Cross-Training Ideas for Runners

While running is my main sport, I really love other types of fitness training too. It’s great because cross-training is really important when training for a race so I never have to completely give anything else up. Cross-training or doing other activities besides running helps build strength and flexibility, stops boredom, and prevents injury. It’s also very easy in these cold winter months to be convinced to workout indoors (where you can even wear shorts and pretend it’s not below-freezing outside!). Here are some of my favorite ways to cross-train:


  • Yoga: I love doing hot yoga and vinyasa yoga at least once a week. It is a great way for me to warm up my muscles and focus on lengthening and flexibility while also building strength. Sometimes the classes are more about my mental wellness and a relaxing rather than being strictly a workout.

  • November Project: I am a core member of the November Project-Baltimore tribe and love it! November Project is a free fitness movement that meets a few times a week at 6:30 AM with weekly workouts changing but usually focusing on running hills, running stairs, or doing circuit-style body weight workouts. It’s free, fun, for people of all fitness levels, and never cancelled. Check out the November Project-DC tribe if you are looking to try something new and make some new friends.
  • Spinning: Spinning is very complementary to running. It works some different leg muscles and is a completely different workout for me. I love being able to concentrate on the different ride segments and push myself mentally through the harder parts.
  • Weight Lifting: I love how strong I feel after spending some time lifting weights in the gym. Strength training is really important for running because strengthen your muscles and joints makes you less injury-prone as well as a faster, more efficient runner. I notice a huge difference in my running when I have a stronger core, legs, and upper body.

What is your favorite way to cross-train?

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