cross training consists in practicing different sports activities combining them in such a way that they improve the overall performance helping, in addition, to achieve a specific objective: more strength, more power, speed… It has to be programmed in an adequate way and respecting the resting times. Take note of how to do a cross training for runners below.
Complementary activities involve working the muscles as a whole and increasing respiratory and cardiovascular capacity. There are many benefits of cross training for a runner. Running almost every day for kilometers can be monotonous. In this sense, combining the race with other exercises increases motivation to a great extent.
On the other hand, do not forget that running is a high impact sport. The lower train is the most involved in the exercise and the most exposed to possible injuries: sprains, sprains, joint damage… practicing other sports helps to prevent injuries and in case of having any, that would require reducing the pace in the practice of running, it allows to maintain the physical form focusing the effort on other activities. Actually, cross training for runners is the best way to practice “active rest”, that is, we can rest, especially the muscles that work the most, alternating with other activities that involve less effort and above all less impact.
What sports to include in cross training for runners?
When planning your cross training you must choose activities that suppose a rest for your legs and that also reinforce those points that you want to improve in the race: power, endurance, flexibility…
The best sports for your cross training of running are:
- Swimming. Any activity performed in the aquatic environment is an excellent complement for runners. Water reduces impact and swimming is a relaxing exercise that develops arms and improves the posture of the back. The aquagym is also an excellent alternative especially recommended when it comes to taking care of knees and joints in general.
- Cycling. With it you move your legs but without impact, mainly strengthening the quadriceps.
- I work in the gym. Believe it or not, combining running with the gym is always a success especially if you perform varied routines of strength centered on the upper train and the core area (abdomen and back), all without excessive weight abuse.
- Rowing. The benefits of rowing are multiple. In fact, it is another practice that is highly recommendable for the work of arms involved and for promoting resistance by increasing lung capacity.
- Yoga. Although it is not exactly a sport, there are more and more runners that include yoga as part of their cross training. Balance, flexibility, agility… At a physical level, yoga works perfectly on different aspects and abilities that influence the race. On a psychic level, facing each challenge with calmness and positive attitude is also important when it comes to surpassing yourself with running.
How to plan a cross training for runners?
When it comes to establishing your weekly training routine, combine the race with the activities indicated to improve your brands as a runner and achieve the goals you set for yourself. Choose according to your preferences and go alternating (you do not have to always do the same giving up any of them). The important thing to remember is that you should rest from any physical activity at least a day or two a week. You should also keep in mind that you can not demand the maximum in each of the activities you do. If you have run a long distance, with high speed sections, the next day, your training, by bike, in the gym or swimming should be moderate.
A cross training plan for runners could be the following:
- Monday: Long race alternating smooth rhythm, trot and sprints
- Tuesday: swimming / bike
- Wednesday: Break
- Thursday: Short race varying intensity or long at a constant pace
- Friday: Work at the gym
- Saturday: rest
- Sunday: soft race / yoga
Of course, it is only an orientative plan that can be used as a base to carry out your own training routine that adapts to your physical condition and your preferences so that your cross training will be perfect.