first longer distance [100 mile+] Ultra last year I started to suffer moderate discomfort around the lower abdominal and groin area. Nothing that affected running form or caused pain, so I continued with the job at hand. Alarm bells are ringing though, as I recently tried a few push-ups and found I couldn’t comfortably get into double figures let alone the dozens I used to do every day [especially embarrassing as I was involved with weight training (participant and trainer) since the age of 14]. Simply the maxim “Use it or lose it” holds true.
This year then I get back to upper body exercising. A great workout, though viewed as old fashioned I’m sure these days, is the Canadian 5BX plan, which has the advantage of being a progressive training scheme that only requires 11 minutes a day and no other exercise equipment. Some now view certain of the exercises to be ‘unsafe’, but this plan was used by generations of service personnel without harm so I am inclined to take those ‘fears’ with a pinch of salt. Any exercise plan will cause issues if used incorrectly [bad form/starting at too high a level etc] and exercise ‘wisdom’ does change over time i.e. static stretching before exercise used to be de rigueur but is now verboten.