Low cost cross training – when it’s too slick to run

I like running in the winter, when the roads are clear or there’s enough new snow for okay traction.  But I don’t like running on ice or when the temperature dips below 10 degrees.

It isn’t fun to have your nose hairs freeze.  Air that cold hurts to breathe.  And if I slip, slide and have to do the windmall to stay upright, I take the closest route home, usually while gingerly picking my way across the slick road.  Ice falls are fast. They can make you roll an ankle, crack a tailbone and cry for your mama.

Since I don’t have a club membership or own a treadmill, if I’m not running outside, I’m not running.  Instead, I use workout videos to cross train.

My favorite place to buy videos is from Collage Video, because they preview and review everything they sell, so you can choose a good video based on your expertise, preferred exercise type and length.

Last winter was long, bleeding so far into spring I was afraid my sparse running log might make my 2nd marathon even harder than my first.  I only logged 270 miles in the 3 months leading up to the Coeur d’Alene marathon in May, compared to 353 in the 3 months before I ran Portland last fall.

I was wrong.  Thanks to cross training with videos, I knocked 25 minutes off my time.  The two videos I used most combined cardio and strength for just over an hour each.  For much of the winter I did each video once a week, occassionally rotating in some of my older videos for variety.  They kicked my butt.  In fact, the first few times, I hit the stop button before reaching the cool down.  I still do that more times than I’d like to admit.  Here’s my run down:

Paul Katami’s A.S.A.P. Hollywood Bootcamp 4×4: This workout video with the consistently cheerful Paul Katami keeps you moving while you perform cardio, lower body, upper body, and core work in one minute intervals.  It uses hand weights and goes from hard to harder over five blocks that you repeat.  By the end I’m gasping for breath and dripping sweat.  This makes my dog Tippy very happy because he always wants to provide a post workout sponge bath while I’m stretching.  Though I’ve had the video almost a year now, a couple of the intervals are so hard I can’t do them correctly for the full minute. But I’m making progress.

Bob Harper’s Body Rev Cardio Conditioning:  I forgot this video by the “Biggest Loser” trainer includes two workouts.  I’ve only done the long one.  It uses weights and a lot of squats.  So many squats, in fact, that for several months my muscles between my inner thighs and butt were sore for a couple days post workout.  I nicknamed those muscles my “Bob muscles”.  My only criticism of the video is that Bob doesn’t workout to the beat.  He must have the proverbial different drummer in his head because sometimes he’s working against the beat.  When that happens I close my eyes and go with the music.

Now that winter is breathing its icy breath down my back again, I’m ready to add some variety to my cross training workouts.  I have several others in the cupboard but want to try something new.

What is your favorite workout, that you can do in a living room?

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  • Great post, Jill! I am going to check out these videos. I have a membership at the local rec club so I always end up doing the same things: running on the treadmill or doing the eliptical. Time to mix it up! I have to admit, I bought a Jillian Michaels video a while back and I’ve never even used it. I don’t know why I bought it – Jillian scares me!!

  • Jillian is kind of scary on that show! Last fall I borrowed her 30 day shred video from the library. It wasn’t too scary (probably because she could’t actually yell at me through the t.v.) and she did some good ab work, but I probably wouldn’t buy it. I may check it out again though.