Improving fitness and reducing injury The benefits of cross-training

Woman cyclingWell done to all of our amazing runners, you’re now halfway through your marathon training programme. 

As you’ve picked up the pace and the distance, you might have started to pick up a few injuries too. Don’t worry – it's normal to experience aches and pains as a runner.

However, that doesn’t mean you should ignore them. Listen to your body. Running through pain only guarantees more discomfort and won’t give your body the chance it needs to recover.

Give your body a breather

In 7 weeks, you’ve got 26.2 miles to run, so what can you do to take the pressure off your body?

It’s simple - stop running. At least for part of the week.

It may sound odd, but there’s plenty of method behind it. Think about what you’re asking your body to do. For the past 8 weeks you've pushed yourself physically to new limits.

Every mile you run and every step you take on that hard, unforgiving pavement is taking a toll on your muscles and joints. It’s important that when they start reacting, you react too.

What can you do?

Bike IllustrationCross-training can be hugely beneficial for your mindset and for your body.

Running 4 times per week can be a real drain on your motivation. Mixing it up a little, with different types of exercise, can be the perfect answer.

RG Active highlight some of the benefits to cross-training:

    • injury prevention and rehabilitation
    • quicker recovery
    • improvd fitness

You could try swimming, circuit training or cycling. It can reduce the impact on your joints and help you maintain the level of fitness that you’ve been steadily improving for the past 2 months.

So maybe try swapping out 1 or 2 of those midweek runs for something else. Your mind and body will thank you for it.

If you're not sure about a particluar type of exercise, then always make sure you ask a professional to make sure you're doing it correctly. 

Helping you on your journey

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Read our other training articles to help you get prepared in the lead up to race day.

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