As much fun and exciting as running can be it can quickly become tedious if it is the only thing that you are doing. When running all the time it can lead to a burnout & also to injury if you are doing nothing but running.
I love running, and I do acknowledge the fact that it is very demanding on your joints and even with good form, still puts a significant amount of stress on to your joints. Now I’m not saying rush out and stop running no, no, no I won’t say that, I do however, think its best if you introduce cross training on your days off. Cross training can be anything, it can be Yoga, Pilates, you can go for a walk instead of running, you get pick up cycling, you do swimming, hiking… anything you want to do! I like to go on walks either on the days I already ran or on the days that I’m not running just to get in the move and keep moving.
Cross training will help you both physically and mentally. your joints get the time they need to recover from the impacts of running all the time while still challenging your muscles, keeping you in shape, and keeping you from being bored. Think about it, if only thing you’re doing is running everyday all the time, it’s going to get boring very quickly. This is a very good way of fighting runners fatigue or burnout which means in the long run you will be running longer.
You can also do strength training on the days that you’re not running, say you run on Mondays Wednesdays and Fridays. You can strength training on Tuesdays Thursdays and Saturdays and have a nice little break in between so you’re not working your muscles too much and over working everything.
While you can do strength training on the days that you are running, I would advise against it. Yes, you might be able to do it but it could lead to a breakdown of muscles (not in the good way) and injury if you do too much at once. So I would not suggest going on a 5 mile run and then going into the gym and lifting weights for an hour, you’re just going to end up injured and sore, this can mean you’re going to be out of both strength training and running which is what you want avoid.
How do you cross train? Do you do it regularly or hardly at all? No judgement! Tell me in the comments your favorite ways to cross train.