3 Cross Training Ideas For Endurance Runners

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Running is a good thing for everyone. It provides us with a great workout where we can get our blood pumping. For some, though, running is more than just a hobby or a workout session they need to do. Some want to be the best runner that they can be. If you want to become an endurance runner, one key to it lies also in cross training.

Cross training have definite benefits that will surely be useful for a runner such as injury prevention, boredom busters, fitness improvement and quicker recovery. Endurance, power and tenacity are definitely the strength that runners have. However, for every strength, there is underlying weakness potential such as poor flexibility and neglected upper bodies. These can then lead to problems in a running career. With cross training, you can help yourself address those potentials for weakness that you have.

This training will not just help in preventing overuse injuries that are usually associated to activities with repetitive impact. Cross training can also improve stride length, running technique, and running pace. There are many kinds of training for endurance runners. However, these 3 cross training ideas should be on the top of your list.


If you have a nagging injury, swimming will be a good thing for you.  Swimming is an activity that will challenge your control to the drive and core from the hips. Opening the hips to let greater extension for the hip and stride efficiency will be something that many runners can benefit from. Swimming can help you in achieving just that. For the workout, you need to swim laps for about 30 to 45 minutes. For your lower half, add 4 to 8 lengths where you will kick a kickboard. If you are not into kickboard kicking, you can just pull them with a foam buoy placed between your thighs.

As a runner, swimming can help you in improving you cardio and recovery. It will help you in working some of your muscle groups and will add up in the core and your upper body. With this, you can have a great aerobic workout without having the pounding forces on the your legs. If you want to quicken your recovery and improve your cardio, swimming is an ideal cross training for you.


If your glutes or hammies are weak, cycling is the ideal cross-training for you. It is a great form of cardio. It can improve one’s endurance without the need to put stress on the joints. Just like with running, your legs, cores, and hips are fired up although in a different way.  When you are clipped in the pedals of the bike, you are targeting your glutes and hamstrings more than when you run. This is especially true when cycling with plenty of resistance or when pedaling going upward. For your work out, you can go to the gym, find a spin bike and clip yourself in it or attend a class for group cycling. Before going on this cross training, warm yourself up first for at least 10 minutes. Make it a quick pace. Follow it up with a build resistance exercise for half an hour and cool down for 5 to 10 minutes.

It would be a good cross training exercise to make your recovery quicker and see some improvement with your cardio. Cycling will work out same leg muscles that you are using as a runner. You can try a good aerobic workout like this every now and then.

Cross Fit

If exploding off the starting line is what you aim for, Cross Fit is the cross training for you. It is a great way to condition your body. That is because it targets those muscles that are not being moved much when running. It can also get your heart rate up, which will be of great help when you undergo endurance training.  There are plenty of ideas on how you can achieve this training.

Many runners do not see cross fit as a cross training exercise that can help them. However, they are wrong. If they will just consider finding the right cross fit exercise for them, it would be easy for them how stronger and faster it makes them. Also training some muscles that are not often used while running is important to prevent injuries especially if you like to run on technical trails.


In running, athletes should consider flexibility, muscular strength and endurance. These are important if you want to excel at it. To achieve, you will need to undergo different trainings. Running can be improved in many ways. Cross training will be of great help to you in becoming the best runner that you could be. It is just all about finding the training that can help you where you need the improvement.

What is your favorite type of cross training? Let us know by writing a comment below.

Happy running

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