Cross Training Options for Runners

indexFall starts the day after tomorrow. It’s my favorite season–despite the shortened days. I do like to mix up my workouts from running in the heat to doing some new sports as cross training. The weather has turned a little sour where I am and look forward to participating in these sports soon:

Cross-Country Skiing

Cross-country skiing involves working your entire body and burns more calories than running because of the tough arm movements. Your body both pushes and pulls and you cannot zone out in the way you can with running long distances. You must concentrate and keep focused.

Calories burned:
Because cross-country skiing is a total-body workout, it is the ultimate calorie burner. You can burn upwards of 950 calories per hour.

Why it’ll help running:
New leg muscles are developed and your quads are strengthened. It also works your core, one of the most important groups of muscles to a runner.

Ice Skating

You don’t need to wear the fancy, sparkly costumes as you see with figure skaters in the Olympic Games. Rather, you can just hit your local ice skating rink to work your leg muscles. Ice skating is very challenging on the ankles, something typically underdeveloped in runners.

Calories burned:
If you skate moderately fast, you can burn 400-500 calories per hour.

Why it’ll help with your running:
Skating involves a pushing motion and it’ll work and strengthen your IT band–one of the most commonly injured muscles among runners.

Alpine Skiing

While you may prefer snowboarding for its trendiness, alpine skiing actually mirrors running more as you must push off one leg at a time when not moving downhill.

Calories burned:
A moderate skier can burn around 400 calories per hour.

Why it’ll help you with your running:
Often runners and sprinters who train on the track lose the hill training. Skiing will give you a benefit of a sport moving downhill, working your quads.