As many of you know I have signed up for a few unusual (for me) races this year. My first ever triathlon and my first ever tough mudder, both of which require running, but don’t solely rely on them (like the marathon I’m also signed up for does). Which means I have started biking, going to the gym to lift weights, take cycling classes, and even swimming! You know….cross training.
Cross Training, two words that used to sound like death to me. Not go running? But why on earth would I skip out on my adrenaline pumping, endorphin dropping joy? 5 stress fractures and a few muscle and tendon issues later I found out why.
Turns out those “death” words are actually pretty important for a number of reasons. The following infographic includes a few, but the following are a few of the reasons I personally have come to love cross training:
- Less Injury – As I previously mentioned, in my days of hard core running I ended up with 5 stress fractures in just 3 short years (among other injuries). Since I have started including cross training days I have not had as many issues with injury.
- New Muscle – When it comes to simply running you definitely get buff….in your legs, and really nowhere else. Some people also get abs when they run, but that’s something I still have to work for on top of running to see any kind of difference. With the kinds of cross training I have been doing lately, cycling, weight lifting, and swimming, I have had opportunities to build muscle all over my body and have more of the fit chick look instead of the scrawny distance runner look 😉
- Less Boredom – As much as I love running there are definitely days were it seems more…boring than others. Cross training gives me the opportunity to switch it up; have new scenery, work different muscles, be in a class with other people, etc.
So what kind of cross training do you do? What do you love and what do you hate? Have you noticed any positive side effects to cross training? Share with us in the comments below!