Non Impact Cross Training

Look up in the sky for flying pigs folks..... I did both a swim and a spin class this week and loved them both!

As part of my effort to train smarter during this marathon training cycle, I am really making an effort to do more non-impact cross training. I am really good about doing a lot of cross-training, but it tends to be a lot of high impact stuff like boot-camp and kickboxing. It's great for my all-around fitness, but not so good for giving my body a break from the pounding.

The problem is that usually I get bored, bored, bored with lower impact options. But, after a lot of trial and error I've found out what it is that I need to make it fun:

For a Spin Class:
1. MUSIC! It really is all about the music. If the tunes are good I totally get into a groove and rock out.
2. The teacher. I like enthusiasm and encouragement, but it can't be over the top fake peppiness.  And I really don't want to be screamed at. I push myself pretty hard thanks and know what I need better than you do.
3. Variety. Please don't leave me climbing a hill for 10 minutes straight. Mix it up. Flats, hills, jumps, intervals..... I want it all!

At the Pool:
1. A planned work-out. For so long I'd just show up and start swimming with no plan. 45 minutes of just swimming one stroke back and forth feels like an eternity.
2. Variety. Not only do I need a planned workout, but I need to mix up my strokes and speeds. Breaking the workout into little chunks makes it go so much faster and I stay interested.
3. A watch. I used to try to count all my laps. I was always losing count and thinking about nothing but lap 1, lap 2, lap 3 got old fast. Now I swim by time which leaves my mind free to think about more interesting stuff!

Here is the swim workout I made up this morning

How do you keep your cross-training interesting? I'd love some new swim workouts to try!