There are many ways that cross-training can help benefit someone prepare for a run/race. If you are looking to prevent injuries, enhance your overall performance and prevent boredom, cross-training is the way to go. If you are looking to prevent injuries, endurance cross-training can help you ease into the sport. For a new runner, it can reduce the amount of impact your body absorbs. And if you’re a veteran runner, it helps you stay in the sport. It isn’t uncommon for longtime runners to lose so much knee cartilage through repetitive impact that they develop osteoarthritis and are forced to hang up their shoes. By mixing in some weight lifting and swimming today, you just might spare yourself the frustration of only being able to swim and lift weights in the future. Cross-training is a very reliable means to become a faster runner. To make an absolute statement might be going too far, but I think it’s safe to say that almost every runner can run faster by cross-training appropriately than by running only. There are three main ways in which supplemental training outside the discipline of running can enhance one’s running ability:
- Enhance a runner’s efficiency.
- Increase a runner’s power.
- Increase the amount of time a runner is able to spend training without accumulating fatigue or getting injured.
No matter how much passion you have for running, if you do it often enough or with excessive repetition of routes and routines, it will become boring. Most humans are stimulated by variety and turned off by monotony. Cross-training helps you maintain your enthusiasm for your sport, making it possible to train harder and more consistently and ultimately to perform better in races.