Ask any runner and you’ll find they’ve experienced some form of love or hate relationship with crosstraining and, like most relationships, it’s complicated. Substituting a few crosstraining sessions in place of running can actually make you stronger but for some, choosing a different cardio-boosting activity can feel as if you’re cheating on your beloved running.
Runners who are devoted to crosstraining include one or two low-impact options in their training program every week. They use crosstraining as part of a well-balanced running program to maintain muscle groups, add variety and prevent injury.
Uncommitted crosstraining relationships develop due to overuse injuries. In this situation a runner ignores minor aches, forgoes their better judgment and follows their running desires until an injury forces them to stop. Once the damage has been done, these runners cross train to maintain their fitness until they can return back to full-time running and repeat the cycle.
A long-term crosstraining relationship requires compromises and commitment to improve your running. Play the field with these low-impact running alternatives until you find one that’s right for you.
This is a more comfortable option compared to the upright bike and still works your hamstrings, quadriceps and glutes.
Biking and spin classes are great ways to improve your cardio and strength.
This machine is my personal favourite because you get a total cardiovascular workout, it's low-impact and you almost feel like you're running.
Other great options are pool running and rowing. What’s your favourite way to cross train?
Cross training gear: