There was a time, way back in my early days of lacing up, when running was my only sport (other than occasional walking). I was so excited to have finally found a niche for me in the fitness world, that I devoted all of my "sweat time" to running and running only.
Of course, back then (almost 12 years ago), I wasn't much into endurance running. I would run 2-3 miles a few times a week and call it good. There may have been a 5K race sprinkled in now and then, but I never ran any farther than those 3.1 miles and I never did anything else fitness-wise. Ever.
Fast forward to the present day, and I wish I could go back in time and tell that gal to do a few more things. I would persuade her to do a little strength-training, or ride her bike once in awhile. She would not be any less of a runner; actually, cross-training would (probably) have made her a better runner.
Why cross-train? Bottom line, your body needs it (and I would bet your mind could benefit from it as well).
Need some convincing? Here's my top five reasons that I love cross-training:
1. My body and mind need variety, and I would guess yours does too. Ever heard of over-training? It happens when muscles are over-used and not given proper recovery time. Cross-training gives the "running" muscles a chance for some downtime while other forms of exercise are utilized.
|Yoga is one of my cross-training options|
2. I now have more muscles to "share the load."A lot of runners fear cross-training, specifically strength-training. Granted, having more muscles will add a few extra pounds to your weight, but you'll also have an increased metabolism and (probably) a smaller waistline. All of those muscles not only look good, they will give you some extra power as you run your miles because your legs will not have to do all of the work on their own.
|I'm no longer afraid of muscles|
|Cycling is fun with friends!|
|With Paula, who convinced me to do a duathlon (August 2015)|
|With some of the Team 27 members at the Fight for Air Climb|
|Planking has become a favorite daily ritual as I work on strengthening my core|
I'm linking up with Meranda and Lacey and Rachel for the Friday Five 2.0 link-up