If you are a regular runner, you know how good running is for your body and mind. Running for recreation is something many people enjoy, and some of the recreational runners with time became semi-professionals or even professionals. It doesn’t mean you have to go on a race if you love to run, but if you decide to do so, there is a big chance you will try to find some activities that will upgrade your performance.
Cross training is well known in sports world and refers to the sportsmen which train in some sport they don’t compete in order to upgrade their performances in their basic sport. It can be done in any sport, since all the athletes may benefit from the training in some other sport, and which sport will someone train in a cross training depends on its basic sports, as well as things that need to be upgraded. Other benefits of the cross training include reduced risk of the injuries and better overall health. There are many good sports for a cross training for the runners. Running requires good balance, endurance and a strong lower body muscles. Which sports may upgrade those things?
Cycling is an excellent cross training for runners since you will be using muscles you don’t use while running. Besides, it is a great cardiovascular workout and in is beneficial to the knees and other joint which suffer much bigger stress during the running. For almost the same reasons like cycling, you should try swimming as well. Besides, swimming is the perfect workout for upper body muscles including shoulders, arms and chests, which are mostly neglected during the running. Walking is often underrated, but it is also a great workout, especially if you do a power-walking. It will give you many benefits of the running, but with less strain.
Weight training will make your body stronger, which is a good prevention of the injuries. Besides, this way you may focus on some muscle groups that are neglected during the running. It may also help you work on your core muscles to increase balance and mobility. Great workout for the balance and mobility is yoga. It may also help you to strengthen and focus on breathing. Pilates was developed as a help for people with health problems, and it may help you to concentrate, have a better balance and more strength in your whole body.
If you need to strength your legs, you may also try rowing. If you don’t have an opportunity to row, you may get a rowing machine and place it in your living room. Other benefits from the rowing are that it builds you lower and upper body at the same time, which makes it more efficient.
In short, running is a great exercise, but you can’t run every day. This is extremely important if you are a professional runner. Your body needs some time to heal and you need to work on muscles you don’t use during the running. Also, your joints and ligaments need some time to recover since running puts a great pressure to them. If you want to become a better runner, you may consider not running as much as you can. It may sound absurd, but if you think a little bit, there is a point in cross training.