Overtraining can lead to negative consequences: running every day for example can be counterproductive, causing fatigue and other problems.
Cross training is key to improvement: swimming, cycling, core training and mobility training help you become a more efficient runner and avoid injury.
There are people who love pizza and would eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Likewise, there are people who love to run and would run all the time, every day.
Whether it’s an unabashed passion for food or a sport, overdoing it’s never a good idea. As a famous proverb also states, too much is too much.
Running every day have bad consequences. Piling up miles and miles, with high probability, will not make you a better runner or a better performer. In fact, overtraining have exactly the opposite effect.
This problem isn’t just about running, but includes for example: studying music, learning a new language or traveling. In our case, running sessions are obviously necessary, as long as they are well calibrated.
For example, doing a pool workout between runs, perhaps focusing on arm and upper body, will allow us to work in a no-gravity condition.
There is also the option of cycling, indoors or outdoors, as an alternative or in addition to swimming. Pedaling protects the knees from the microtrauma, caused every time our foot impacts the ground when we run. At the same time, it’s an excellent workout for developing and improving endurance.
In addition to swimming and biking, providing at least one core training session a week will give you a stronger abdomen. The goal isn’t to have a six-pack, but an abdominal wall capable of supporting your stride after stride. Let’s not forget that we never just run with our legs, but also with the help of our arms and our whole upper body, including our abs.
Mobility sessions are very underrated, and most people don’t know its importance! A contracted muscle will only be able to express a small part of its potential, like if he was restrained in his movements by an invisible force. It must be stretched and relaxed in order to unleash its potential. All it takes is 20 to 30′ of stretching done regularly to release tension and allow our muscles to express themselves without restraint. With yoga and pilates we can combine the aspects of strengthening core muscles with lengthening all the chains of our body. How to kill two birds with one stone.
I have experienced the benefits of cross training. At first time it’s difficult to engage in disciplines other than running, because the only thing we would like to do is run. Everything changes when you begin to reap the benefits of the complementary work: you can notice that you are more fluid in your movements, your shoulders are relaxed, and your core becomes active supporting you and helping you in your gait.
Do you, like me, want to exercise every day? No problem. Let’s train a lot, but let’s do it better!