Work it out: The importance of cross-training for runners
Whether you are preparing for your first Grand Rapids 5K, a 10-mile run in your community or the Detroit Marathon, incorporating cross-training days into your weekly running routine is a crucial and often overlooked step.
By adding a fun, non-running workout into the mix, runners are able to increase their strength and flexibility in muscles that may not be used as often. Additionally, joining a fitness class or hitting the free weights once or twice a week will help prevent future injuries and keep you focused when you return to the beautiful Michigan trails.
What workouts should I try?
- Hit the trail, this time on wheels: Take your under-utilized bike for a low-impact, scenic ride. Michigan offers the perfect backdrop while working out, including trails along the riverfront or Belle Isle. You can also check out your local gym for cycling classes to join.
- Dive in: Increase strength in your entire body without the harsh impact on your legs by swimming a few laps in a pool or along the thousands of miles of beachfront available at your disposable.
- Hold that pose: Yoga concentrates on flexibility, stability and working key muscle groups, including your core, quads, hamstrings, hip-flexors and shoulders. Taking a day to add a few yoga sequences can actually help your running speed, as well as build mental endurance. Join a class, such as Yoga for Athletes at Sangha Yoga to learn the best techniques before trying poses at home.
- Row, row, row: No water needed when using the row machine, an intense replacement exercise that will build muscle in your back and upper body. Take your time to practice the rowing technique so you perform the move correctly and get the best results.
- Low-impact elliptical: A great cardio workout without the harsh pounding of pavement, an elliptical workout should be treated as if you were running outside or on the treadmill, with intervals and resting points.