Cross-Training Actually Helps

25 Nov

A great amount of runners of dealt with shin splints, runner’s knee and plenty of other injuries. When these injuries first start happening to beginner runners, a common thought is ‘There goes my fitness level’. You may be training for a race and give up once your injury occurs to you because you think that the injury will stop you from training. Well, that can be wrong…

It may not be able to cross-train with major injuries, but you can still train with smaller running injuries such as shin splints and runner’s knee. Different exercises will work different parts of you body and will be put less pressure on parts of the body than running does. You can also cross-train if your not injured and that can help your overall time. There is a long list of cross-training exercises that you can do if injuries may be slowing you down or you just want to get a good exercise in to change up the routine.

Biking is one of the most popular things for injured runners to pick up if they want to cross-train. If you bike enough, your aerobic endurance will either stay where it is or even expand greater. You are using a great effort to ride a bike, but that doesn’t mean that you shin splints will start killing you. Biking is a non-impact sport as you don’t put nearly as much pressure when your biking as you do when you are pounding our feet on the ground while running. This will help keep your fitness up while keeping the pressure off of your specific injury. Biking is also a fantastic workout for your quads when you bike up hills and that will transfer to the running races when your quads are getting tired and you need more muscle.

Swimming is also a big exercise that goes along with all cross-training methods that runners will use if injured… or even if healthy. A common misinterpretation is that gaining upper-body strength will slow you down greatly. While many of the top runners in the world may be lean, some great runners and overall athletes have good upper-body strength and swimming helps you with that. If your arms and shoulders generally tire out when you are running, then swimming is good for you to cross-train. Like biking, it is also going to give you a good workout in terms of the aerobic and ¬†cardiovascular area. Your shins and many other leg bones and muscles with thank you because it puts a very limited amount of stress on it.

Pool Running is a not known among runners as much as biking and swimming is. It is pretty self-explanatory… running in the pool. While it may take a while to work your lungs, you are working your leg muscles without having much pressure on your legs. Again, your legs are going to thank you if they are injured because they will work, but they will not be hurting as much as if you are running on pavement.

Other cross-training exercises: Rowing, Calisthenics, Skating, Yoga (flexibility)

Cross-training is not only for runners who may be injured but can also be beneficial to the runner who wants a day or two break from running, but wants to keep up their physical fitness level that they had while they were running and training for a race or event.


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