Converting Running Workouts into Cross-Training Activities
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Converting Running Workouts into Cross-Training Activities

Converting Running Workouts into Cross-Training Activities

Following a few simple guidelines can make cross-training as productive as a running workout.

Here's a no-brainer: To simulate an easy-distance run you can simply exercise at an easy intensity for the stated duration. For example, if your schedule calls for a 30-minute run, you would exercise at the appropriate intensity for half an hour in the pool, or on an elliptical trainer or a bike.

You'll have to adjust your target heart rate ranges while in water, and you may become more quickly fatigued with the elliptical machine because you're using muscles in slightly different ways.

Be sure that you adhere to the same strategies for warming up, cooling down, nutrition and hydration that you usually follow when running. To keep things interesting, include a variety of durations, intensities and recovery periods.

In most instances, because cross-training workouts closely mimic your actual running, you can simply equate your exercise duration to the total of miles you would normally run in that time. For example, if your normal 4.5-mile stamina workout lasts a total of 40 minutes, including 15 minutes of intense running and a 12-minute warm-up and cool-down, then the same 40-minute alternative indoor workout would equate to about 4.5 miles.

Keep these comparisons in mind as you monitor your training levels to ensure that you don't overtrain.

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