So here are my top 5 benefits of cross training:
#1 - Injury Prevention - as many of you know, I have struggled with ITBS (IT Band Syndrome) for many years and have struggled to find anything that will help me. This is the first year that I have run all race season without any significant IT issues. I attribute it to the cross training that I started back in October of 2014. Squats, lunges, burpees, pushups, ab work, and ladder work have all helped me build stronger muscles that have aided me this season. In fact, at the peak of my training, I had put 12lbs of muscle on my body!!
|Love me some Fitness Blender for go-to workouts!|
#3 - Greater Runner Fitness - whether you are running for fun or for a goal....we all secretly want to get faster or perhaps go further...it's our internal competition. Cross-training allows us to build the base that helps us when the running gets tougher. Poor form creeps up quickly when we are running tired and we start to waste energy on just maintaining good form instead of on the act of running. Building a strong core for example will help us stay upright when we start to get tired....strong arms will help pump us through those hills...you get the idea!!
#4 - To Mix it Up - if you haven't ever experienced runner burn out....it will probably happen. A time will come that you will hit a slump and mixing it up and trying something new can help you overcome the slump and keep your physical activity level up until you are ready to go back to running.
#5 - Rejuvenation - We all take a vacation from work...and if you don't....you should!!! We all need to take time to 'reset'. To let our minds and our muscles rebuild and get ready for our next goal setting adventure. This can be difficult for seriously dedicated runners so even cutting back the intensity for two weeks will help rejuvenate those tired muscles. In those two weeks...take the opportunity to try something new...to use a different set of muscles....you never know....you might just fall in love with it!!
|Who says a true vacation won't work too?|