This post is the 3rd of a series of articles to help you become a better runner without getting injured, and in this part, we will talk about cross training for runners.
- Part 1: What is a Running Injury and Why do they Appear
- Part 2: 10 Common Running Injuries: Prevention and Treatment
- Part 4: My Secret Pre-Race Warm
Think Like an Athlete to be Injury Free
I know you have to run a lot to become a better runner, but there are also a lot of things you can do to improve as a runner aside from running.
For example, I was watching a Netflix show called Winning the other day about elite athletes in a lot of sports.
And in one segment, pro tennis player Martina Navratilova shared that she trains her eyes to move quicker.
What? A tennis player training her eyes?
What about that for cross training?
This kind of training is part of the difference between winning 18 tennis Grand Slams and 0.
I bet that there are tennis players that spend more time on the court than Navratilova did and didn’t have the same results.
Running Makes You Weak in Certain Areas
As much as I love running, I think it does not make you a complete athlete; it just makes you a runner. It makes you super strong in certain areas but super weak in others.
Just try to do a CrossFit WOD, and you will know what I mean. If you just run, you will not finish it. You will be too weak in certain parts of your body.
If you want to run until you are 100 years old without a major injury, you have to exercise your body as a complete athlete, not just a runner.
Cross training is a way to train more without the stress of running, as you get stronger in other parts of your body.
Running is an aerobic sport. To improve the aerobic system, we must stress it.
But because the impact of running is so high, we must be cautious with how quickly we increase the running stress; or else injury may occur.
Aerobic cross-training is a great way to build your aerobic base without the high impact of running.
What is the Best Aerobic Cross Training for Runners?
- Mimics the motion of running closely
- Works your aerobic system (also known as a ”cardio” workout)
- Delivers low or no impact
- Stair Master
- Aqua Jogging
So, start to think like an overall complete athlete, not just like a runner. Start integrating some cross-training for runners, and you will get faster, experience fewer injuries, and will be able to run until you are very old, which, I think, is the goal of every Runner on Fire.