5 Things every runner can do to cross train efficiently

Want a great and easy workout? Well switch to running today but remember running alone isn’t the solution. Irrespective of what your goals are, a marathon, half marathon or weight loss in order to get faster and stronger you need to step it up a notch and best way for that is to incorporate some cross training into your running workouts. Don’t know where to begin? Well here are 5 ways you can do it.

Add few strength moves

Exhausted halfway through your run? Strength exercises are exactly what you need and no you do not have to spend on weights or machines. Using your bodyweight will boost your strength and endurance greatly and lower injury risks.

For the lower body I would suggest exercises such as calf raise, squats, lunges etc. For the core planks, crunches, leg raise are awesome while push-ups, bench dips, etc. will improve upper body strength. Start off with 2 sets of 10 reps and train 2-3 days a week.

Go for a swim

Are you in the mood to do something fun? Well then my suggestion would be to get out your swimsuit and head off to a nearby pool for a swim. This is especially helpful to those recovering from serious injuries such as shin splints or runner’s knee.

It will strengthen your hips and core thus increasing your stride. Start with a few easy laps of about 20-25 minutes and then build on it.

swimming

CrossFit

Want a boost early into the race? Well then CrossFit is just the exercise you’re looking for but mind you it’s not going to be easy. This exercise form strengthens muscles that running ignores. Its high intensity will have your heart racing within minutes thus in turn improving endurance.

Snatches are a must do workout for those looking to build speed. Apart from that you can also take up rowing and a few more from the video below.

Try Yoga

Like it or not stretching was, is and will always be an important part of training for every runner. Running can be a monotonous activity which makes the muscles tight. Stretching or yoga loosens the muscles and thus lowers injury risk too.

You’ll not only focus better but also have more control over your breathing which is essential to effective running. Those up for a challenge should switch to Vinyasa Yoga.

vinyasa-yoga

Plyometrics

Ever found yourself dragging your feet while running? Plyometrics includes high intensity and dynamic moves that will boost both strength and control. Since you’ll constantly be in motion your legs will learn to act as spring thus efficiently soak in the force of each step to give you a good boost and in turn helping  stay ahead of the pack. Box jump, burpees are a couple of moves. To know more check out video below.

Why every swimmer should be a rower too

rowing machine

Getting into the right training routine with all the option available can be tough for any beginner triathlete. Getting better and faster isn’t always about going up a hill, sweating it out for hours in the gym or dragging yourself out for a run 6 am in the morning. Exercise isn’t about draining yourself out but feeling energized this why I use Concept 2 Rowers to train on my off days.

These rowers are the beast when it comes to cardio machines. Strength, stamina, muscle toning etc. they’re perfect for all. Here’s a little more about their benefits.

Perfect Aerobic workout

Irrespective of your age or your fitness goals are a good cardio sessions plays an important part in any exercise routine. When combined with weight workouts having a strong cardio session will boost your strength, stamina etc. to newer heights.

Endorphin generation in the body increases improving both sleep and mood. The adjustable resistance, integration of various muscles and its ability to boost and slow down heart rate smoothly make it the perfect aerobic workout equipment.

Ideal for weight loss

Yes other cardio machine like the treadmill, arc trainer etc. are great too but none have the fat burning capacity of a rowing machine. With the topmost models you can burn about 1000 calories in just 1 hour.

The treadmills focus too much on the legs plus a run outside is any day more refreshing, the cycle has little to no arm movement but a rower is a true full body workout machine thus toning every single muscle and preventing unnecessary weight gain before races.

Works out the upper body

Continuing on my previous point, rowers unlike it various counter parts integrate the upper body muscle too into the workout. Your shoulder, triceps, back etc. all work up a good sweat. Strengthening these muscles will further improve your posture and reduce any back aches.

It will strengthen your core and other important muscle like the biceps; chest etc. which in turn will improve your gripping and pedaling on the bike and help you swim longer and faster.

Its risk free

Ever wondered why runners tend to have so many injury issues? Well it’s just that kind of a sport irrespective of whether you’re on a treadmill, uphill of a trail or participating in races the risk remains high but not so with rowing thus you won’t be riddled with joint aches and bruises post training making it the perfect machine to prep for your upcoming triathlon. Just do not let your posture go wrong and go slow.

It’s cheap

Irrespective of how motivated you are spending anything above a $1000-$2000 is not worth it especially since rowing is just an add-on exercise for you. Rowers can come as cheap as $250 plus they are convenient to use and store as most of them get folded thus taking up no extra space at home. Yes you can buy a $1000 top end model and though it’s still a bargain considering the benefits though I would advice against it. Remember to compare different rowing machines before making a choice.