How to cross train when you’re injured or when it’s just too cold outside!

Firstly thank you for all the messages about the lack of updates on Strava and Instagram.  I’ve had to take a week off, while I get to the bottom of a injury.  When you push yourself to get to the very top, the potential to get injured is far greater, so I'm very aware of niggles that could get out of control.  

After seeing my physio and fearing a stress fracture in my femoral neck, I had an MRI on Wednesday which luckily came back negative.  However it did show some osteitis pubis and a labral tearing in my hip, which yeah.. is pretty painful! 

So what does that mean?  Well I need some cortisone injections to help that recover and probably another week away from running.  Certainly no Big Half this weekend and I doubt I’ll make the Fulham 10k, but should everything progress ok then Manchester and London will be go! 

I’m well aware that training at the intensity and volume I do is risky, but it’s all about managing that risk, to try and achieve what I want to achieve.  I’m learning about myself and body everyday to get that balance right.  For now I’m at the gym cross training everyday, usually twice a day and taking the time to up my strength and conditioning game.  There are always gains to be made!  

'Never give up on something that you can’t go a day without thinking about’ said Winston Churchill. Well I think about running and my dreams every day, every hour, every minute... probably every second!  This minor blip won’t stop me, I’ll be back stronger than ever very soon! 

So what can you do when you’re told to rest up?  When it’s too cold or hot outside to go for a run?  

I’ve devised this routine for the gym that I thought could help my fellow runners, as it’s what I’m doing right now.  It completely depends on what type of injury you have of course.  If you need to stay 100% non weight bearing then you only have one choice, swimming with a pool buoy between your legs.  But if you can apply some weight through your affected area, then this should be ok.  Please please please speak to your physio first, I don’t want you to make any injury worse!  And remember the golden rule, if there is ANY pain at all, then STOP! 

Like all runners the biggest fear is losing your fitness and you'll never truly know until you start training properly again.  I think that if you are able to dedicate a lot of time you'll be able to maintain your fitness for 2-3 weeks away from running, I can't see how you'll get fitter, but can at the very least it will improve your strength and so you can carry on running from where you left off.  Intervals will definitely be your best option, get that heart rate going up and down.  All cardio machines will have interval settings, so start there. 

So this is what I'm currently doing! 


1. Cross Trainer - Intervals programme - 60:00 - I like it as it's the closest you're going to get to replicating running form, without the impact that running delivers. Intervals are good to maintain your cardiac fitness.

Elepitical Cross Trainer

2. Rowing - 2000m - Intervals - 200m on / off - perfect for keeping lean, building VO2 max and working out almost every muscle on your body.  I do 200m at 1:45/500m, then 200m any 2:00/500m.  




1. Cross Trainer - Intervals - 30:00

2. Static Bike - Intervals - 20:00 - I do 2 minutes ON then 2 minutes recovery.  


4. Climber - 50 flights (about 10 mins) - This machine is EVIL, but can already feel the benefits.  Whack it up to full speed (if you dare) and you're almost running up those stairs!  Hoping to get to 100 flights shortly. 


Every other day

1. Plank 3x 1 minute - Improve that core. 

2. Bridges 3x 20 reps - Strengthen glutes and hamstrings. 

3. Sit Ups 3x 1 minute - more core.

4. Adductor machine 3x 20 reps - build those inner thigh muscles.


5. Squats 3x 1 minute - the best compound exercise!  Focuses on building strength in the gluten, hamstrings and quads.

6. Calf Raises 3x 20 reps on each leg - an often overlooked but an important muscle for running, so keep it strong. 



No one wants to be stuck inside, it sucks!  But life sometimes hands you these crappy times and you've just got to deal with it.  If you act quickly then you can make the most of it and with real determination you can actually come out stronger and carry on where you left off.  Good luck and embrace the opportunity!