Cross training: What, Why and When

What is cross training?

Cross training consists of alternative forms of exercise than your primary choice of activity such as running.  Examples include walking, cycling, swimming, pilates, yoga and dancing. Why do it?

Balanced fitness and strength!

Cross training activies help us achieve a balanced level of fitness and strength while using muscle groups that are not being used as much in our primary activity. This balance of strength will help our primary activity and help reduce chance of injury. 

When to cross-train

The decision on when to do a cross training activity is very personal to your level of fitness and experience and several protocols exist in this discussion beyond the scope of this short article. Your choice mauy be to do the cross-training activity as a substitute to a scheduled running workout, or maybe in addition to a scheduled workout, or even skip a running workout and simply focus on cross-training activities. And while our bodies and minds need time to rest and recover from our normal training activities, cross-training at appropriate levels can be incorporated into rest days. Coaches often recommend replacing a scheduled workout with a cross-activity, and if you are experienced with listening to your body and you are fit, combine a cross-activity with a normal running workout. Bottom line, if you have questions, ask your coach. Cross training should be fun! 

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