Cross Training

Rocking the Roads: “Cross-training”
By Hector Romo-Parra

hector31,2,3 breathe…

left, right, left …breathe.

It is fresh, low noise, quiet and dark. The bulb-light goes though the glasses and I can see only the blue line on the floor. Some people come in, looking at me, doing some meters and leaving me behind there.

New people come, do the same and go out, meanwhile I continue along the band…

Hector4right, left, right …breathe

go and back, back and for…

I learned to swim when I was very young, although I am not a professional swimmer and I have not been in any serious competition ( yet 😉 ), I do have some technique, which I could say is above average, that I have not forgotten at all. At that time I did not know that it would help me from one side with my training schedule but also, and more important, as a runner and human being. As many runners suggest it is good to combine the running with other activities, it’s called: “cross-training”. These extra activities have many advantages to the runners, they help the body to recover and let the legs to rest from the running stress; prevent injuries and in case of being injured, already help to heal by exercising other muscles; maintain the cardiovascular fitness and, among other advantages, prevent from boredom of doing the same activity every day (not in my case).

Since I love water I decided to have swimming as a parallel activity. Exactly the same way as I started to run I began to swim again, for instance: paying attention to my technique, drills training, trying not to overdue and be injured, increasing the distance slowly, etcetera. Later was when I realised that I got “hooked” to it and I wanted to go further so I started swimming more and more to try some events this year. Swimming long distances (>2000mts) personally I find it challenging, not from the activity itself, as in long running distances, but most from the boredom. While running I stare around, looking at the fields, the sky, hearing the sound of nature, etc. while in the pool there is nothing to stare at other than the floor and walls. But open water is close to nightmare since you see nothing unless the water is crystal clear (which is not the case in the rivers from Germany). The only noises that you hear are your breathing and the water-move, you feel and see your thoughts; actually there is nothing to do rather than stay moving: it is just your body and mind. It’s trying to control your inner voice telling you to stop and quit: “Hey, Hector. You already did some distance, are you not bored? Let´s go better for a beer”. This part has helped me to win to the mind, to overcome boredom and to learn how to relax and push further; it has been an alternative training to be use for those moments where we just want to stop and quit…even in life.

hector 5Now what started as a cross-training has escalated into a new activity, I will need to risk and find something else to do for my recovery. Maybe biking is the option 😉

1,2,3 breath

left, right, left …breath

go and back, back and for…

I’m still fresh, 90 minutes have passed and I am about to finish for today. New people come, go into the pool, do some meters, go out and look at me thinking how crazy I might be…


hector3Héctor is a runner during mornings and a Neurophysiologist during days.  He lives in Germany and he runs for three motivations: his 5 year old Son who is living in Mexico, to raise funds for “The Myasthenia Gravis Association” since he has been diagnosed with this disease and to fight against this disease.


“Move yourself for the one that can not move” support us:

Moon Joggers are dedicating their November virtual race to Hector and the MSG Foundation.  Learn more about ROCKING THE ROADS 2014



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