Spice Up Your Cross Training

Spice Up Your Cross Training

Running can become tedious after a while.  It takes a toll on your mind and body so you gotta trick your brain and make it think that running is FUN.  It’s good that you cross train with weight training at the gym, climb stairs or aerobics at the gym, but it can get boring just staring at the machines or running the same routine all the time.   So here are some ideas you can use to spice up your cross training.

I participate in a lot of sports such as rockclimbing, dragonboating, snowboarding, swimming, softball, ultimate, yoga, squash, cycling and more.  But those are not my main sports, I don’t tie myself to any one of them.  I pick them because they have a unique feature in them that will help me improve my running, whether it be in upper body strength, speed training, core strength, breathing, stretching and the list can go on.   So you can also pick a sport or multiple sports that you not necessarily enjoy, but have access to and you can add to your cross training routine.

I’ll give a highlight of each sport and their benefits to running.

Rockclimbing – helps build arm, quad and calf muscles.

Dragonboating – helps with upper body strength, arm strength and stamina.

Snowboarding – helps build co-ordination, quad muscles, breathing in cold weather and strengthens your ankles.

Swimming – helps build overall body strength, core strength, and breathing.

Softball – helps build arm strength, hand eye feet coordination, and sprint training.

Ultimate – helps immensely in building stamina in speed and sprint training, also helps you control your breathing, and pushes your lactate threshold.  Highly recommended for long distance runners to help with speed work.

Yoga – helps build core strength and with stretching.

Squash – helps with sprint training and stamina.

Cycling – helps strengthen legs.

All these sports are great if you already have a high level of stamina as with most long distance runners.  You will be able to last longer in each sport but try to exert yourself to the max when participating in them.  In other words, running slow to first base or biking at a very low speed and intensity, just doesn’t cut it.  Push yourself to 100% each time you run.  If you get tired, just think it’s only for a few more minutes.  Ultimate or Softball runs don’t last long, they are just tiring because it’s short sprints across the field.  I know that soccer and volleyball are also great sports to participate in but I’m just wary of all the injuries with sprained ankles and dislocated joints.  I don’t want to injure myself in secondary sports for my primary sport of running.

Overall, have fun in your sports and try to pick a mixture of low to high impact sports.

Related Running Tips:

  1. Climbing stairs is a good cross training idea
  2. Speed training tips: Sprint Runs
  3. Strength Training For Runners
  4. Speed training tips: Hill repeats
  5. Strength Training Workouts for Runners
  6. Speed training tips: Tempo Runs
  7. Beginner Distance



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