Why should runners cross train?
Runners, especially short distance runners who run 5k or 10ks, need good upper body strength. The very short explanation is the more force that is exerted by the lower body, the more exaggerated the upper body motions have to be to absorb the momentum. Since short distance runners run faster, a stronger upper body will help in this regard. Think of the buff Olympic sprinters.
Longer distance runners tend to have more lean muscle, however, a strong core will still be necessary to maintain good posture, especially with a relaxed frame. And strong shoulders are still needed.
What about trail runners?
Trail runners have a whole other reason to cross train. One word here— balance.
Any other reasons to cross train as a runner?
There are a few other benefits from cross training with a Functional Fitness program such as Kemme Fitness. One benefit is the ability to produce fatigue and facilitate recovery. High intensity interval training, or HIIT, is built into most of our workouts and can be an excellent substitute for speed work.
Another benefit is the variety that is inherent in the program. Trail runners in particular can appreciate variety in a training program. Intense exercise is a mental game, and there are simply those of us who need to change things up to keep in that game. And sometimes you just get burned out with running. Cross training is a way to fill that void until you are ready to add the miles back. And when you do so, you will be able to run better!
Finally…let’s just face it. Doing Burpees with a slosh tube and other crazy exercises is just plain cool!