The Advantages of Cross-Training in Runners

Advantages of Cross-Training in Runners: Training only by running is usually the choice for a large number of runners, however, alternating activities can enhance our running performance. For this reason, today we dedicate a few lines to the advantages of cross-training in runners and describe what are the activities that best make up this type of training if we want to improve the race.

Why Cross-Training

The cross-training applied to brokers has no other aim than to improve the performance of them during the race, creating an efficient and safe work. To achieve this, other activities are often required to improve or correct aspects that cannot be achieved only by running.

The main reasons it is important to cross-train runners are:

Improve power in muscle groups not used greatly during the race, such as arms, back, and shoulders.
Reduce the risk of injury thanks to the strengthening of muscles outside those that the race works.
Reduce training boredom given the greater variety of exercise activities.
Prevent overtraining as well as wear and tear and repetitive injuries.
Of course, for cross-training to be effective in runners, it must be properly planned and systematized, in order to improve running with other non-running activities.

Although cross-training is very useful to gain physical shape and endurance in the beginning, it can also be used to rehabilitate injuries, to prevent them, to promote recovery, or to gain speed, power, or others.

What Activities to Choose for Cross-training?

Much will depend on each person, their tastes and preferences as well as the needs and expected results when performing cross-training, since it will not be the same to choose activities to rehabilitate than to improve aerobic capacity.

However, there are some activities that are more popular and frequent than others, used for cross-training in runners. They are:

  • Cycling: because it strengthens the muscles of the legs, especially, it works quadriceps that if they are weak in runners in relation to the hamstrings can develop injuries, in addition, it is an activity that reduces the impact of the race.
  • Swimming: train your breathing a lot while helping to optimize aerobic capacity and work your back and arms as opposed to running.
  • Race in the water: strengthens muscles avoiding injuries. It is also an ideal activity if you want to rehabilitate and condition the cardiovascular system.
  • Elliptical: it is an excellent low-impact option that works at the same intensity as running. It is ideal for exercising when you are at risk or suffer from foot and ankle injuries, but it is not advisable if there is a knee injury. Many other activities can be valid for cross-training runners, you just have to state your goal clearly, know the strengths and weaknesses and based on this, choose, and plan training with various disciplines.

Cross-training Does Not Rule Out Running Training

Beyond the great advantages that cross-training produces in runners, this does not mean that we can run better if we only train with swimming or cycling, but that if you want to run better, you should train running. Cross-training involves activities to combine with running training.

During running training sessions you can train specific aspects of the race such as endurance, speed, or others, but in remaining sessions, you can dedicate yourself to recovering from intense efforts, to achieve a better aerobic adaptation or to strengthen certain muscles.

Ultimately, cross-training is a good complement for runners, as long as you don’t forget that runners run.

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