I’ve mentioned before that I consider myself a runner (a beginning runner, but a runner). Running is my primary form of cardiovascular exercise. Last fall, I started cross training and lifting weights, though I allowed the holidays to derail me, and I haven’t kept up with it. There are good reasons that I should get back to it, though!
The primary thing that originally convinced me to lift weights was the fact that the more muscle mass you have, the more calories you burn at rest. I added other cardio to my schedule because cross training greatly reduces the chances that you’ll sustain repetitive use injuries from doing the same kind of exercise all the time. Another benefit to both cross training and weight lifting is that they both help me be a better runner – more speed, more strength, more endurance.
When it was still warm out, I had added in one day of bicycling each week (in addition to three running days and two weight lifting days), and that was fun – I adore the feeling of going ridiculously fast on a bike. I am not running as much this winter because of the bitter cold we’re experiencing, as well as the precipitation (both snow and freezing rain), but I still want to work out, so I’m going to get myself back to the gym this week, and will kick some ass on a stationary bike.