Cross training allows runners of all abilities to reach their peak performance levels and helps ward off those pesky injuries that can often accompany marathon training. “Cross training is absolutely necessary for runners to stay healthy and run successfully for many years,” Meg sullivan, training program manager at the Chicago area Runners association, says. Why cross training aids runners depends on the method used, as each cross training option, whether it be swimming, using the elliptical or lifting weights, has its own set of benefits: strengthening bones and joints, firing slow-twitch and fast-twitch muscle fibers or being a low impact alternative to other forms of training. But the underlying factor is simple: cross training can make your running better.
“What athletes will ultimately get out of these types of training is less chance of injury, more leg—and body ‘core’—strength, power, and endurance to help the runner keep good form throughout the run, power and speed, as well as endurance to last through the whole race.”
— erik Marthaler
“What athletes will ultimately get out of these types of training is less chance of injury, more leg—and body ‘core’—strength, power, and endurance to help the runner keep good form throughout the run, power and speed, as well as endurance to last through the whole race,” erik Marthaler, personal trainer, triathlon and running coach and co-owner of lateral Fitness, says. Unfortunately, runners often wait to use this secret weapon in the marathon training arsenal until they’re injured. “i would encourage runners to plan cross training, such as biking, swimming and elliptical, into their schedule before they are hurting,” sullivan says. sullivan’s suggestion: cross train on easier training days. “Just aim to get the major running workouts in during the week,” she says. “For example, the runner should make sure they can complete the weekend long run, one speed workout and one tempo run. the rest of the week should be easy running and one day of cross training.” sometimes that’s easier said than done. to help encourage runners to complete their cross training, marathon training plans like CaRa’s emphasize the importance of non-running workouts. “CaRa coaches absolutely advise runners to cross train and we provide them with many opportunities and discounts to do so,” sullivan says. “We are determined to keep our runners safe, healthy and strong and so have been creating partnerships with places such as Corepower yoga, FlyWheel, aiR aerial Fitness and shred 415 among others. We want to keep our runners motivated and excited about training. everyone should switch things up a bit to keep training fun.” What one person finds fun may not entice another runner, but with cross training, there are plenty of options, even during the height of marathon training.
CyC li ng
an hour on the bike can be just as hard as an hour-long run, especially if you’re riding indoors at a spinning class or on a Computrainer. MyChiCagoathlete.CoM