Running is of course my first love (at least since the early 2000’s when before that it was rowing). But, we can’t always spend time running. If all we did was run all the time it’s possible that injury would set in or overtraining might happen. It’s so important to mix things up and to cross-train. According to Runner’s World, ” Better efficiency, more strength and power, and greater training volume without additional breakdown,” are all benefits of cross-training.
Here are some of my current favorite ways to Cross-train:
Yoga is beneficial to running because it provides you with deep stretching. Yoga also helps to build muscles in your whole body which will help provide you with better strength and stability for running. When you do yoga you work your body on different planes which is important for keeping everything in balance and injury free. Yoga also benefits you by teaching you to focus on your breathing. Yoga will also provide your body with the recovery that you need from running.
Spinning is low impact exercise which can help prevent injury. It is also an endurance sport which can help with continued development of cardiovascular fitness. Active.com says, “As you push yourself on fast flats and steeper hills, you move to a more anaerobic heart rate and your fast-twitch (quick to fatigue) muscle fibers are trained.” I enjoy spinning in spinning class but also love to spin on my bike trainer.
Cross-Fit strengthens muscles in your whole body which can be very beneficial for running. CrossFit exercises are done in a Workout Of the Day or WOD which involves shorter work times. The exercises are Olympic lifts, gymnastic moves, and powerlifting and primarily anaerobic in nature. Cross-Fit will make you a more balanced athlete which is better for running. I try to do Cross-Fit 2-3 times a week.
Tennis is not traditional cross-training for running but is something new that I am adding into the mix. I haven’t played tennis since I was a kid but have been looking for something new to do. Tennis like yoga works you in different planes than running does as you move both side to side and back and forth. Tennis is also more anaerobic in nature because you move in short quick bursts and sprints.