If you’re new to cross-training, the idea of heading to the gym and planting yourself on an elliptical or stair master may be about as appealing as sitting through an endless meeting at work. However, if you pick an activity that you enjoy the more fun you’ll have and the more you’ll appreciate your cross-training days. 

What is Cross-Training? 

Cross-training is defined as an exercise protocol that utilizes several modes of training that are outside the athlete’s main sport to develop a specific component of fitness. While originally popularized by runners, cross-training is now a common practice among cyclists, swimmers and a number of other athletes. Some examples of cross-training exercises include hiking, rowing, swimming, martial arts, boxing and using elliptical trainers or stair steppers. 

How Often Should I Cross Train? 

Beginners should look to cross-train one to two times per week. Look to cross-train either the day before your long run to reset your legs or the day after your long run to help you recover your legs. These cross-training sessions should be anywhere from 20 to 60 minutes at a time. However, remember not to overdo it so much that you can’t run the next day. 

What Are Some Important Cross-Training tips? 

For runners who want to try cross-training, it’s important to remember that you should never replace running with cross-training. Some days you’ll be experiencing more aches and pains than others but that’s normal! This is when cross-training workouts are so valuable, as it allows you to mimic the run workout you had planned without putting so much impact and stress on your muscles. 

With cross-training, you can still be able to train even when you’re injured. Training through injury will allow runners to maintain a high level of aerobic fitness which is essential for a fast return to running. 

What are some benefits of Cross-Training?

1. It Improves Your Fitness 

Fitness and strength come in many different forms, so mixing and matching your exercises will help improve power and efficiency. By mixing a variety of cardio, strength and stretching into your workout regime, you’ll be working a mix of muscles and ensuring overall fitness. If you’re planning to join the Mai Dubai City Half Marathon, we highly encourage you commit some time on cross-training to get your fitness level ready for the event.

2. You’ll Recover Faster 

Whatever your preferred sport is, you have to take some rest days to recover and get the most out of your training. One of the best benefits of cross-training is that it allows you to try active recovery alongside periods of outright rest, which again can improve fitness and help avoid injury. 

3. Enhanced Motivation 

No matter how much passion you have for running, if you do it often enough with excessive repetition of routes and routines, it will most probably feel boring. Cross-training helps you maintain your enthusiasm for your sport. Anything that helps you increase your motivation is worth doing. At the end of the day, you’ll end up in a better place than any runner who doesn’t cross-train at all. 

Want to join a race event in Dubai this 2023? Check out the best running events in the city below: 

Mai Dubai Community Run

The Mai Dubai Community Run previously called the Skechers Performance Run has 2.5 km, 5km, and 10km races available and it’s a family-friendly event which is great if you want to bring your family with you. The next race will take place on the 18th of March 2023. Register here. 

Ramadan Mubarak Challenge

The Ramadan Mubarak Challenge, a virtual running event that promises to be a thrilling and fun experience for all participants will be held starting on 22nd March to 21st April 2023! With 2.5k, 5k, and 10k distances to choose from, this event caters to runners of all levels and abilities. Not only will you be able to challenge yourself and improve your fitness, but you’ll also be able to participate in a unique event that celebrates the spirit of Ramadan. Register here.

Mai Dubai City Half Marathon 

The Mai Dubai City Half Marathon is one of the most popular running events in Dubai. The last Mai Dubai City Half Marathon occurred last 30th of October 2022. To be updated on the next Mai Dubai City Half Marathon event, follow us at @promosevensports on Instagram.

Palm West Beach Run

No city in Dubai has a better combination of nature, love of sport and iconic infrastructure for hosting a beach run than in Palm Jumeirah. Come and explore and experience Palm West Beach in a whole new way. 

Bloomberg Square Mile Relay 

The Bloomberg Square Mile Relay was held last 9th February 2023. The Bloomberg Square Mile Relay is the only corporate race in the world and anyone can enter as a team of 10 for a great team-building activity. Register now!

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