Cross-Training – Training in different ways to improve overall performance or experience.
Running provides the bricks to the ultrarunner’s endurance home. Could cross-training be the mortar that helps hold it all together when the periodic winds and storms come rolling through?
Specificity is King
In general, nothing will teach your body/mind/spirit how to run better than the act of running itself. Would you learn how to sing by only learning how to play the guitar? I can play guitar, but the singing skill-set is definitely not included. Although there may be some synergies between the two, one does not directly result in the other.
In order to develop a specific skill (running), practicing the skill (running) is the surest way to become more proficient in it.
Cross-Training is Queen?
As you continue your specific ultrarunning training, could there be supportive cross-training activities that improve your overall ultrarunning performance or experience?
When I think of cross-training, a few possible benefits come to mind:
- Toughen up – Strengthen the body.
- Unload – Reduce the physical impact on the body.
- Jedi Master – Strengthen the mind.
- Spice it up – Variety.
- Bigger Engine – Improve your endurance capacity or efficiency.
- Loosen up – Improve flexibility.
11 Ways to Cross-Train
Here is a small list of possible cross-training ideas that could benefit ultrarunners.
- Traditional weights
- Body-weight or weight-free strength exercises
- Focused/Speed walking
- Boot Camps
- XC skiing / roller skiing
Over the last two months as my knee continues to slowly improve, I have tossed myself into weight training, and more recently Yoga, Boot camps, and Pilates. It is quite apparent that running has not developed the proficiency skills for Yoga, the Butt-kicker Camps, and crazy Linda Pilates. I am curious if these activities will have synergistic effects that will support my ultrarunning as it increases in frequency and volume. I am most interested in increasing my durability to reduce the amount of tweakage I periodically experience.
Do or Do Not
What are your thoughts on cross-training? Cool/Fool?
For those that cross-train, what activities do you feel have supported your ultrarunning the most? Are there any specific at-home programs that you really like (DVDs, books, etc)?
The reality of all of this is there is no one right answer. I do think we can receive insight from one another as we individually build and maintain or own ultrarunning home.
Be active – Feel the buzz!
If you still visit Endurance Buzz by typing in the URL, there is a convenient way to to stay in-the-loop with what is happening on the site. Simply check out the Subscribe page for the method of delivery that works for you.
David – EnduranceBuzz.com
Posted on 27 Apr 2010
10 Responses to “What Cross-Training Can Most Benefit Ultrarunners?”