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Cross Training Benefits

Posted Nov 30 2008 12:15pm

I grew up playing multiple competitive team sports like hockey, soccer, baseball, and golf.  When I got out of college and didn’t have a year round busy sports schedule I started getting frustrated with beer league rec sports.  I wasn’t motivated to make time for the gym to stay in shape because I didn’t have something competitive to train for.

After two years of a mediocre fitness lifestyle I signed up for a marathon.  With a 4 mile longest run under my belt needless to say I was little nervous about 26.2 but I was desperate for athletic motivation.  The first few weeks of training was brutal, more mentally than physically, but eventually I gained a tremendous appreciation for running and more importantly for learning a new sport.  Since the marathon in ‘05 I’ve moved on to a variety of new races like 1/2 ironmans, 197 mi run relays, and adventure races.

Now my weeks are filled with runs, rides, rec league games still, and an occasional swim, circuit weight training, or round of golf.  I’m a cross trainer which has benefited me in staying motivated about fitness in a number of ways.  First and foremost cross training and being open to new sports has made me a constant learner. In a number of instances I’ve used aspects from one sport, like how to best warm up and stretch for a long run, and applied them to others.  Cross training has also kept my entire body in good enough shape to be able to do a sporadic activity like skiing or hiking and not experience extended soreness.  Other benefits of cross training include reducing the risk of injuries, improving overall athletic skills and balance, and being flexible enough to always get some kind of a workout in. will start supporting more and more activity types so be sure to plan out your workouts on the training calendar, get workout ideas by viewing your friends calendars, and fill your weeks with activities that keep you motivated and exercising your entire body.

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