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A cross-training consists of practicing different sports activities, combining them in such a way as to improve the general performance, helping, in addition to this, to achieve a specific goal: more strength, more power, speed? It must be programmed in a convenient way and respecting the rest times. Take note of how to do a cross training for runners below.

Complementary activities involve working your muscles together and increasing your respiratory and cardiovascular capacity. There are many benefits of cross training for a runner. Running almost every day for miles and miles can be monotonous. In this sense, combining the race with other exercises increases motivation to a large extent.

On the other hand, it should not be forgotten that running is a high impact sport. The lower body is the most involved in the exercise and the most exposed to possible injuries: dislocations, sprains, joint damage... playing other sports helps prevent injuries and if you have any that require a slower pace in running, let sustain the physical way focusing the effort on other activities. Actually, cross training for runners is the best way to practice"active rest", that is, we can rest, especially the muscles that work hardest, alternating with other activities that involve less sacrifice and, above all, less impact.

What sports should be included in cross training for runners?

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When planning your cross training, you should choose activities that rest your legs and also strengthen the points you want to progress in the race: power, endurance, flexibility?

The best sports for your cross-training running training are:

  • Swimming. Any activity carried out in the aquatic environment is a great complement for runners. Water reduces impact and swimming is a relaxing exercise that develops arms and improves back posture. The aquagym is also a great alternative option, particularly recommended when caring for knees and joints in general.
  • Cycling. With it you move your legs more without impact, strengthening primarily the quadriceps.
  • I work at the gym. Believe it or not, combining running with gym is always and at all times a good idea, especially if you do a variety of strength routines centred on the upper body and the core area (abdomen and back), all of this without overweight.
  • Rowing. The advantages of rowing are multiple. In fact, it is another practice that is totally advisable because of the arm work involved and for favouring resistance by increasing lung capacity.
  • Yoga. While not exactly a sport, more and more runners are including yoga as part of their cross-training. Balance, flexibility, agility? On a physical level, yoga works perfectly on different aspects and skills that influence the race. On the soul level, facing each challenge with calm and positive attitude is also essential when it comes to overcoming you with running.

How do you plan cross training for runners?

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When it comes to establishing your weekly training routine, combine the race with the activities outlined above to thrive as a runner and achieve your goals. Choose according to your preferences and alternate them (you don't have to always and under all circumstances do exactly the same ones, renouncing any of them). The essential thing to remember is that you should rest from any physical activity at least one day or 2 a week. You should also keep in mind that you can't sue yourself to the limit on each and every activity you do. If you have run a long distance, with sections at high speed, the day after, your training, by bike, in the gym or swimming should be moderate.

A cross training plan for runners could be as follows:

  1. Monday: Long race alternating smooth pace, jogging and sprints
  2. Tuesday: swimming/biking
  3. Wednesday: Break
  4. Thursday: Short race changing intensity or long race at a constant pace
  5. Friday: I work at the gym
  6. Saturday: rest
  7. Sunday: gentle running / yoga

Of course, it is only a guideline plan that can serve as a basis for your training routine that adapts to your physical condition and your preferences so that your cross training is perfect.

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