Why Runners Need Variety

Run like the wind, bullseye!

So you’re training for your first marathon, half-marathon and even 5k. What do you do? Run. Every. Single. Day. While it’s great to be so dedicated your training, overdoing it can lead to injuries or actually lower your race time if you’re not strengthening other parts of your body. Running can be extremely hard on your muscles and joints if you’re pushing yourself too hard.

For runners, it’s important to take at least one day to focus on another physical activity. It’s called cross-training, and it’s an important way to build stamina and muscle. Here are some great cross-training activities.

Swimming

Swimming laps is still a great fat-burning cardio activity, but gives your legs some time to rest. Working out in the pool can also help strengthen your upper body, which sometimes runners neglect.

Yoga

Yoga helps you get into a focused zone that you’ll need on your race day. It also increases your flexibility and allows you to alleviate any stiffness you may have. Adding some breathing activities to your workout repertoire will also benefit you on race day.

Walking

It might sound a little backwards, but walking can help, too. A long stroll isn’t intended to replace a long run, but will get your heart pumping and your leg muscles working without overtaxing them.

Core Work-outs and Strength Training

Abs classes are usually offered at your local gym or university gym, so give those a try one night a week. Or grab a buddy and hit the weight room — toned arms are important in running as they can help propel your body faster if you’re sprinting or going uphill. And even if running is your first love, don’t forget that working on your upper-body should be an essential part of any workout routine.

♥AUTHOR: JESS THOM  

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