We are driven to increase running miles when training, but it’s important to mix up workouts to help improve race day performance. Coach Caitlin Roston from soundRUNNER explains what cross training is and why alternative forms of exercise can make us better runners.
Cross Training for Runners from soundRUNNER
What is cross training for runners?
It’s a day where you focus on another fitness activity, such as spin class, bootcamp, HIIT or going to your local gym for a lifting session, and give yourself a break from pounding the road. Most running plans call for at least one day of cross training per week.
Why is cross training important to add to your running plan?
Cross training reduces injury, helps with recovery and builds muscle. For example, spinning is low impact on the body and knees, but it builds up the slow and fast twitch muscles in your legs, works your lower back and abdominals and strengthens your knees. As a runner you already have so much wear and tear on the knees, so spinning gives them a break while improving strength, speed and aerobic power.
Why do we need cross training?
Many runners fail to use their glutes and hamstrings when they strike and push off from the ground due to underdevelopment. Adding 1 or 2 days of cross training into your running plan allows you to build stronger glutes, hamstrings, quads, knees, hips and ankles.Cross training does not slow you down as a runner, but helps increase your speed, strength and endurance. If you are looking to improve your fitness or just want to mix up your workouts, add a cross training day and enjoy the results!
Thanks to our friends at soundRUNNER for providing this guest post. We'll be bringing you tips here on the blog every month from experts in the community - please comment below what you want to hear about.