Monday, January 28, 2013

Cross Training In Action


The first thing to do is figure out the best course of action based on where you are in training. If you have come to this blog post in the middle of a training plan, then I would introduce the cross training slowly. If you are injured, then I would start searching like mad for exercises you can do to improve the imbalances you are facing. Anatomy for Runners by Jay Dicharry is the place to start that search. Finally, if you are either in the early stages of a training plan or in the off season, then I would start cross training now. I would intentionally plan specific workouts for each week, just like you do a training plan for running.

Earlier I discussed the need to Cross Train (and core train) and mentioned that it would be best to do these things in categories/target workouts.  Here are some key/critical running specific workouts that can be done in each of the previously mentioned categories:

Strength Training

  • Squat (make sure to use good form and go low to engage glutes)
  • Deadlift
  • Leg Press
  • Pull-Ups
  • Push-Ups
  • Seated Row
  • Bench Press

Pick two to four of the above exercises for a complete workout and, once you are comfortable with form, don't be afraid to do big weight with low reps. These are strength training exercises, so sets of three to five reps is good, particularly earlier in training. Once you reach maintenance, later in training, you may consider sets of eight to ten reps. Try to do the harder stuff early in your workout (like Squat). And you can do two of the above for a single body area/part, I would't go beyond two exercises of hard, heavy weights for one area.

Core/Coordination Training

I would select somewhere between four and six of the above to make a workout. But make sure to the harder stuff first, like single leg squat, or your fatigue will make proper form difficult. Do relatively high reps of each of these, twelve to twenty. As you get stronger, make sure to do more sets, maybe start with one and work up to three. If you have access to the P90x workouts, the "Legs and Back" and "Plyometric" workouts are great workouts to fit into this category.


Generally I try to keep these workouts in the 15 min to 30 minute range. I can easily spend ten minutes just foam rolling.  Most of the individual items here are the same as the Core/Coordination work, try to get in twelve to twenty reps and then add additional sets. There are two complete workouts if you follow the 'Variety' link. Lots of good stuff appears on the Kinetic Revolution WOD here as well.


Similar to the Stretch/PT workouts, I usually aim for workouts of 15 to 30 minutes. Ab Ripper X (from P90x series) is a great one-stop workout. I also like Core Yoga from Rodnee Yee.

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