You've heard me say this before, runners need to do more than just run. Today I want to talk about cross training for runners.

Stephanieruns Fitness

August 5, 2018 Newsletter

Cross Training for Runners

If you've been following me for a while you know that I believe runners need to do more than just run. In order to have a long running career you need to ensure you have a balanced training plan which includes cross training. I know it's common for runners to put their cross training workouts to the side and focus on their runs but I promise you if you add cross training into your running plan you will become a better, stronger runner.

So what is the best type of cross training for runners? There's no simple answer. I consider a balanced training plan to have, cardio, strength training, flexibility training and rest. Usually when you're training for a race your cardio component will be running. Which means for a balanced running training program your cross training workouts would consist of strength and flexibility workouts.

I do believe that we workout to add value to our lives and as such our cross training workouts should be something we enjoy. There are many options for strength training and flexibility workouts. You can do strength training on your own, with a friend or join a group exercise class. Flexibility training has yoga, essentrics, pilates, or stretching classes. So what's the best type of cross training workouts for runners? The strength and flexibility workouts that you enjoy and that you will consistently do.

How many times a week should runners cross train? This really depends on your training plan. I would recommend runners get in at least one strength and flexibility workout a week. I know it can be tough to fit everything in, as there is only so much time in a week and rest is important. Runners can be creative to add in more strength and flexibility into their workouts. You can add in yoga flows and poses into your running warm up and cool down. Sun salutations can be used in your running warm up and there are several yoga poses that are popular for running cool downs, such as pigeon, happy baby, figure four, and legs up the wall. You can also also add in strength training moves after your easy runs. Obviously I would recommend a dedicated strength training workout but don't under estimate the gains you can achieve with breaking strength training into smaller chunks.

If you're not currently training for a race you can use your cross training to re-energize your training. When you have the flexibility of not training for a race you can try new new exercise classes, workouts, or even just have more time to get to the woods and hike. You can also use this time to try new classes, videos, or workouts that you can incorporate into your running training plan when you're training for a race.

Having a balanced training plan will make you a better runner. Just like finding the right running shoes helps improve your running so does finding the right cross training workouts. Find workouts that you enjoy, that you'll do and that make your training plan balanced.

Weekly Challenge: Cross Train

This week I’m challenging you to cross train. In several of my past newsletters I've given you strength training workouts to try. You can give one of those workouts a try or do one of your own.

You can try a group exercise class which is always lots of fun and the instructor will help push you to your potential. You could meet up with friends for a sports game or a hike in the woods. Have you always wanted to try yoga, spinning or kick boxing? This is your sign telling you to give it a try.

Try a local spinning class, a local yoga studio or a SUP class. Rent a paddle boat, or a bicycle built for two. Cross training like your runs should be enjoyable and add value to your life. Let me know what workout you tried and how it went. You might even find a new workout to add into your training plan.

Send me a tweet @srunsfitness and let me know what you did! I can't wait to hear about it!

Do You Train Smarter not Harder?

Since it's very hot and humid here I thought it would be helpful t go over some tips so you can train smarter, not harder during this heat.

If you have to run outside when it's hot and humid consider going early in the morning or late at night. Also consider hitting the trails where it will be a bit cooler. Plan to slow you pace, and listen to your body. You will need to make sure you are getting sufficient fluids and electrolytes.

My favourite way to train smarter during the heat and humidity is to use a heart rate monitor. You can know with certainty how hard you're working when you use a heart rate monitor. When it's hot and humid you'll be working at a higher intensity for a lower effort than what you would normally use.

It's also important to remember that if it's too hot to workout outside, it's okay not to. You can consider a workout inside or maybe get into the pool for a workout. You want to keep active long term, a day or two missed because it's not safe to workout outside will be okay .

What do you do to train smarter not harder?

If  you have any topics you'd like me to cover please send me a message and let me know. I love hearing from you.

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Let's keep the conversation going all week on social media! 


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Stephanieruns Fitness

461 North Service Rd West
Oakville Ontario,  L6M 2V5 - Canada

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Disclaimer: Always seek medical advice before starting an exercise program. This newsletter is not medical advice. Medical advice should be sought from a medical professional. Stephanieruns Fitness assumes no liability for any injuries or damages as a result of the above content.