Cross Training instead of Foundation Run

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    Hi 8020 team,

    It might the an answer somewhere here, but I was not able to find it, thus decided to create this topic.

    I’m on Marathon Run training cycle. What if I want to change one of Foundation Runs by cross-training, for example xc skiing or indoor cycling or swimming on winter periods and probably outdoor cycling and swimming during summer. There might be different reasons – too bad weather outside, keep out of injury when volumes increase, just be bored of running and want to switch to something else, dozens of them.

    And here I have two questions:
    – Shall such trainings be always scheduled the same day of week? Let’s say only Wednesdays, only Thursdays or only Saturdays? Shall not be Wednesday this week, and Saturday next week for example?
    – As I understand I have to warm up and keep Zone 2 (pace, power, HR, whatever) for cross-trainings. But what about length of that trainings? Shall it be the same? I may be wrong but I have a feeling that 1 hour cycling is easier and 1 hour swimming is harder then 1 hour running. Same Z2 all 3 of them. Are there any rules for that?


    Just found that there is topic on that already:

    Apologies for inconvenience. Moving my questions there.


    I did something of a rant on the other thread. Here is why:

    Training is specific. Cross-training with other activities engages the body in a not specific way, that is why I don’t like the general definition of cross-training and prefer to view it as different kind of activities within running activities.

    For example, for the past week I have substituted indoor cycling for running forced by icy conditions in my area (and the fact that I do not have access to a treadmill). I was able to slip in a couple of easy runs in the neighborhood; all other runs were mimicked on the bike, endurance, fartlek, mixed interval, etc.

    Yesterday I did a Hill Repetition Run and I felt a hamstring ding on the third repetition. I was able to complete the workout after reminding myself that this workout demands that I focus on driving with my knees on hills with proper form. Today’s foundation run while ok, was difficult because I was a bit sore from the hill workout. In normal conditions I don’t experience these kind of incidents often.

    I believe there is a flow within the 80/20 plans. When we deviate from the plan there is a consequence, so it is best to keep the deviations to a minimum.

    As always, I’m just relating my experiences and defer to the coaches for more informed guidance,,,


    100 percent agree with Charles. But, also fever to the expert coaching. These are just my opinions and don’t reflect anything based on science…but, if you find yourself drifting towards other sports such as cycling and swimming out of boredom and other reasons as you mentioned … Why not just consider training for a triathlon. Those 80 20 plans are fabulous and the flow considers those other sports… Not as cross training, but as an integral part to training in specificity.

    Oddly enough, I’ve rediscovered the joys of running by switching to triathlon. The change seemed to service me well

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