Reason behind the cross-train
There are some aerobic activities that are performed alongside a training program. These activities include but are not limited to cycling, swimming and weight training. These activities are referred to as cross-training activities. Cross training activities do not in any way hinder your regular training program, and how many hours you can devote to cross-training in a week is completely dependent on you. You can decide how many sessions you want to have in a week and how you want to introduce it to your training routine. Cross training is, however, not taken seriously amongst runners.
Most runners do not see the point in cross-training at all and ask how exactly it helps them since they already have a training schedule. It is a given that regular training will help you as a runner build up your methods to run your kilometers but a sure way to improve your speed, strength, and resistance to injury is by cross training. This article will be discussing the benefits that can be gotten from cross training.
Kills boredom for you 12
Cross- training helps your mind in top shape as normal training routine could become boring over time. Imagine that you have to run around the same neighborhood every now and then with no new scenery or new challenges. Sometimes it is important to have a change of scenery. Getting on a bike and cycling in a different neighborhood could make all the difference in keeping you fresh mentally and maintaining your motivation as a runner.
It so happens a lot of times that the body parts of runners that are made use of the most are the ones with the built up muscles. Other parts of the body that are not used for running usually have a muscle deficit. By cross-training, those other parts can be made use of while your running muscles can take a break. By doing this, the muscle imbalance is eliminated and all of the muscle groups can be worked to strike a wholesome balance. Imbalanced muscles increase your risk of injury, but with stronger and more balanced muscles, your body will be able to withstand more intense activities, stress, and strains.
Loss of weight
By focusing on other parts of your body, your body will be more adjusted to shed some unnecessary weight. Usually, runners do not have much strength in their upper core and body. It is a known fact that running is a good way to burn calories but it is not only through running that you can lose weight. Other activities like weight lifting, cycling and swimming can also help your trim down as well as burn off calories.
Rehabilitation after injury
Often times, picking up an injury takes you out of action for some time and makes you unable to carry out your regular training drills. To maintain aerobic fitness, activities like cycling, swimming are great ways to keep fit. Also, if you must run but your injury will not let you, water running is a great alternative as there is less stress on your muscles and joints. There is the bike or elliptical machine as options for you.
Cross-training helps you go faster
As a runner, cross training helps you improve your running skills in a quite a handful of ways but the major areas in which you improve include power, strength, efficiency, flexibility, and stamina. It is only a strong enough and efficient runner that can get faster. Without the needed strength that can be gotten through cross-training, you cannot think of running faster. You should also note that without injuries and consistent training you will be able to cover more distance and consequently, in the shorter time.
In the process of getting through an injury or illness, recovery sometimes can be a big task. There is the problem of getting the right balance and runners who cross train will find it easier to do this than runners who do not. The reason is simple; it is important to rest, but doing some workout on your day off and taking some rest after will help replenish glycogen and repair damaged muscle. Once the body has become efficient at this recovery process, it becomes fitter by allowing more flow of blood to the tired muscles.
Allows you participate in and enjoy other sports
There are skills that you would have acquired as a runner-which you can apply in other areas. If you have acquired a high endurance level, you can make use of that stamina into weight training or cycling. The benefits are endless; if you are able to run for two hours without stopping, then you should be able to cycle for a much longer time.
A lot of benefits can be reaped from cross training, you only need to figure out which kind of training you can take on alongside your regular training schedule and give it the best you can.