The heat wave may have made it difficult to stick to a training plan, and now that the temperatures are lower, we see more and more people venturing outside. It’s the perfect time to pick up where you left off if you are an experienced runner. If you are just getting started, running might be intimidating to you. Maybe you have high expectations for yourself and are afraid to be disappointed in yourself if you don’t live up to them.
Try starting with a varied training program. Sounds counterintuitive? Yes, but hear us out. Incorporating cross-training activities into your training routine will ultimately help you become a better runner. Cross-training means that you do any other activity than running. Why? Because if you only go running, then you put yourself at risk for health issues. And by cross-training, you not only strengthen your muscles and improve coordination but also put less stress on your joints. You allow your body to heal and recover after a running session when you opt for other training forms.
What You Can Do to Add Cross-Training to Your Routine
To get an idea of what cross-training could look like, check out our tips on becoming a better runner, which both beginners and experienced runners can benefit from.
Build muscles with strength training
Strengthening your muscles will help your body become stronger and develop a better running technique. You will be more coordinated and balanced in your movements. Stronger muscles will also help you have more endurance, improved performance, and easier recovery, among other things.
Try road cycling
Road cycling is excellent if you want to work on your endurance. The trauma on the joints is minimized, and you can increase the distance easier than when you’re running.
An activity where you can combine strength and cardiovascular training. The uneven terrain is an excellent opportunity to strengthen your muscles and improve your endurance.
A sport that offers a total body workout. You will work every muscle while improving your endurance and breathing. Swimming is also one of the most low-impact sports, making it a safe choice as it has almost no impact on the joints.
It’s less widespread than the other options, but worth a shot. Nordic walking is a good muscle and bone-strengthening activity that improves balance and posture. Due to the added resistance of the poles, the activity builds muscle and burns more calories than regular walking.
Low-impact exercises complement the muscular demand of running by relying on opposing muscles, which can improve muscle imbalances – think of running vs. cycling, where cycling can be a good addition to your training routine.
Cross-training is an excellent way to add volume to your training program while minimizing your risk of injury and improving your overall performance.