Running is my jam. If you’ve been reading my posts, you know this. I also want to be the best runner I can be, so that means that I also focus on cross training.
Some runners ignore the concept of cross training, but that’s not a particularly good idea. Cross training has a lot of benefits, specifically for runners. Put simply, it helps build the muscles that support your running muscles, which in turn, means that your running muscles are more stable and resilient. Here’s just a few of the reasons why you should cross train:
- Injury prevention – This is super important. Injuries mean you can’t run, and not running sucks. There’s actually a t-shirt that you can buy that says that. You can find it here.
- Faster Rehabilitation – If you do incur an injury, cross training can help get you on the road to recovery quickly.
- Better Aerobic Fitness – Hey, as a runner, why wouldn’t you want as much aerobic fitness as humanly possible?
- Power!! – This means strength training. Weights, kettle bells, and the like. Also, jumping and plyometric exercises are paramount – these increase the power of your stride, which increases the length of your stride. That means less ground contact time and faster race times. All. Good. Things.
- Motivation – Just running can become a little rote. Mix it up. Variety is the spice of life.
- Enjoying other sports – Since you’re an athlete, running probably isn’t the only sport you enjoy!
So leave the trail behind a few days per week and hit up a yoga class, a strength session, and something else that you really love to do. I get my main cross training in my Monday night Nike Training Club sessions. I get a full body work out there that keeps me in great shape and builds muscle that makes me a better runner, and a better version of me.
Today’s Hill Help: Kettle Bells are awesome for cross training. They can even combine cardio and strength training. Check out this video to learn more!
Bonus Hill Help: Click here to learn more about the science behind cross training and why it’s important.