Cross Training By Dan Delph Marathon and Triathlon Trainer
Many people ask me about the importance of cross training during preparation for a mini/full marathon. Is it a good idea or not? The answer is, absolutely! Cross training can be a great way to break up your running schedule, help prevent burnout and keep you motivated. Some key factors must be taken into consideration though.
First, do not cross train on a rest day. It is important for your body to recover from longer or more taxing runs. By cross training, you can further fatigue yourself and never properly achieve that extra boost from a rest day. Cross training should only be performed once or twice a week – it should not take over your schedule. Please use restraint and refrain from cross training on a day you know you are supposed to be doing a run. Remember that you are training for a running event, not a triathlon.
Cross training can also boost your cardiovascular performance and help you stay injury-free. The constant impact of running can be rough on your joints and muscles. Cross training provides relief from the intensity of running by allowing you to do a lower contact exercise like swimming, cycling, elliptical training, yoga or weight lifting. These exercises all have different benefits and will add diversity and a better dynamic to your training, while also preventing runner’s burnout. Pick one that you like and go for it. You may find that you enjoy your runs even more. And just like with your runs, remember to pace yourself while cross training. Avoid injuries by stretching and properly cooling down.