Cross training is defined as any sport or exercise that supplements your main sport, so whether you are a football, rugby or cricket player; or a beginner or experienced marathoner, you can benefit from cross training.
Cross training is an easy way to add variety into your training programme and allow you to maintain your fitness level while experiencing new activities.
For example, if you are training for a half marathon three days a week, why not ride your bike or go for a swim or surf an additional two days of the week to supplement your training?
Alternatively, weight training, pilates and yoga are also great ways to help address muscle imbalances and challenge your body in different ways.
There are several reasons why cross training is so beneficial for athletes and, in particular, runners.
Cross training helps balance your muscle groups by strengthening your non-running muscles and resting your running muscles. For example, you can focus on specific muscles, such as your inner thighs, that don’t get worked as much while running and may, therefore, be weak.
Cross training will help you maintain or even improve your cardiovascular fitness. Many cross training activities are great for your heart, so they build on those similar benefits of running.
Cross training reduces your chance of injury by balancing your weaker muscles with your stronger ones. Participating in low-impact cross training activities, such as swimming, pilates or cycling will also lessen the stress on your joints, which are often a sore spot for runners
Cross training can also help you avoid getting bored with running. Running day after day will eventually burn out even the most hardcore running enthusiast.
Cross training gives runners a much needed mental break from their sport, which is especially important for those training for long distance events such as a half and full marathons.
Cross training allows you to continue training with certain injuries, while giving them proper time to heal.
Runners suffering from injuries are often told by their doctor to take a break from their training during their recover.
With certain injuries, it is possible to continue with cross training. It can help injured runners maintain their fitness and heal better with the frustration of being sidelined form running.
With the vast amount of sporting activities in Cayman, you are sure to be able to find a fun and effective way to cross train.
Whether you take a pilates class, work with a trainer or simply go for a swim, fitting cross training into your exercise routine is sure to help you maintain and even improve your skills.