Cross training, also called cross training, do you know it? No, this is not one of those new revolutionary methods that promise you to progress effortlessly. What I'm going to propose to you with cross-training is actually a concept as old as the world. A simple concept that allows you to optimize your training. I will explain what cross training is, how and why it should be integrated into your training.
What is cross training? What is it?
Nothing very complicated then. Cross training is the fact of training in several disciplines and not only in your main sport, for us running! Here I assume that cross training is done with running as the main sport, but it works very well for other disciplines! A tennis player, a footballer or any sport that is both enduring and explosive will have a great interest in jogging in fundamental endurance as a complement to improve!
Whether it's swimming, cycling, cross-country skiing, yoga weight training or cardio classes in the gym? This is all cross-training! And as each discipline has specific advantages, combining several practices can be very interesting. I deliberately exclude muscle strengthening, which for me is part of running training, even if it is not running itself.
Does cross training improve running?
Directly? No, you should not expect to progress through cross training as much as with a specific running session. Progress in running is first and foremost about running! But used intelligently, it contributes indirectly to our progress. Because whether you are a beginner in running or experienced, cross training allows you to increase your training volume gently.
Because that's the whole problem with running. To progress more, you have to run more. But running is a traumatic sport with violent shocks with each stride... Increasing the volume can sometimes disrupt the machine and lead to injuries. The whole point of cross-training is to increase the volume without these negative aspects of running.
Cross training: Each discipline has its advantages!
Cycling: Endurance riding with a mounted sport such as cycling is ideal. We avoid the traumas associated with running. It is my favorite sport to recover from a competition or a big outing. We are talking about outputs to be milled without forcing too much around 95/100 rpm. We are not looking to have cyclist's thighs but to increase our endurance volume without generating fatigue.
Swimming: Ditto! Endurance in worn sports. Swimming also has the advantage of strengthening the upper body and working on coordination, breathing, in short, useful tips for the runner! We would have been wrong to deprive ourselves of it frankly.
Cross-country skiing: Running with skis is how I define cross-country skiing! It makes coordination work, it's a semi-mounted sport... The ideal sport for cross-training what... You still need to have snow at your disposal! Otherwise the elliptical also works very well, it is even the closest to the stroke without the shocks of it!
Yoga: increase your flexibility, control your breathing... I don't practice but we understand the interest for the runner.
etc: there are many others! We'll avoid sports like squash or other very explosive sports, it doesn't really work in the direction of running... When I tested that, apart from injuries I didn't win anything! ????
Cross-training, we use it but we don't abuse it!
As I told you, cross training is ideal to reduce the shocks of running that are violent for the body. But to progress in running, you must first run! And yes, it's that simple! The body adapts to the effort required of it. While swimming it does not adapt 100% to the needs of the race. Cross-training allows you, depending on the sport you choose, to work on your general endurance, flexibility, or work your muscles in a different way. This is necessarily a plus if we don't forget that the intensity of our training must come mainly from the race. In any case, it's perfect to increase the number of outings per week without risk.