Basically, cross training involves regularly incorporating a form of exercise other than your sport of choice to strengthen your muscles and decrease your risk of injury. Cross training gives your body a break from the repetitiveness of your usual sport and creates muscular balance. Danielle Pape, certified personal trainer with the Lake Health Integrative Medicine team, gives her best advice on how runners can use cross training to improve their fitness levels:
Diversify your activities
Runners should choose a cross training exercise that builds strength and flexibility in muscles that running doesn't use. Ideally, the cross training activity should be low impact while still maintaining cardiovascular endurance.
Cross training for runners
The three most popular cross training exercises for runners are swimming, biking and weight-lifting or resistance training. Some other examples are walking, rowing, elliptical and running in water.
Danielle Pape, certified personal trainer, recommends two to three sessions of cross training a week. Give it a try—it should improve your overall fitness!