If you're like most runners, you prefer to run. After all, if your goal is to complete a marathon, you're probably expecting to do quite a bit of running in the months leading up to it. And while, yes, running is an essential component to marathon training, variety is the spice of life. Switching up your workouts with different cross-training activities can keep injuries and boredom at bay.
Consider adding these three exercises into your weekly training.
Runners aren't well-known for their flexibility—something that can be baffling for non-athletes. But just because you have no problem lacing up and running ten miles, that doesn't mean you can do the splits or even touch your toes. And while it can be tempting to neglect stretching completely, a flexible body is much more injury-resistant. Enter yoga.
Yoga offers something for everyone. Whether you prefer the slow pace of Hatha or elevating your heart-rate with Ashtanga, there's a speed and flow that works for you. Check out local gyms, community centers, or yoga studios and try out a few classes. Many places offer a few free trial sessions so you can get a feel for what you enjoy.
If you feel like your running would benefit from some added cardio but are concerned about increasing your mileage, try cycling. The lower-impact cousin to running, cycling can offer many of the same cardiovascular benefits as a good run without all the stress on your joints. One study compared two groups of athletes—one that ran four days a week, and one that ran twice a week and biked on two other days. The athletes were tested after five weeks, and were shown to have the same running performance. This means that replacing one or two of your runs with a tough bike ride won't cost you your fitness.
Ever wish you could run every day without getting injured? Try pool running.
This cross-training activity is just as simple as it sounds. Hop in the pool, and run. Special flotation belts make it a little easier—if you're not ready to make the investment, some pools offer them as rentals. To use a belt, strap it around your waist and head over to the deep end of the pool. Once your feet aren't touching the ground, start running in place. The flotation belt will keep your head and shoulders above water, and since you aren't putting any weight on your legs, you'll find you can run harder and longer than you can outside of the water.
You shouldn't do all the miles in the pool, but adding a day of pool running in to your normal schedule can boost your mileage without upping the chances of injury.
If you're looking to bring your training to a new level, cross-training can help. For detailed suggestions, contact a professional sports medicine doctor, such as Dr. Lisa M. Schoene.Share
5 November 2014
After watching my mother navigate treatment for breast cancer in my early teens, I knew pretty much what to expect from my dad's diagnosis with prostate cancer. What I didn't know was how different chemotherapy and radiation can affect different people. My mother became very ill while my dad seemed to weather the treatments with few ill effects. I spent a long time researching the differences in treatments, types of chemotherapy, and how each one can react differently with the body. I created this blog to help others understand the same things, because I knew I couldn't be the only one unfamiliar with it. I hope it helps you if someone you love is facing treatment for any type of cancer.