Anything that isn't running, is cross-training... right?
Choosing to go for a walk on my lunch break rather than sitting and playing on my phone in the break room. Cross-training.
Choosing to ride the exercise bike while I watch an episode of television instead of slouching on the couch. Cross-training.
Parking at the far end of the lot when I go for groceries and strolling that extra distance to the door. Cross-training.
It might seem like I'm stretching (also cross-training?) to index some of these things to my training account bottom line, but on the other hand it's the thousands of little choices that one makes between now and the goal date that can make a lot of difference.
As I write this I have about 250 days until the start line of the Chicago Marathon, 2023.
Let's do a little math.
Adding, say, 1000 extra steps into my day (each and every day) is not a tough request.
Over two hundred and fifty days, that's 250,000 steps.
Conservatively, it takes about 1500 steps to walk a kilometer.
So, adding just 1000 steps into my daily routine means I add an additional 166 km of walking distance into my training routine, or nearly four extra marathons of training distance.
Sure, walking isn't running, but google "is walking important for marathon training" and you'll see a lot of reputable sources mention words like foot and leg strength, stress reduction, muscle stretching, and general lung capacity as benefits of walking.
All that benefit for a few extra steps.
My personal goal is to average ten thousand steps per day, that arbitrary goal that so many people strive for. It's an average though. Some days I'll walk twice that. Other days I'll do much less.
But of course it's the little choices that get me from a sad five thousand steps each day to a happy ten. Walking the long way to the office bathroom. Parking a bit further from the door at the mall. Going for a walk while I'm waiting for someone or something. Little things add up.