On the journey to becoming a better runner, you might think that you only need to focus on running. But if becoming a better, healthier and a stronger runner is your goal, consider adding cross-training workouts to your training routine. Cross-training makes you stronger and healthier, and adding variety to your exercise schedule will make running even easier.
Running works your cardiovascular system in a way that few types of exercise can, working major muscle groups such as your hamstrings, glutes, calves and quadriceps. Think of the human body as a car: Although the engine is primarily responsible for powering the car, it needs all the other parts to move forward efficiently. While the body relies on major muscle groups to run, supplemental muscle groups also need to be working properly and efficiently to maximize your total body exertion and momentum.
Cross-training can help by strengthening and protecting major muscle groups, joints and bones, as well as the supplemental muscles you use on your runs. Strengthening the entire body allows it to move and function as a single unit. In addition, cross-training exercises allow the body a break from the constant impact and stress a heavy running schedule inflicts.