Why Runners Should Be Cross Training

August 20, 2015

Cross training refers to the process of combining multiple exercises into an athlete’s training regimen.  Most often, these exercises work varying muscle groups under different types of stress to round out the overall routine. Athletes may combine cycling, tennis, swimming, yoga, rowing, cycling, or many other forms of exercise together in order to create a comprehensive training program that best supports their athletic endeavors.

Why Cross Train?

Cross training is well-known as an important means by which to build stability and prevent injury. Without proper cross training, muscular imbalances can occur that may lead to overused muscles, excessive soreness, long recovery periods, and physical instability. Cross training is especially important for runners, as too many miles can put excess stress on the legs. Muscle tone improvement throughout the body as a result of cross training is an important means to prevent injury and mitigate the effects of high impact sports such as running. Constantly pounding the pavement can cause undue stress on knees, hips, ankles, and backs.

Aside from preventing injury and ensuring a well-rounded physical fitness routine, cross training can also help prevent the burnout and boredom that often comes with performing the same exercise day after day.  It can also help you build endurance faster by allowing you to press your body by multiple, varied means more frequently with shorter recovery periods, speeding up your results.

How to Cross Train

Supplementing your running routine with cross training isn’t a difficult task, but it is important to supplement with a routine that satisfies its purpose. Let’s take a look at a few ways to build a cross training routine that is best configured to suit a runner’s needs:

Cross-training has become ever more popular as a way to prevent the doldrums of a static routine, and to keep athletes healthy and race-ready. Mixing up a physical training program with a variety of other aerobic activities can improve your overall fitness, increase muscular balance, prevent injury and overuse, allow for quicker workout recoveries, and prevent boredom and burnout.