OPEN UP TO CROSS TRAINING - BY SOPHIE WHITESIDE

Firstly a little on Sophie
I am a qualified Level 3 Personal Trainer and Sports Massage Therapist. I offer a comprehensive range of services that are designed to enhance and maximise your health and fitness development. I come from a strong sporting background, in particular running, where I run for Liverpool Harriers. I have represented Merseyside and the North of England over track and cross-country so I understand the hard work and dedication required to achieve your goals and aims whether it be weight loss, muscle gain, toning up, healthy eating and lowering your running PBs. I draw from these sporting experiences in my own training methods and incorporate various aspects of individual disciplines to devise programmes which are both rewarding and most importantly good fun!
Open up to Cross Training


I strongly encourage all of my PT clients to take part in a variety of exercises. I find it hugely beneficial to their overall fitness and weight loss goals. Not only this but it provides variety to training and ensures they stick at their programmes for longer increasing motivation levels. That’s why all of my one to one PT sessions are always different.

Your running training can be the same. I encourage everyone to open up to cross training and discover the benefits it can offer you. Runners used to take a run or nothing approach to the sport, but now many are realising the benefits of cross training. Take Mo Farah for example, since moving to Oregon to train with Alberto Salazar one of the key changes Alberto has made is the introduction of weights into his training plan and also the inclusion of an under water treadmill. Mo openly admits he has never been able to squat as much as he now can in his new training programme, which is helping him resist injuries and maintain a higher mileage due to the increased strength and endurance he has developed. Obviously not everyone has the facilities to run on an under water treadmill but now Mo is managing to run 140 mpw with 20 of those on an under water treadmill. Search on Google for videos of Mo on the treadmill and how it benefits him. Instead of using an under water treadmill try using a cross-trainer in the gym, go for a bike ride, or add swimming into your weekly schedule.

Participating in another sport a couple of times per week gives your feet and legs a welcome respite from the constant pounding of running and strengthens muscles that running does not exercise. These muscles are often vital in supporting the muscles you use during running so can help prevent injuries.

Earlier this year Jonny Mellor developed an achillies problem, which involved a 4 week period off running. During this time he often cross-trained twice per day including swimming, aqua jogging and the use of a cross trainer. He found the bike did not push him hard enough as the cross trainer so preferred to use this instead. After a 6 week build up of running he ran 28:50 at the Manchester 10km proving that the cross training had maintained his fitness levels and in fact he believes the rest from running did him good in the long run. He also went on to say that cross training gave him a new motivation in his training and he was enjoying the extra pool time. Jonny still swims twice per week and uses it not only as a great way of cross training and improving his all round strength but he finds it provides him with a great way of loosening up after a hard days running. He swims over at Hoylake Swimming Club on the Wirral. He also supplements his running training with a circuit session on Monday evenings at Wavertree Clubhouse and a gym session.
Next time your feeling exhausted and don’t fancy a run give cross training a go and see how it can benefit you. Replace an easy day or rest day with cross training, often a complete rest is not what your body needs, just a break from the overspecialised action of running. Other great forms of cross training for running are; a stair climber, rowing machine and a cross-country skiing machine.

Thanks for reading.

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