Home Running How and why path runners ought to cross-train

How and why path runners ought to cross-train

How and why path runners ought to cross-train


Cross-training is a vital software to scale back a number of the put on and tear that comes with pounding pavement. Regardless that path runners spend most of their time on gentle surfaces like grime and grass, cross-training continues to be a key a part of a sound coaching program to scale back accidents and construct power, in response to Ottawa-based physiotherapist David Bowman, who explains the significance of incorporating different actions right into a trail-running regime and suggestions for easy methods to cross-train successfully.

World Trail Majors series
Photograph: Catherine Tetreault

Bowman explains that “Cross-training goes to symbolize quite a lot of various things, relying on our particular person objectives and coaching wants. This may imply time within the weight room, including in particular mobility and core workout routines to handle weaknesses or damage patterns, and even choosing up a brand new sport altogether to maintain health up throughout sure occasions of the yr.” 

Highway runners who prepare totally on flat surfaces can discover worth in cross-training by intentionally lowering their mileage and incorporating different actions to handle muscle imbalances and stop overuse accidents. However, path runners could flip to cross-training when unfavourable climate circumstances or restricted entry to trails make it difficult to keep up momentum through the winter months. In each instances, cross-training gives a recent strategy to coaching, retains legs feeling recent and helps enhance particular elements of efficiency.

trail running
Path working in Quebec. Photograph: René-Pierre Normandeau

Which cross-training actions are greatest for path runners?

Bowman says it is dependent upon a path runner’s private choice, expertise stage and objectives, however there are a number of extra widespread choices that appear to work nicely for path runners.

Biking, each indoors and on the highway, is a superb selection for constructing cardio health and leg power whereas minimizing joint influence forces. It additionally develops hill-climbing power, which is advantageous for path runners. Cross-country snowboarding, apart from being an incredible cardiovascular train, improves trunk power, steadiness and agility, all of that are essential for path working. Spending time within the fitness center specializing in single-leg actions, core engagement, squats, deadlifts and lunges may improve lower-body stability and total leg power, main to raised working financial system.

The best way to choose a cross-training exercise

Bowman says the three most necessary elements path runners ought to contemplate when selecting a cross-training exercise are specificity, familiarity and adherence. 

older runner doing bodyweight strength training

Specificity: Runners ought to tailor the cross-training strategy to resemble working as carefully as doable. For instance, if stability or steadiness is a matter on technical trails, you must incorporate single-leg agility or resistance coaching. When you’re going to be doing quite a lot of vertical climbing on trails, graded climbs on an indoor bike coach can situation the muscle tissue for a similar calls for. 

Familiarity: Whereas cross-training permits for selecting up new sports activities or coaching approaches, be sure that the training curve doesn’t reduce the effectiveness of the coaching–it’s higher to decide on an exercise you’re already acquainted with, so you’ll be able to maximize the coaching advantages. 

Adherence: Bowman says the most effective cross-training actions are those you’ll persist with and hold doing. “Cross-training can take so many various kinds,” he says, “and by selecting one thing that excites and motivates you, it’s extra doubtless that will help you work towards your working objectives.”



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