Mixing your regular running workouts with outdoor training is an easy way to improve your health, fitness, and endurance. Not only will you allow your feet to rest, but you will also build new muscles you never knew existed!
There is something about being in the great outdoors that makes me want to be active. I’m not sure if it’s all of the fresh air cleaning out my lungs, all of the Vitamin K that my skin soaks up from the sun, the smells, the sights, or a combination of it all.
If you are an outdoors runner, like me, your body develops a bond with nature. Every time I think about getting a different workout at an indoor gym, my motivation threatens to leave.
To solve this problem, I researched how to improve my marathon training by incorporating a few fun and extremely beneficial activities. Check them out!
Cycling is a very active outdoor training pursuit in Colorado. On nearly every scenic drive I have taken into the mountains, I will spot several cyclists sweating, and pushing their limits pedaling up a steep incline.
You will be amazed by the burn in your quads while fighting your way up a large hill. Even better, you will be speechless as you breeze your way down the other side.
When starting out, you may have to get off to walk your bike up extremely difficult terrain. But do not be discouraged – the overall payoff from this sport is huge!
Not only is cycling a great cardio exercise, it’s an awesome joint workout. Cycling minimizes all of the knee pounding that you experience during running, and is also an effective way to lose weight.
So whether you pick up a mountain bike, or a road bike, fit cycling into your training routine. Who knows – you just may love it!
Swimming is one of those secret exercises that too few people realize is highly beneficial.
Worshipped by injured runners and older athletes for its non-weight-bearing quality, swimming is great if you are trying to nurse an injury, suffer from arthritis, or have chronic join pain.
Swimming will target your arms, shoulders, back, legs, and core. Now that I think of it, it is a super all around workout for your body.
You can learn as many or as few swim strokes as you wish. Most individuals swimming laps at your local recreation center will be doing freestyle, but you can also incorporate backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, or even doggie paddle!
Another super technique is to use a paddle board. This is perfect for those not completely comfortable swimming, but who still want the benefits.
You can likely borrow a paddle board from the rec center. Using it will get an amazing burn in your legs and especially your abs.
Search for local swimming pools in your area and take the next step. You will certainly burn calories, strengthen muscles, and have a great time.
Cross Country Skiing
If you are fortunate to live in a region with snow, there is no excuse for not making this part of your running cross training.
Cross country skiing burns an very large amount of calories, giving its participants a super workout. This intense workout will not only get your legs throbbing, but it will also increase your alertness and endurance.
Test yourself going up a large hill and you will soon realize this sport is tough. Plus, the terrain is always changing so you can decide how intense you want your workout.
You will initially have to invest in a pair of skis and boots, but after this cost, the outdoors are yours. Take your husband, your friend, or your dog, and head out into the open country.
Incorporating cross country skiing into your weekly workout ensure that when the snow thaws, you will be ready for that spring race!
Now you hold three fantastic outdoor training activities in your hand. Whichever one you prefer, go forth and enjoy the wonders of the outdoors!