Cross Training: But Does It Really Work For Running?

IMG_0142[Parts one, two and three of Malindi’s four-part series on “How To Become A Faster Runner Through Cross Training” can be found herehere and here.]

By Malindi Elmore

When I was a “pure runner” who supplemented cross training in times of injury or for the purposes of injury prevention, I was very skeptical of the benefits, and rightly so, because I was not doing it properly!

What I have tried to convey in my previous posts is that cross training should be approached as actual training. It should also be structured and goal-oriented, just like your running. Doing an easy 30-minute spin session with your heart rate barely above resting does not qualify as cross training; nor does going at a frantic heart-bursting intensity.

Part 3: How To Do A Swim Workout

By Malindi ElmoreIMG_0068

[Parts 1 and 2 of Malindi’s four-part series on “How To Become A Faster Runner Through Cross Training” can be found here and here.]

Instead of going for a long/slow swim you’ll get more out of your workout at threshold effort. This translates into improved swimming and also makes sure you are working hard enough to benefit your running fitness.

How Swimming Can Make You A Faster Runner

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[Editor’s note:  Part 1 of Malindi’s four-part series on “How To Become A Faster Runner Through Cross Training” can be found here.]

By Malindi Elmore

Why do so many runners hate cross training? We are very goal-oriented and we revel in measurable data. We like to know how far and how fast we ran. Cross training puts us in a foreign situation where often the data is less quantifiable, and we do not have a reference point for our progress. This is why I strongly suggest having a purpose and goals for your non-running endurance training activities and not just approaching it in a haphazard way.

Part I: How To Become A Faster Runner Through Cross Training

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By Malindi Elmore

Why do so many runners loath cross training? I know that I was firmly in the I-hate-cross-training camp for too many years. I think it is a combination of factors that result in this hatred for something that is beneficial to your running. Over the course of my 20-year career as a runner I have had more experience cross training than I care to count – 6 major injuries, pregnancy and a transition to being a multi-sport athlete has required that I sweat out hours aqua-jogging, biking, swimming, etc.