So for anyone out there who is new to running or is currently training for any race, I'd like to stress the importance of cross training. It isn't something that is stressed often enough. Most training programs that I have seen suggest it as a little sidenote, but don't explain how it can benefit your overall running experience! I've started listening to Podcasts at work, to spice up the work day, and I've come across this great Podcast called Marathon Training Academy.
This specific podcast was all about the benefits of Cross training, now through my own experience I have never really Cross Trained but after listening to this podcast, I'm sold! So I took some notes and here is what I learned:
The main benefits include:
* balancing the muscle groups - many times runners have very strong hamstrings and so by balancing out the muscle groups you will have overall stronger muscles to make sure you cross that finish line!
* Increased Cardio-Vascular Fitness
* Improved strength and power
* Decreases your chance of injury
* Gives your injuries a chance to heal - By doing a variety of different activities and using ther muscles, you are iving your body a chance to heal the ones that are injured. This one is probably the most appealing to me because of the different injuries I have had.
* Busting Boredom! - Changing up your routine makes it interesting and fun!
So now that you know the benefits, you are probably thinking ok, well what are some good cross training activities? Here are a few suggestions:
* Swimming - It is a great way to use all the muscles in your body, its a great work out! Plus it is a great recovery exercise. If you have ever had to do therapy, you typically start in pool.
* Water Jogging
* Power Yoga
* Running Backwards - specifically on an Elliptical (bc it uses different leg muscles than normal running)
* Group Sports - Make sure that once it gets close to your race you aren't participating in high impact group sports because your competitve edge will come out and you could injure yourself ultimately ruining your race plans.
* Weight Training (using weights) and Strength Training (using your own body as resistance)
Best thing to do for cross training and training for a race is to WRITE IT DOWN. You are more likely to do it if you have it planned out. Also, never let cross training become an excuse to skip a scheduled training run, but don't over do it either, make sure you are getting plenty of rest and watch for over-fatigue!
Today's Lesson: Cross Training balances your muscles and helps to ensure that you cross that finish line! Don't skip out on training your whole body!
Currently Rocking Out to : Carry Out by Timbaland and Justin Timberlake