Cross-training (XT) is an activity runners engage in when they’re not running, or to put it in simpler terms, XT is simply doing something else, training-wise. XT allows you to maintain a certain level of activity while your muscles are recovering so that the rest of your body has a time to catch up making for a more balanced development. The more popular XT activities for running are swimming and cycling but these two aren’t the only things you can do.
XT #1: Padding a.k.a. Rowing
Last Thursday I was urged to try paddling, more popularly called rowing, for the first time by some of my fellow runners also hooked on this sport. Of course at first I was apprehensive because I’m not a good swimmer but I also have a fad to try anything at least once, so I gave it a try—and it was a blast!
Paddling for the most part involves your upper body strength for obvious reasons. It’s a good XT activity since you hardly use your lower body for the sport (except as support) and at the same time your upper body has a chance to catch up. And for someone who was just recently introduced into the sport, I can say it is really addicting. Now my weekdays would be more packed as I include this formally into my routine.
XT #2: Wall Climbing
Friday night together with my fellow runners I got to try wall climbing (also for the first time). Whereas paddling concentrates on your upper body, in particular on one side of it, wall climbing is more of a total body workout depending how you choose to climb the wall. Simply put a single climb could easily be more demanding than doing your typical gym routine! Climbing uses all of your muscles but if you prefer you may also put more of the effort on your upper body (or vice versa), especially if your feet doesn’t have much grip because you wore running shoes!
Trying on new sports doesn’t mean loving less your original sport, whatever that may be. XT gives you a chance to stay fit while you’re recovering and at the same time still enjoy the company of your friends. XT need not be boring or imposing as long as you pick one that you know you’d enjoy. It doesn’t even need to be an official sport! With so many activities to choose from I am wondering why I didn’t start doing XTs until now.