Thursday, February 10, 2011

Cross-training to do or not to do?

Goergl FIS
Austrian skiier Elisabeth Goergl not only skies but is a fan of Thai boxing ( cough, the best martial art around IMHO). And on Monday we learned that she can sing too. Not a bad CV when you add in winning the Women's Super G this week at the FIS Alpine Ski World Championships. She beat Lindsey Vonn to the win, more on Vonn here.

She sang the official song at the opening ceremonies on Monday.  Now you might that think someone who clocked up five medal-places on the World Cup tour in 2008 wouldn't feel nervous about a little song but she said in an interview: "Even before I sang in Zauchensee I had that racing heart feeling, the same like if you do an exam or when I’m at the start [of a World Cup race]. But I think it will be OK.”

Thai Boxing
But when it comes to Thai boxing, she has the same love that most people who give it a go discover. She says: ""Thai boxing is great to let off steam, to free your head. That's what I need." Maybe that's what helped her win two bronze medals in the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Goergl pic sottozeronews

Do you think it's important to cross-train and mix it up?  Or do you worry about injury and stick to one sport?


Emmet Ryan said...

It depends on the fit. I mixed between American Football and training for marathons for two years and it was a disaster. Aside from the different kind of physical impacts on the body, the real problem was the radical difference in the type of conditioning each sport required.

American Football is all about a repetition of short, fast burst. It's heavily stop-start based as opposed to the continuous action of marathons.

In both years I suffered season ending injuries that hindered my efforts in the marathon. In my third and final season playing American Football I focussed exclusively on that during the season and then switched to marathon training once the season was over. The difference in my health was dramatic.

Those looking at cross training should try to find sports that pair up well, where what you are doing in one improves you ability to perform in the other.

Snowcatcher said...

Must cross train! Sports make the body happy!

Wonderfully informative post! Really cool to find out she can sing, too!

niamh said...

@ Emmet - The difference in training must be huge, I know they are both about endurance at some level but just thinking about the body frame resulting from training alone? Good point about trying to find things which match and aid your musculature - development. Not to mention attitude, I think that's why Goergl has it right as both boxing and skiing are about individual strength and power.

@ Snowcatcher - it does indeed! no matter what im doing at work, it always helps to get out there and do something physical. I can't imagine singing in front of such a large group of people, definitely multi-talented

Emmet Ryan said...

You've got it spot on Niamh. The examples I cited are two sports that would have radically different impact on body frame that just wouldn't match up well. The way Goergl operates shows how important it is to see cross-training as more than just two different kinds of training but mixing forms of training that work well together. It's sort of like cooking when you think about it.

niamh said...

She really has it right, maybe I should look up some other examples of people mixing sports which might not seem similar but too, another post idea - thanks!