4 Do’s and Don’ts of Cross-Training

Try these exercises to help you reach your goal on race day.

Cross-training is an excellent way to supplement your running, building strength and flexibility in muscles you do not normally use. There is a plethora of information out there on cross training but in an effort to simplify it, here are four rules of cross-training that will help you reach your desired goals as a runner.

Choose the right workout. It is important that you take the time to identify what your end goal is and what you want to get out of your cross-training.

If you are looking for core stabilization and strength, opt for some Pilates work. Look for online videos or hit up a class at the local gym.

If you need something restorative, opt for yoga. Yoga not only restores your body but it also improves your breathing, mobility and core strength all at once!

Looking for a longer workout with a little more impact? Hit up the gym and do some reps with barbells, kettlebells and dumbbells. These exercises are all essential to adequate strength training for runners.

Add regular strength training to your routine. Whole body strength training should be implemented 1-3 times each week. This will take your running to the next level.

Deadlifts are a great option when strength training as they train muscles that you do not regularly use when running, working your hamstrings, glutes and core. They also help to improve your posture, which betters your running form!

Another great strength training exercise is the overhead press. This exercise improves shoulder strength and mobility, which can contribute to a better arm swing when running.

Don’t replace running with cross training. Cross training helps you to mimic a run workout without adding as much of a pound to our joints. Some runners inadvertently replace runs with cross training because of this.  Remember that cross-training workouts will not help you to reach all of your goals by race day. Running should still be the focus!

If you want to change things up, you can hop on a rower or bike or even jump in the pool to get a similar workout impact as you would on the pavement. Interval workouts transition easily for runners.

Include HIIT if when you are in the off-season. After race day, you can train however you want. During the off-season, you can train like any athlete. Although it is advised that runners avoid HIIT when leading up to race day, you can dive in head first after the big day.

Circuit-style fitness and bootcamp classes are excellent options for a workout that is already laid out for you. Otherwise, you can create your own workout that will get your ticker pumping.