The evils of cross-training

You’re so lucky…three posts from me this week so far! Clearly I have too much free time.

One of the things 80/20 calls for is cross-training, and frankly every runner should do cross-training. THIS runner very VERY rarely does cross-training, so, as I mentioned before, I joined a gym last week. I visited it for the first time on Monday and today, Friday, I went to my first class. I could choose between spin and Zumba. Because I have a trail half-marathon tomorrow, I chose Zumba as it would be easier on my legs.

This was only my second ever Zumba class. This was my first one, waaay back in 2012. I gathered in the room with lots of older ladies and a couple of chicks and then the teacher came in. Latin American, all flying black hair, flashing eyes and a smokin’ body. I know it’s a cliché but it’s totally the truth. Instant girl-crush. The music came on, the class started and I just loved it.


I was kind of embarrassed about how much I was loving Zumba. I have NO groove so I was this awkward, middle-aged, middle-class, white stay-at-home mum trying desperately to shake her stuff. It was like Baby when Johnny tries to teach her to dance . (Go on, click on it, watch it. Is any movie scene better than that one?) Basically, I was out of sync on all the moves, my hips did lie and I deeply regretted my lack of bosom to wiggle at the appropriate moment. But I was grinning and loving it. It wasn’t too intense – the cardio side of it barely had me out of breath. Perfect, fun, low-intensity cross-training. I started throwing myself into it, not worrying how awkward I looked in the giant wall of mirrors opposite me!

And then suddenly I’m on the floor, clutching my ankle in agony and breathing through the pain!

The last time I twisted my left ankle
The last time I twisted my left ankle

What kind of badass trail runner twists her ankle in a ZUMBA CLASS?? 

This one apparently. It was immediately obvious that I won’t be joining my lovely girls sloshing through 13.1 miles of mud in Saratoga’s redwoods tomorrow. That would be very foolish. So I’m sat on the sofa with the cat; icing, resting, elevating and planning to compress.

It’s my own fault, I have done no ankle strengthening for a long time and I realise now that I need to do this consistently. Because if I can’t even do a Zumba class, that’s just pathetic. Two posts about what exercises to do for stronger ankles HERE and HERE.

So good luck to all my runner girls tomorrow (and Erin doing her first 50k on Sunday). Watch your ankles. I’ll be watching Dirty Dancing.

18 Comments Add yours

  1. dlubi says:

    Oh no! I am so sorry to hear about the ankle!!! That sounds like something I would totally do. Some of my worst injuries (so far) have been caused by doing random activities outside my usual sports… I once got injured playing Wii Sports!?! (yes, the video game…)

    1. Cathryn says:

      Okay this made me giggle out loud for a long time! Thank you for sharing 🙂 I’m not the only muppet out there!!!

  2. Nicola Johnson says:

    Noooooooo! Dratted ankle! Hope you’re up and about soon! Enjoy DD in the meantime (I carried a WATERMELON?!!)

    1. Cathryn says:

      Resting, icing, compressing, sulking….;)

  3. Rrrraaaa… that’s bad news. Well, I hope your ankle will be better soon. You are right, don’t go running on it, it would make it worse.

    As for the dance moves, why don’t you ask your little dude? I KNOW he has great moves! Ah ah ah!!!

    And, finally… DIRTY DANCING!!!!! THE ONE AND ONLY MOVIE. I want another one like that 🙂

    1. Cathryn says:

      The Dude DOES have some moves, I shall ask for a lesson!!

      I love Dirty Dancing. I’d forgotten how much till I google that scene and now I’ve decided to watch it all tonight. Lucky Husband!! They haven’t made a movie like that since!

      1. Helen Mearns says:

        This must be the best movie of all go-to movies ever ever ever made!! I am so sorry about the ankle but what a wonderful excuse for some time in Dirty Dancing land. Sending you lots of get better wishes.

  4. Grace says:

    No way! I’m so sorry about your ankle! (I have injured myself in many other equally stupid ways – most notably on stage during a dance performance…the stage was a bit slick and down I went, and got up to finish the item, which can’t have been terribly smart. Fortunately it was my last item that night.) Maybe your new motto should be ‘nothing new on race week’… 🙂 Treat yourself – sleep in, make some pancakes, watch Dirty Dancing, and try not to be grumpy the rest of the day!

    1. Grace says:

      PS you have inspired me to go back to Zumba. I love it and there are classes a couple times a week at my local gym.

      1. Cathryn says:

        That makes me happy – I seriously loved the 45 minutes in which I managed not to injure myself!

    2. Cathryn says:

      Nothing new on race month might be wiser, I’m so clumsy. I’m impressed you managed to finish your dance performance. Dedication!

  5. Sherry says:

    Sorry to hear this! Hope it heals quick.
    That Zumba, it’s dangerous, I’m sticking to trail running!!

    1. Cathryn says:

      Definitely more prudent to take on rocks, roots, snakes and mountain lions rather than a lethal studio and middle-aged ladies in Lululemon!

  6. Sharyn says:

    Oh no 😦 How frustrating!! Hope you are back in your running shoes soon

  7. Jen says:

    Strengthen those ankles!! We need you out on the trails!

    However, I confess that I seriously loved your reenactment of said Zumba fall. 😉 Get well soon! xo

    1. Cathryn says:

      Thanks 🙂 Congrats on your solid run yesterday!

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