The importance of cross-training

Cross-training in brief

Cross-training provides runners with an opportunity to vary their exercise routine and can also help a recovery from injury. Cross-training is not just about doing a variety of different activities — it’s about learning new skills and training in a way that will best prepare you for running. Here's our quick introduction to how cross-training could help your running fitness.

Popular forms of cross-training are swimming and cycling, although gym workouts and other aerobic sports are also used as a means of cross-training. Cross-training can help reduce the risk of injury by lessening the constant high-impact work on your joints. Activities like swimming and cycling are non load bearing, meaning that the body's weight is supported by means other than yourself.

Introducing cross-training can help runners avoid monotony in training. It can help tone your body, and keep you strong and flexible. Whatever your training level, cross-training can help you get the results you want.

It’s important when you set up your program for cross-training that you know what you’re training for and your goal is to include a varied mix of aerobic and anaerobic activity.

It is also important to include some strength training. This helps to re-shape your body, aids weight loss, boosts your metabolic rate, improves your posture and importantly helps to keep the bones strong and healthy.

Finally, with cross-training, we must include flexibility training too. Being flexible helps reduce the risk of injury, increases agility, balance and helps with relaxation and stress release. Combining cardiovascular training, resistance training and flexibility training helps the body achieve a proper balance, as these three elements are the foundations for any effective fitness program.

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