Cross training for runners is often overlooked. Everyone has different reasons that they report not cross-training, either they don’t have time to both run and cross-train, they do not enjoy doing any physical activity outside of running, or they just do not know how. What it boils down to is if you’re not cross-training as a runner here’s what you’re leaving on the table.

Why Cross Training for Runners


  • Cross training for runners: can effectively improve your VO2Max.

    • VO2Max is the measurement of how much oxygen you are able to utilize during maximal effort. Having a higher VO2Max means that your body will deliver more oxygen to your muscles during exercise, meaning that the muscles can push for longer and work harder, meaning you will get faster and stronger and might be able to crush your previous times on races.

    • Core strengthening has been shown to improve your 5k time.

    • Individuals who cross train demonstrate increased running economy.

      • Running economy is a very complex topic, but this is a good thing!

    • When it comes to runners getting injured here’s what we know.

    • 42% of running injuries are at the knee

    • 80% of running injuries are due to overuse injury – this could be training volume error or the fact that if you aren’t using the right muscles to stabilize your hip, your overusing all the wrong muscles.

    • When you put all of this together we can confidently say that cross training for the hip musculature can reduce your risk for getting the most common injury that knocks people out of running. Now, if you can have reduced risk for common injury, increased VO2Max, faster 5k times, and improved economy for the price of 1-2 hours per week of cross training does it sound crazy not to do it?

      So here it is, a basic cross training for runners program to help you get started. Because your sport is so heavily endurance related we’re going to forego the 15-20 repetitions model and just try to complete the exercise for 1-2 minutes at a time. 3-4 sets of that for each exercise and you’ll be good to go!

Beginning Hip Strength: The clam

Dosage: Perform 3-4 sets of 1-2 minutes of repetitions. When this gets easy add a band around your knees.

Beginning Hip Strength: The fire hydrant

Dosage: Perform 3-4 sets of 1-2 minutes of repetitions. When this gets easy add a band around your knees.

Intermediate hip strength: Side Plank

Dosage: Perform 3-4 sets of 1-2 minutes holds, when this gets easy lift your top leg.

Intermediate hip strength: Monster walks

Dosage: Perform 3-4 sets of 1-2 minutes with a band.

Advanced hip strength: Single leg get up

Dosage: Perform 3-4 sets of 1 minute of repetitions. When this gets easy lower the surface you are standing from.

Advance hip strength: Skate Jumps

Dosage: Perform 3-4 sets of 1 minute of repetitions. Be sure you have good form and are firing your glutes.

Try out this cross training routine 1-2 times a week to realize maximal gains. Be sure to send us feedback when you set your records! If you’re working towards those records and just need a little extra help, we help runners get back in the action every single day and would be thrilled to help you.

blog image: