Could Basketball Be Good Cross-training for Marathon Training? Experts Weigh In

As far as fitness and working out goes, basketball has always been my first love.

photo credit: Airman 1st Class Kerelin Molina - Wikimedia Commons

photo credit: Airman 1st Class Kerelin Molina – Wikimedia Commons

From playing until after dark as a kid, to playing pickup games nearly every day in college, I loved playing the game. When I decided to run my first half marathon in 2009, I was still playing basketball with c0-workers two to three times a week. At the time, I felt like basketball would be a good compliment to my running.

As I looked into half marathon training programs, I ended up settling on Hal Higdon’s novice program. As I dug deeper into Hal’s site and forums, I discovered that he wasn’t a big fan of mixing basketball and half marathon training. “It’s not a matter of if you get injured, it’s a matter of when” was Hal’s was clear warning on the subject.
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Run Yoga Thrive Interview with No Meat Athlete Founder Matt Frazier

Despite all the science and reports to the contrary, there are a lot of people who share the common misconception that a plant-based diet won’t provide an athlete the proper nutrition or protein needednma bookphoto to meet the rigors of training for a marathon or ultra marathon.

And even if you convince someone to entertain the thought that you can fuel your running and training with a plant-based diet, pointing to the more well-known vegan runners like Scott Jurek, Brendan Brazier or Rich Roll only exacerbates the issue. For most people, successful vegan distance runners like those guys are outliers or anomalies.

Those guys have accomplished seemingly super human feats like winning Ironman triathlons or setting 24 hour US running records or running around the Hawaiian islands. To the average runner, pointing to those guys’ diets as examples to follow is akin to saying that Puma shoes will make you as fast as Usain Bolt.

This is where Matt Frazier comes in.

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All You Need to Start Becoming the Greatest Runner You Can Be

photo courtesty of flikr – by Keith Fujimoto

If you grew up in the late 80s and early 90s and had even a passing interest in basketball, you know the name Mars Blackmon.

Mars was created and portrayed by Spike Lee for one of his movies, but he became more famous as a Nike pitchman pushing Air Jordans on basketball fans all over the world. In addition to having a knack for repeating certain questions or phrases three times (“Do you know? Do you know?) he was also known to attribute Michael Jordan’s greatness on the basketball floor to the shoes Nike paid Jordan millions of dollars to wear.

While his fixation with Air Jordans ultimately proved to be a wildly successful marketing campaign, Mars seemingly missed the boat on what made Jordan great. Claiming that it’s gotta be the shoes” sold a lot of shoes, but this tongue-in-cheek caricature ignored the heart, skill, talent, determination and hard work that made Jordan the basketball player he was.
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How To Get Motivated To Run When You Don’t Feel Like It

If you’ve run long enough, at some point you’ve had the feeling that you just didn’t want to go out on a particular run. Maybe there was a time when turning off your alarm and rolling back into your sheets sounded like the best thing ever. Or maybe it was early in the week and you rationalized that you could postpone your run because you have time to make it up later in the week.  Or maybe you don’t have a race coming up and it’s easy to convince yourself that you can miss a workout here and there.

Or maybe you just wussed out.

Image Courtesy of Feelart; freedigitalphotos.net

Image Courtesy of Feelart; freedigitalphotos.net

Regardless of the reason, every runner has felt like not running at some point.

So what’s it going to take to get you up and out the door? Why are you – the person who at some point made the conscious decision to label yourself a “runner” going to follow through with that decision? The next time your motivation is running low, remind yourself of these three things:

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3 Simple Tweaks That Can Make This Weekend’s Long Run Easier

 

I first got the idea for this post a few months ago as I was walking through the GEICO corporate offices for my weekly Toastmasters meeting and saw this sign:

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I’m not sure if the HR rep who walks me to my meetings was pulling my leg (I’m not a GEICO employee and can’t be in the building without an escort), but according to her those signs were fastened to almost every common area door in that building to prevent people from running into each other or worse – bonking people on the other side of the door in the face.
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What Toddlers Can Teach Us About Becoming Runners

 

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If the contents of this post don’t motivate you to run, imagining these babies in your kitchen, calling your name should do the trick.

If you’re thinking of taking up running and are apprehensive for any number of reasons, I have good news you for you.

You’ve already started.

No, you haven’t been running in your sleep and no you haven’t developed a case of running amnesia. You’ve already accomplished one of the most basic and fundamental foundations to being a runner – you learned to walk.

While I may have written the first part of this post with my tongue firmly planted in my cheek, there is more than a kernel of truth to all of this. When you were a kid scooting around on all fours, you were bound and determined to walk. You weren’t going to let anything stop you, and one day you did it.  There are a lot of pieces to the puzzle in a toddler learning to walk, but for all intents and purposes, that was the first major goal you accomplished. Here is a quick look at how you did it.
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