The benefits of cross training

The benefits of cross training

Cross training is an important part of your training because it helps in preventing overuse injuries and boredom.  There are so many different sports to choose from and if you have at least 3 to pull from you can always use one to maintain your fitness and even improve!  I am a huge advocate of strength training and feel that it should be a part of every athletes training routine.  It will keep the injuries at bay and make you perform much better at your favorite sport!

When cross training you should consider a complimentary sport and one you can do if you are not able to do the others.  For example a runner may want to use hiking or cycling to cross train and have swimming or paddle boarding as a go to when the others aren’t an option.  If you have access to a gym the stair machine is a wonderful way to get a low impact workout in!  

Cross training allows you to maximize as many muscles as possible while allowing for rest in certain muscle groups or decreasing impact on your body.  If you are a runner cycling will allow you to decrease impact from foot striking and allow you work on muscles used in climbing while improving your cardiovascular performance.  Skate, backcountry or classic skiing are also very good cross training activities with low impact.

Hiking is a great way to cross train if you can stick to a hiking effort.  Often times it is hard for a trail/mountain runner to slow down enough to keep it a hike.  The benefits of low impact sports combined with high impact sports is that it allows you to have more training hours because you aren’t as fatigued.  Making sure you stay in a zone where your heart rate is low will also ensure that you can do more training hours with less damage to your body.  We will save the heart rate chat for another day.

If you are a runner you should consider doing 70% of your workouts as runs and 30% as lower impact activities.   Adding in 3-4 days a week of lifting heavy will help keep you strong and healthy.  If you can’t get enough of the trails then hike on your cross training days and make sure it is just a hike.  You will find that your overall fitness and happiness will improve!

If you are looking for some help or guidance with your workout routine I would love to help you be the best athletes and person you can possibly be!  Reach out and see if we would work well together!