I get it. Running is a lot easier than going to the gym. Just throw on your running shoes, walk out the front door, and you are good to go! Meanwhile, the gym requires you to leave the house, get in the car, drive there, and fight for equipment and space with others. Not to mention that the traffic in McLean and Bethesda is no joke!
By now, you probably know that cross-training is essential to improving running performance and avoiding physical therapy. But many runners find it hard to make time for anything besides running. It is easy to fall into the trap that we have seen many runners fall victim to. This is the mindset that the only thing that counts towards training is the miles they log. But this is not true!
Cross-training is essential for runners because it helps prevent injury, build/maintain strength, and improve your run times and muscular endurance! Lifting weights and moving your body in varied ways from your typical movement patterns (running is repetitive!) builds resilience to injury. A typical cross-training program for a runner should include strength training of not only your lower body, but upper body and core as well. Lower body strength is important for power production and single leg control during your run. Core and upper body strength will help you maintain efficient running posture and overall muscular conditioning. Cross-training doesn’t have to be long and daunting. 2 sessions per week of 30 minutes of strength training is a great place to start! Below is an easy full-body template and example workout to try at the gym or home!
Step 1: 5-10 minutes warm-up
- Get your muscles warm
- This can include jogging, biking, or dynamic stretches
Step 2: Full Body Circuit
- Choose 1-2 exercises for your lower body, and 1-2 exercises for your upper body
- Include compound movements! This includes exercises that use your lower body, upper body, and core to work together
- Perform each exercise for 8-10 repetitions, and repeat the circuit for 3-4 total rounds
Step 3: Core and Plyometric Finish
- Choose 2-3 core exercises and 1-2 plyometric exercises
- Perform each exercise for 20-30 seconds, and repeat the circuit for 3-4 rounds
1. Jog on the treadmill at 5-6 MPH for 5 minutes
2. Perform 3 rounds of the following circuit:
A. Reverse Lunge x10 reps on each leg
B. Dumbbell Bench Press x10 reps
C. Goblet Squat x10 reps
D. Shoulder press x10 reps
*Choose a weight that is challenging for you, but you can complete all 3 circuits
If you are a serious runner that is looking to step up your performance or avoid injury, contact us for a customized cross-training program designed by our resident triathlete, Dr. Kelly Henry!