Week 4 Maintaining10K

Enhancing Your Training with Cross-Training

Welcome to Week 4 of our Maintenance Program newsletter series! This week, we’ll explore the benefits of cross-training and strength training for runners. While running is the core of our program, incorporating other activities like cycling, swimming, or strength exercises can help improve your overall fitness and prevent overuse injuries. We’ll discuss how cross-training can complement your running routine and share ideas for effective strength workouts that target key muscle groups used in running. Get ready to diversify your training and become a stronger, more resilient runner!

Happy running!
Janette Shearer
Online Communications Manager & Interim InTraining Coordinator

Benefits of cross-training for runners

What is Cross training and how will it benefit me?

Cross-training is a mix of alternative workouts and exercises that’ll benefit your primary sport. As a runner, examples of cross-training include biking, yoga, strength training, climbing, and even soccer as forms of cross-training. And if you were a cyclist, you might consider walking and hiking (and maybe even running) as cross-training workouts for your primary sport.

Cross-training uses your body and muscles in different ways. When you’re running, you’re going through the same repetitive motions thousands of times, using your legs, core, and even your arms in the exact same patterns. Cross-training helps you switch it up.

For example, biking puts a different emphasis on your glutes, calves, quads, and hips. Not only do you build up minor muscles that might get neglected on your runs, but you train key muscles in new, challenging ways.

Before we dig into the best choices for cross-training and how to implement them, let’s make sure it’s clear exactly why you should take time to diversify your training schedule in the first place. Here are a few of the benefits of cross-training for runners.

Running/Walking is a high-impact, one-directional sport. We move forward, our arms swing back and forward, and that’s about it. Of course, you might jump over branches, step up a curb, or climb stairs. But the majority of the time, you’re moving in one plane of motion.

Using cross-training, you can target your body from multiple angles to develop more comprehensive body strength. For example, strength training allows you to use dynamic movements such as side lunges, bicycle crunches, or push ups. Just with those three exercises you get sideways (lateral) movement, rotation, and upper body strength work.

Cross-training also provides the opportunity for low-impact exercise while still getting your heart rate up. You can build your cardiovascular fitness, give your leg muscles a rest, and get a mental break all at the same time when you choose the right workout like swimming or using the elliptical machine.

Importance of building strength to prevent injuries and improve running performance.


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