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How alternative training can make you a better runner

 How alternative training can make you a better runner

If we train as often as possible, will we run better, faster and longer? this is not true. Among the runners with the best times, there are many athletes who run much fewer triples, but are better and faster

 than many amateur athletes. Their secret: Variety in training. For them, alternative exercises such as cycling, swimming, or completely different forms of training or activities are an integral part of the training program.

But it is true that running can only be learned by running. Alternate training complements running training. A full replacement can only be considered in the event of an injury. In fact, to train tolerance to

 the monotony of the entire musculoskeletal system, to increase the strength of the muscles dedicated to running and to be mentally prepared for optimal performance, you must wear your running shoes regularly.

What is alternative training for runners?

An alternative exercise for runners is one that works on endurance and speed. It actually prioritizes differently than running and engages muscles in a different way. Thus, it maintains or enhances the success of cardio workouts.

Alternate training is always useful when you really need to run, but can't or don't want to. Your knee hurts, are you tired or are you not in a good mood to run? Then it's time to start alternate training. Whether you're preparing for a (half) marathon or just starting to run, alternate training is always part of a good running training program.

Be careful not to confuse cross-training with remedial training. Compensation training involves targeted training of the muscles that are neglected during running.

On the other hand, alternative training for runners can have different goals: Do you want to avoid the monotonous effort to protect your joints? Are you injured, but still want to work on your endurance and speed? Or getting in shape outside of the competition season? So, it's time to get into alternative training.

You don't train less, you train differently. And better.

Forget the idea that alternate training is a wasted session. It's the opposite: Alternate training allows you to give your best shot at your races while completing another session. Or take a lower running session and push your limits with alternate training, depending on what suits your situation.

Why alternative training for runners? 5 compelling reasons

Alternate training is soft and hard at the same time. On the one hand, it is a change and a break for specific muscles of running, and on the other hand, it is a challenge for other muscles and the cardiovascular system. It is precisely this zone of tension that explains why alternate training makes you a better runner.

1 - Alternate training is the best way to prevent injuries

Sequence races always engage your musculoskeletal system in the same way. With increasing fatigue during each session and training plan, the effort on the passive musculoskeletal system increases, but also on the muscles themselves. If the same areas are constantly subjected to stress, the risk of muscle imbalance, overload, and therefore injury increases.

Alternate training provides variety, improves your muscle shape and improves coordination, so that it supports you and your passive musculoskeletal system perfectly, even during intense training sessions or efforts. This reduces the risk of injury.

Tip: Proper running shoes also reduce the risk of injury.

2 - Your running style is improving

Each alternate exercise targets different muscle areas. Muscular coordination is improved and movements are improved. The muscle fibers of each trained muscle better communicate with each other and improve running style and energy consumption. Regularly incorporate a runner's ABC into your races.

3 - It will become stronger and more durable.

Exercising other muscle parts works to strengthen your muscles as a whole. The increased strength combined with better coordination allows your muscles to work more efficiently. So you have more energy, but you spend less of it. And it stays that way longer.

4 - You can exercise more. and progress faster.

Do you have 2 to 3 motivation sessions in your training program? With an alternate exercise, you can add an exercise. Since the muscles for running are less stressed here, you can ramp up your alternate training and gain more strength for your running training.

Of course, the rule remains the same: if you are very tired or exhausted, take a break or do a very gentle alternate exercise. Ideally, plan an intense training program with a coach to adapt the effort, intensity, and alternate training to your goals and initial physical condition.

5- Your motivation is impeccable

Less monotony = more motivation. Alternate training ensures a constant desire to run.

These tips will also help you keep up with the pace: 7 tips that will boost your motivation to run.

When is alternative training appropriate for runners?

still ! It is always a good idea to change the effort for a race from time to time. But it deserves to be included in your training program more if...

You are injured.

After an injury, slowly increase the volume and intensity of your training.

You tend to hurt yourself when you train a lot or at a high intensity, but you want or need to train a lot.

In case of problems in the lower back or in the joints, in the lower hip.

You want to give your musculoskeletal system a break out of the competition season.

Psychologically you need to take a break from running.

You are a beginner in running and gaining weight.

What sports are good alternative training exercises for runners?

Anything that makes you happy. You will only incorporate what you love to do into your long-term training. The following sports are the ideal training alternative for runners: they protect the joints, impose different muscular demands than running, challenge the cardiovascular system and keep fit.

In addition, they are very diverse. You will definitely find one that suits you.

These sports are the perfect alternative to training for runners

Cycling and spinning


Swimming and jogging on the water

Hiking and walking

Skiing and cross-country skiing

fast martial arts

Build muscle at maximum strength, especially for runners and anyone who wants to improve their speed

Build muscle with body weight, ideally as circuit training alternating with light cardio

Stepper and elliptical trainer

step and dance lessons

The alternative training that works for you is a personal choice, especially in the event of an injury. If you have hip and leg problems, swimming is definitely better than cycling or aerobics.

When planning alternative jogging training, consider the following questions:

Why would I want to pursue alternative training?

Are there specific weaknesses in my musculoskeletal system that I particularly need to protect or train?

What other sports should you do besides jogging?

Do you run regularly? Hence compensation training is mandatory to prevent muscular imbalances and unilateral efforts. Strengthening the muscles as well as stretching and movement of the runners is an

 integral part of the training program. Yoga for runners is a good activity that combines strength, mobility and flexibility and trains your mentality.


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