Many runners, including myself, run for the sheer love of it. Running is addicting, and once you’ve been bitten by the bug, it’s really tough to want to do any other form of exercise. Sadly, not all of us can run hundreds of miles a week. Even elite runners need time off from running, incorporating easy or cross training days into their running plans.
If done consistently, we know that Cross Training will, in fact, make you a stronger runner. Here’s the problem… we don’t always love to do it, so many times we end up not doing it at all. That’s really a big mistake.
Doing a variety of workouts has so many benefits for runners. Cross Training builds different muscles groups, which can help prevent common running injuries, and can increases cardiovascular fitness with little or no impact.
I know how difficult is is to take a day or two off from running, but the benefits are worth the discipline it takes.
With that said, some of us refuse to stay consistent and must be tricked into doing something other than running. That’s me. Call me stubborn, but I just can’t get into going to the gym, or sitting on a stationary bike, and I know there are many of you that are the like me!
Here are few tricks for sneaking crossing training into your running routine without you really noticing and have a whole lot of fun!
- Bike – when you have a bike like this one, you don’t need a reason to ride it.. you just want to get on it for any excuse you can. Columbia has recently re-launched their bikes and they are gorgeous! I love the Hampton Multi Speed Cruiser because it has a Preferred Shimano 7-Speed Shifter & Derailleur, making it awesome for neighborhoods with hills or the beach! Forget the indoor stationary bike, get outside and scorch some calories on one of these beauties! Take the kids to the park, pick up a few things from the grocery, head to the local Farmer’s Market or take a ride to your local coffee shop. There are a thousand reasons to use this gorgeous bike every single day, and, by the way…you’re cross training!
- Swim – Don’t just get in the pool and swim laps, get in the pool with your kids or friends and play a game like Marco Polo or Colors. Have fun and act like a kid again. If you really get into it, then before you know it you’re heart rate is up there– but how would you know? You’re having too much fun to notice.
- Do yoga or strength – If at all possible do this with your kids, your niece, nephew or significant other. Kids love to copy what you’re doing– it’s all a game to them, and it’s a great way to spend time together. As far as working out with your love? let’s face it, it’s awesome way to get close and disconnect from everything.
- Play tag – If you have children then this is a great way to spend quality time with them and if you don’t it’s a fun way to have a blast with your friends. You could make this one really fun by adding a spin– each time someone is tagged give them an extra workout like 40 squats, 1 minute plank or 25 push ups.
- Picnic Hike – I live in Southern California, so I try and plan “Date days” with my husband. We like to pack a brunch or lunch and hike up to the Hollywood sign. It’s an awesome romantic date and you are walking up hill for a nice steady easy workout. Find a local trail, landmark or something touristy in your own town and plan a picnic hike.
- Do an obstacle course at the park – You know those play structures for kids? Well when no one is around, channel your inner Ninja Warrior and make it into an obstacle course. Ride your bike to the park and then do the monkey bars, slides, run to a picnic table and jump up and over.. get creative and do this five or six times with or without kids for an tough little strength workout.
- Go Dancing – Turn on the awesome tunes and dance in your kitchen, bathroom or bedroom. My kids and I love to go crazy! You could take it one step further and take a dance lesson once a week. Think Dancing with Stars bodies? Um, yeah.. it’s a legit workout.
- Play – there are so many fun games you could play, but start by organizing a weekly, kickball game at your local park or beach. The team could consist of a variety of adults and kids or just for grown ups, but make it fun and crazy so everyone leaves with a smile on their face. Add an extra spin and if you get “out,” make that person do an extra workout like 30 jumping jacks, 1 minute super man plank, or 20 squats. While you’re at it, ride your gorgeous Columbia bike to meet everyone at the game.
8 Ways Runners Can Sneak in Cross Training! @Columbia_Bikes #RideColumbia #pmedia #ad Click To Tweet
These are just eight of my favorites, but I’m sure you can come with many more.
Not only is it great to Cross Train, it’s really very good for your soul to have one on one time with your friends and family free of distractions such as computers or cell phones. People these days are craving that intimacy that can only be achieved by getting outside and taking long slow bike rides together.
It’s also very healthy to smile, laugh and have fun like a kid. With all of the pressure modern life throws at us, these moments are so important to our overall health and happiness.
See How @Columbia_bikes is helping me Cross Train for my upcoming Race! #Pmedia #RideColumbia #ad Click To Tweet
The Hampton Multi Speed Cruiser is available for purchase at Amazon, Dick’s and Target.
Be sure to check Toys R Us, Target, Amazon, Walmart and Dicks retailers where other Columbia Bicycles can be found!
“This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Columbia Bicycles, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #RideColumbia http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV”
How about you? Do you Cross Train? For those of you addicted to running, do you need to “trick” yourself into taking a day off?