Much to my endless relief, no one expects you to run every single day when you’re training for a half-marathon. Even better, you’re not supposed to run that often.
Why? Well, there are exceptions to every rule, but the majority of people can’t run with the degree of frequency without hurting themselves (I can’t even think about running that often without hurting myself).
This is because doing the same type of exercise every day puts a whole lot of strain on the same muscles and joints over and over and over again. Without the chance to rest and recovery, those parts of your body can become overused, weakened, and prime candidates for injury.
Which is where cross training comes in. Cross training is, simply, doing one form of exercise in order to improve your performance in another. If you choose the right ways to cross-train, you’ll end up a better runner as well as prevent injury, speed up rehabilitation, and break the monotony of running day after day.
So, that sounds great but, uh, what are the right ways to cross-train if you want to improve your running?
Well, I had no idea. So I asked JK! (Come on, did you really expect me to know the answer to that? We’ve been doing this blog thing for two months now, so surely you must know how clueless I am.) She gave me three RVC classes to attend that would work perfectly: Spinning, Pilates Mat, and Complete Conditioning.
I’m going to be real with all of you and admit that I did not make it to Complete Conditioning in time to write this blog as it happens at a time when I’m almost always scheduled to train with JK. However, I did do some research into what the class is and why it is ideal cross training!
So, there you have it, three awesome ways to cross train already available to you right here in the RVC. But if you’re not comfortable in a group fitness environment, or you schedule just won’t allow it, here are some other ways to try to cross training on your own:
- Swimming – the best non-weight bearing cross training.
- Cycling – even if you don’t want to go to spinning, give that stationary bike a try!
- Skiing – it is the right time of year, after all.
- Yoga – again, focus on that core!
Do you have any favorite ways to cross train that I haven’t mentioned here? I’ve still got three months to go and would love suggestions!