Marathon Training – Week 10: Cross Training

Training for a marathon is a huge commitment. Running five days a week for four months can tire on the body, relationships, emotions, sex drive, and interest in the sport. […]

Health Health & Fitness Brian Webb

This article was published on March 11th, 2013

Brian Webb

Training for a marathon is a huge commitment. Running five days a week for four months can tire on the body, relationships, emotions, sex drive, and interest in the sport. Although the types of training are different each day of the week, and change in distance and style over the training program, running is very repetitive. The body needs cross-training for multiple reasons.

The most important reason for cross-training is injury prevention. Many runners, beginner to seasoned veteran, experience injuries, which can be prevented by cross training. Cross training is both cardio and strength training.

Here are five great cross-training activities that runners will benefit from:

  1. Yoga – perfect for stretching tight muscles and relaxing the entire body. From zen to flow, and especially hot yoga, all types are good. You can do yoga at home or go to a yoga class at a studio.
  2. Biking – Much like running, biking is a repetitive movement of the lower body. Biking requires the use of different muscles to fire at different times. Building strength.
  3. Swimming – An ideal full-body workout including upper body, back, core and lower-body. Aside from yoga, swimming is the lowest impact cross-training exercise.
  4. Weight Lifting – No one said you have to lift as much weight as a professional body-builder, but runners really need to work on upper body and core strength. Weights build valuable muscle that is burned during long runs. Focus on chest, back and core strength exercises. This is key!
  5.  Rowing – Rowing machines at a gym are a perfect alternative to running, especially when experiencing running injuries. Rowing machines work the back, core, chest, arms, and lower body.

Instead of worring about getting an injury during training or on race day, try these preventative measures. Cross training should be done 2-3 times per week. Use rest-days and lower-intensity training run days for cross-training activities.

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