Exploring the Benefits of Cross-Training || Distance Running

Last week’s blog I spoke to you about going the distance and I felt that this topic still needs to be expanded upon. You know, like there is still a lot more to talk about than just your mindset. There is a bit more to it  but wait  first the – And this week we really had the -.I’ll tell you what happened last week. My editing skills failed me dramatically. What you didn’t notice? Well thank you to the one listener who pointed it out. I somehow had forgotten to add the – and outro jingle.

Hey I hope you are doing great wherever you might be reading this blog. If you have gone for a run, which means you are privileged, remember a lot of runners out there that wish they could and can’t. Stuck with a nagging injury, or stuck inside because something else is winning their time for attention. A distraction. And if this is you? If you are that person being distracted, can I invite you to check out noexcusesrunner.com ? 

Just have a look, there might be something on there that can get you back into a running routine.

For those first time readers, Heiko is my name, yes not only talking about running techniques to improve your mindset, that’s what this blog is all about. And no, it’s not one of those blogs that try to sell under the heading of this is what the pros do. See, I am pretty sure a NAVY seal can train differently than the average runner, so that’s maybe not the advice to go for if you are currently facing a lack of motivation, or wish to increase your distance or get a better half marathon finishing time. 

I mean if you haven’t got the right process yet, how to go out for a run, the seal training plan might be a bit like going to an all you can eat buffet, and you’ve already eaten. 

You won’t be able to eat more no matter how badly you want to.

The blog is based on a set of tools, made for runners by runners. So sorry, no navy seal mindset secrets here, have a look at Brain training for runners, you can pick it up at amazon, in case you are new to this sort of topic. And look, you are reading the blog, be skeptical, be critical, give it a try. I have always found that in life to be open and try something new is usually worth it. But I need to try, not NOT try and comment.

Let’s dive into the blog  . Did I mention this before where I live in southern Germany? I have some fruit trees  and now in spring, they are in full blossom and I can see it’s going to be a good harvest. I say harvest, like its miles and miles of fruit trees. It’s not miles. It’s 4 trees actually. And I just enjoy eating a plum whilst standing in the garden. Oh and so does my neighbor.  No I don’t mean he enjoys standing in my garden eating my plums. He has got some plum trees as well. With a difference. His trees, I mean they look so much, how shall I put it, fuller, heavier, and each year he tends to have a whole lot more fruit than I do. I don’t count them   at night jump the fence  lol  no but you can tell which tree will bear more fruit.

And here is the thing: what’s the difference? I mean soil is the same  more or less, same position, exposed to sunlight, getting the same amount of rain. What’s the deal? 

blog problem 

Have you completed a marathon? I mean not that it’s a must-do. But usually for most runners’ one day completing a marathon is something special to aim for. If it is not a marathon for you it might be doing a half marathon, or a special trail run. See, if you have completed such a distance, it means you have a certain level of experience of knowledge. Not just about running that distance, but your body, your strengths, your weaknesses.  And the marathon well, how many people do you think run marathons? 

I came across some research. Jens Jakob Andersen was the lead researcher. He used to be a competitive runner and statistician from Copenhagen Business School. This research was funded by RunRepeat.com – anyway they ask you to mention their platform, so it’s him and Vania Nikola, who holds a Ph.D. in Mathematical Analysis assisted in the study. 

And this data I got is from 2018. 

I didn’t want to find or search any data for the last two years. Surely with the COVID epidemic that new numbers are not relevant as I doubt there were many races that the average runner could participate in. Ok now trick question  How many runners do you think completed a marathon in 2018?  2018 global marathon statistics

Finishers: 1,298,725

Average finish time: 4:29:53

Fastest countries: Switzerland (3:50h), the Netherlands (3:52h) & Spain (3:52h)

Slowest countries: the Philippines (5:25h), India (5:05h) & Mexico (4:53h)

31.92% female participation (68.08% male)

Most participants: USA (456,700), UK (97,254) & Germany (86,032).

These marathon race results study was to compare recreational runners. elite runners were omitted.So means nearly every recreational runner has the same experience once his or her body goes over the 2 hours of running. Sif the average finish time is 4 hours  .What happens is that the body runs out of carbohydrates and glycogen. Glycogen is sugar stored energy in the muscles, and begins burning fat stores in the body for fuel. But this is the same for all of us.

But you and most runners know this. You will attend the race party the night before  Carbohydrates loading beforehand. And the morning of the race perhaps starts with an amount of energy bars, or gels strapped to your belt. Again same starting point   

And of course you will think about your finish, and ever so often about that stage where you had difficulties last time around. Some people do struggle at the 22 mile or 37 KM mark  

And then what happens is once I meet new runners’ the question comes to this  the last section, or the finish time.

But that’s just focusing on one part of the actual race. Race day. Your marathon. 

 Let’s not forget  You most probably or hopefully spent the last 3 to 4 months training. Getting prepared physically.  That’s a quarter of a year. Might be you trained throughout winter. Maybe you started recovering from an injury. 

And then  well you

So you built some mileage. You did a few long runs, hopefully did some speed work and got a lot of rest in between as well. 

Now if you search online, there is so much advice out there. And surprisingly a lot of it has to do with  warning. Beware  or what if scenarios.

I am not sure whether this is to push sales on the ads that are placed left and right next to each and every article posted, or what the purpose is. Because, it’s obvious not everyone’s the same. 

And if you start to read it with a safety viewpoint in terms of what’s best for my health, you might end up deciding it’s best to do some other sport. Or to just do a marathon once. And that’s it.

And that would be a pity. 

There is also so much written about DNF.

A DNF in running means DID NOT FINISH. Meaning the runner wasn’t able to finish the race.   A did not finish in running can happen in every race from a 5K to a full marathon. The highest percentage of runners not finishing a race is during a full marathon though.

Has this ever happened to you, you meet someone who is not a runner, and in total disbelief   no matter what distance you just mentioned, shakes their head and likes. No way I could do that. Or even worse starts projecting possible injuries and statistics that make you feel you should give up running immediately. Lastly, abandon this high risk sport. Everything from knees to all the joints are basically systematically being destroyed with each step you take. 

Don’t think I am exaggerating. I have had seriously unfit and overweight people warn me of the dangers of running.

My point is  whatever your dream distance is. With dream distance I want to say, your distance that you want to try, excel at. Perhaps it’s a first time for you to run this distance, or maybe you are revisiting it. You know maybe there was a specific trail run you once did, and now a few years later you want to do it again. See where you have improved. Or you want to achieve a specific goal.

And then the next bit of advice is focus on the finish  And some runners focus too much on that.

What I want to downplay is the role of what possibly might go wrong. Because surprise a lot will go wrong. A lot will happen. From an unexpected back injury to a stubbed toenail that causes you grief with every step you take.  

In any given year, anywhere between 65 percent and 80 percent of runners get laid up with an injury. Poor footwear, inadequate core strength and overpronation are often to blame, but the most common culprit is overtraining.


Leads to doubt 

Enforce the problem 

Hint at the solution 

Only when not trained properly

According to Strava’s 2020 Year in Sport report, 55 percent of runners on the exercise-tracking app hit a new personal record (PR) in their 5K10Khalf-marathon and marathon distances in 2020.



Do click on the link below find out more about me www.heikostribl.com and for more running related content do check out https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuoAaTiD4Dc2tMl5r3P09-g and take a free course on becoming a better runner  www.heikostribl.com

A rating, a like, a share will be greatly appreciated, and will help other runners’ that are looking for such advice find this blog. So please do share.  

Make Every Step Count, a running guide that changes your attitude?

And if your first thought is “I doubt it” then definitely you should get the book. Doing the basics, is the best place to go to once you are in a negative rut once your minds cruise around the same negative thoughts. Make Every Step Count keeps you focussed on what matters.

And if that doesn’t help, then do what it says in the bible
Colossians 3:2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.
Today I had a lot on my mind. Thanks for your patience. Thanks for your interest. Do leave me a rating and share the blog to someone who needs to hear it. My name is Heiko thanks for reading.
God Bless You and remember, take it easy.


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