Luc Bruchet is a 2016 Olympian over 5,000m and was named to the Canadian World Cross-Country team in November, 2018. After a good winter of training, he developed a stress reaction in his foot and won’t be able to compete next weekend at the championships in Denmark.
Bruchet says he used to stick to pool running for cross-training, but he’s recently started cycling more consistently. “I think they both have their use, depending on the injury, although I find it much easier to get my heart rate up on the bike. I have to say though, that it takes a while for the tush to get used to a hard seat.”
Bruchet says the name of the game in the pool is short reps with even shorter rest. “You seem to recover much quicker between intervals in the pool, so too much rest and you don’t get the same benefit out of the session. After a 10- to 15-minute warmup I like to do 90-second repeats with 30 seconds’ rest. I find 90 a good number because you can go hard without losing too much form in the pool. The short rest keeps the effort consistent and allows you to maintain a solid heartrate. I usually try to do 15 to 20 reps. Really it’s a matter of how long you can survive the boredom of the pool.”
The runner says he has a bunch of different workouts for the bike, but the key is maintaining your heartrate. “I like to break the ride down into 10-minute sections and try to get seven to eight minutes of hard effort with shorter rest mixed in.”
Staying motivated through injury
Staying motivated through an injury is one of the hardest parts. Especially if running is a social endeavour for you, the solitude of cross-training can be brutal. If you like company during your workouts, check out a spin class or workout class or simply ask a friend to go for a bike ride with you. Bruchet also says keeping your goal in mind will be huge motivation while your body heals. “Staying motivated can be hard. One thing that helps me is keeping the big goal in mind–ultimately that is the focus. You have to deal with the hand you’re dealt, so if that means a bit of cross-training, then so be it. But for me the chance to run at the Olympics again motivates me to push myself through all this cross-training.”
Bruchet hopes to get back to full health and then work on getting back into running shape. “If things go well, I hope to return to the track and find some solid form that leads me into the 2020 season with confidence.”