Cross Training vs. Additional Training – Door County Pulse

How to incorporate both into your running plan

With the Door County Half Marathon nearly five weeks away, runners should now be well into their training plans. But runners — and good running times — aren’t built on miles alone. It’s just as important to engage and strengthen other muscle groups to help you run faster, longer, and farther.

To do this, it is important to ensure that your training program includes both cross-training and supplemental training opportunities. According to Trish Araujo, personal trainer at Door County Fitness Studio and Sister Bay Athletic Club, cross training and supplemental training, when used together and appropriately, are two of the best ways to improve performance. race.

“It’s one of the best ways to add bulk to your training program while minimizing the risk of injury,” she said.
This is especially true when it comes to training for longer endurance runs where muscles are challenged more often and for longer periods of time.

“Setting big goals is great, but it’s important to take the time to get there,” said Gretchen Johnson, who also trains clients at Sister Bay Athletic Club and is a certified trapeze yoga instructor. “The cardiovascular and muscular systems tend to strengthen quickly, while the tendons and ligaments take longer to adapt to the stresses placed on them by exercise.”

But what is the difference between cross-training and complementary training? And what is their place in a half-marathon or marathon training program?

“I think often ‘cross-training’ and ‘supplemental training’ are used interchangeably,” Araujo said.

But they’re not the same thing, she says, and they shouldn’t be used the same way.

Says Araujo, “Cross training, in general, should complement your running but not replace it.”

Think of it like this: cross-training involves any activity similar to your main activity in terms of the muscle groups it uses and the cardiovascular workout it provides. In the case of running, cycling would be considered a cross-training activity.

Cross-training is an alternative workout or activity that benefits your primary activity – in this case, running. By incorporating swimming, biking, or an elliptical trainer into your workout routine, you reduce stress on your muscles and joints, help prevent overuse injuries, and keep your workout fresh and interesting.

“Cross-training can help move the body in a different way to running, and can strengthen your muscles and improve and even correct your imbalances,” Araujo says. “Plus, it can reduce the overall impact on your bones, joints, and muscles.”

In addition to creating stronger, healthier athletes, cross-training activities also add variety, reduce boredom, and help athletes maximize their full potential. This not only makes cross-training a key part of any successful training plan, but also a great option for “off” days or for bouncing back from injury.

As to which cross-training activities provide the most benefit, it’s up to the athlete to decide.

“The best kind of cross-training activities are those that every runner enjoys,” Johnson said. “A bike, rowing or swimming workout would be perfect on a non-running day where you’re still looking for the cardio workout and endurance but want to give those joints and muscles a break from the run.”

Supplemental training, on the other hand, complements – or enhances – the workout by engaging complementary muscle groups (e.g. quadriceps and hamstrings) and focuses on increasing strength, flexibility and mobility.

“Runners are notorious for tight hamstrings, which can also cause lower back issues,” said Johnson, a strong proponent of incorporating yoga into any running training plan. “A good flexibility program is an absolute necessity, [and] a stretching protocol should be added after each run.

It is equally important to maintain strong muscles.

“I’m big on strength training to prevent injuries,” Araujo said. “Strength training strengthens and balances muscle groups targeting specific areas.”

Consider lifting weights, yoga, barre, Pilates, lunges or squats to fill that space in the training plan, either during active recovery or, for more advanced athletes, after a day of training. easy workout.

Strength training, a form of supplemental training, is an important part of any half marathon or marathon training plan. Strong muscles generate more power and studies show that this significantly reduces the risk of injury.

With cross-training and extra training activities built into your training plan, you’re all set for a successful race day, right? Almost. There’s one final element that’s often overlooked, but could be the deciding factor in whether you’re hitting your race day goals: rest.

“Knowing when to ‘overcome’ a lack of motivation and when it’s your body telling you to rest is sometimes the hardest to understand,” Araujo said.

Most workout plans found online include a rest day, but signs that you may need to add an extra day include continued fatigue, muscle soreness that won’t subside, irritability, and lack of energy. of repeated motivation. That’s when complete rest can be your best training ally.

“Rest days help reduce injuries that can occur from overtraining,” Araujo said.
Rest days allow muscles to repair micro tears and replenish glycogen stores. They also help with mental fatigue and burnout.

“Listening to your body and what it needs is often hard to do,” Johnson said. “Off days are great days to go for a leisurely hike, play at one of Door County’s beautiful beaches, take a relaxing yoga class, or play a round of golf.”

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