7 Cross-Training Exercises For Runners

Walking

Many beginner marathon training programs include walking because it's considered the low-intensity counterpart to running. The cardiovascular workout might not be the same, but you will be working the same muscles you use when running.

More: 4 Ways Walking Can Improve Your Running

Strength Training

Numerous studies link strength training to improved running performance. Whether you're running 10 miles a week or 100, this should be a part of your weekly routine.

More: Guide to Strength Training for Your Run

Tips for Cross-Training

  1. Come up with a plan and carve out special cross-training days in your weekly workout routine. By scheduling specific days, you'll ensure that you don't over- or under-train.
  2. When choosing a cross-training activity, pick an exercise that in some way mimics running. That can mean picking an activity that uses the same muscles that are used in running or it can be an aerobic exercise that works the cardiovascular system in a similar way.
  3. Wear a heart rate monitor. Maybe you have a knack for keeping track of your effort on a trail or road. Tracking your body's response to other activities may prove to be more of a challenge. A heart rate monitor will ensure that you stay at or above 70 percent of your maximum heart rate to get the most out of the workout.
  4. If you are injury prone, you can substitute up to 25 percent of your planned running mileage with cross-training. If you count yourself among the running obsessed, consider it this way. You'll have more time to run if you're healthy and injury-free.
  5. Have fun. Cross-training can be a great way to mix up your workouts and help you appreciate running. You just might start looking forward to those non-running days.

More: How Cross-Training Will Help Boost Your Mileage

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