What does cross training for running mean? Why can’t I just run more to get better at running?

Below is the quick list of activities you can do. If you want more information on each activity, keep on reading.


NOTE: If you click on the Blue phrases, you will get an additional link to learn more about that specific task or activity.

1. Core Strength Training is a must for any runner. Get stronger in that midsection and help prevent a side stitch. (Planks, sit ups, push ups)
2. Circuit Training – A weight lifting program specifically for runners. In easier language, just light lifting with changeling repetitions. Does not have to be heavy weights!
3. Biking – Exercise bikes, or on the open road – some hard pedaling, uphill sprints on bike.
4. Swimming – Traditional swimming or running in the pool.

Knowledge is power.

First off, cross training involves any exercise that could help you to improve as a runner. The more traditional activities include, biking, swimming, and lifting weights. There are many other activities that can be included. Water skiing, yoga, rowing, stair steppers, and playing basketball (watch out for injuries) are some of the great things you can do to suppliment running. Pretty much anything that gets your heart rate up for an extended period of time can be considered cross training.

Now, why not just run more? Well, running is a high impact activity. Every step puts a lot of pressure on the same muscles, ligaments and joints. Some peoples bodies can take the pounding, but most people break down after a certain amount of time, and suffer a running injury. Cross training helps you avoid injury, and keeps you in top shape.

If you run more than 20 miles in the summer, consider some other activities to help with your running. By taking up a different activity, it also can prevent you from getting burnt out on running.