Cross training seems to have a bad reputation throughout the running community. When we hear that one of our fellow runners has been actively completing cross training workouts, we immediately assume that they are injured or forced to cross train due to an unplanned circumstance.
However, cross training doesn’t have to be as miserable as we make it out to be. Incorporating cross training workouts into your training plan is something every runner should be doing – injured and healthy alike.
Running is a time-consuming hobby. It takes up a considerable amount of our free time each week, which makes adding another workout on top of our regular runs feel redundant and unnecessary. We choose to run because we want to do just that – run.
We don’t always want to spend hours at the gym lifting weights, at a yoga class, or drowning in boredom on the elliptical. And the good news is: we don’t have to. Cross training doesn’t have to include any of those activities.
Cross training is basically any activity that is different from running.
It can be an evening walk, a bike ride to work, swimming in the lake, skiing on vacation, hiking in the woods – you get the idea. But best of all, cross training can also take the form of a quick sweat session in your living room.
If you’re anything like me, it’s a lot easier to get motivated for that extra workout knowing that I don’t have to leave the house. A commute to the gym, change in clothes, and time spent on a machine makes fitting in these types of cross training workouts on a regular basis incredibly unrealistic.
So, for those of us who skip our cross training workouts regularly and avoid anything other than running, here is my solution:
A cross training challenge you can do right in your living room.
This cross training workout requires no equipment whatsoever. It is entirely cardio based, meaning that your heart rate will increase and you will work up a sweat with each of the moves. It’s challenging yet attainable, and can fit in your schedule wherever you need it.
The goal of this cross training challenge is to complete the workout in under 30 minutes. Complete 3 sets of these moves, with a 1 minute rest in between.
If you are perfect and take absolutely no extra seconds in between moves, the workout should last exactly 24 minutes and 30 seconds. But for those of us who aren’t perfect, this means limiting our breaks and procrastination moving on to the next move to try and complete everything within 30 minutes.
Try it out!
30 Minute Cross Training Workout
Challenge for Runners
Jumping Jacks – 1 minute
High Knees – 30 seconds
Lunges – 1 minute
Butt Kicks – 45 seconds
Burpees – 1 minute
Plank – 30 seconds
Skaters – 1 minute
Legs Down – 45 seconds
Cross Country Skiers – 1 minute
Complete the entire set 3 times, resting for 1 minute in between each set.
No matter how much we dread it, the truth is inevitable. Cross training workouts are essential for runners. The increase our strength and keep our non-running muscles healthy, thus taking some of the burden off our joints with the pounding of each run.
Incorporating even just 15 minutes of cross training a week can really make a big impact on your running health. If you are planning on running for many years, cross training workouts will help you get there. Whether you are a new runner or an elite, completing regular cross training workouts is a must.