Running Cross Training, get your way to fitness

Generally cross training is referred to a combination of various exercises in different disciplines.

It is also known as circuit training which is a bit different from those training for athletes.

In order to supplement running, when a runner gets trained up by using various different fitness workouts such as cycling, fitness lessons and swimming, it is referred to as cross training.

This usually brings flexibility and builds up strength in muscles faster as compared to simply running. It corrects muscular imbalances and prevents injury, boredom and burnouts.


  • improves fitness,
  • injury prevention
  • rehabilitation,
  • quicker recovery,
  • boredom buster

Its quick trick is the runners cross training approach. Power and tenacity are the two major strengths of a runner. But along with strengths comes weakness.

  • quads
  • overpower our hamstrings,
  • neglected upper bodies,
  • Poor flexibility leads to problems.

Mainly these are required for cardiovascular fitness. Cross training running and other activities have proven to be great cardiovascular workouts.

These build greater benefits for the body making it stronger. Regular running eventually burns-out even the hard-core runners.

Hence running through cross training provides a mental break for the runners and maintains their interest in fitness.

Long distance events like the marathons require cross training majorly.

In endurance with slow runs and long runs, training is specifically required to improve skills and practice, says conventional wisdom.

Improved speed with periodic spells is the resultant of the same. Professional and yet most dedicated runners are specifically recommended cross training.

For big events like marathons and triathlons, these runners don’t hurt their running.

Most of the coaches and trainers recommend them cross training for running in order to maintain their stamina, skills and interest in the same.

One sport runners are usually said to be poorly skeletal shaped from their upper portion of the body. Additional workouts with variance are proved to be better to improve overall fitness.

It is also said that reducing energy and time on running and spending the saved on other fitness activities reduced the chance of injuries and other impact related with running.

For the trainers and coaches who stick to traditional concept of specific training should follow the same as cross training and sudden changes in athlete’s fitness routine will not cause any improvement in their running.

Cross training theories for running include sports like:

  • Football
  • Basketball
  • Handball
  • baseball
  • skiing
  • tennis
  • badminton

Cross-Training for Runners

Four major keys for cross-training are required for runners:

Choosing workouts: its option include

  • elliptical trainers,
  • cross-country ski machines,
  • stationary bikes, and
  • Water running.

Check on heart rate: cross training usually keeps a normal heart rate above 70% of maximum (200 – a person’s heart rate) mostly. In short, a person needs to be working out and sweating a lot.

Check on actual mileage
: one can combine cross-training with running with a lower actual mileage in order to maximize fitness from running.

A person can easily substitute 25 – 30 % of their weekly “mileage” through cross-training.

Differentiate cross training from workouts: usually there are two factors, old-schooled and new schooled.

Old schooled pursuits do not give any replacement for running which required heavy dosage of covering miles while the new-schooled coaches recommend cross training for runners as a replacement.

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