5 Cross-Training Tips for Marathoners and Triathletes

Marathons and triathlons "are all the rage" right now. You need to cross-train your body to prepare for competition. Any marathon or triathlon will require that you be strong, explosive and fast at some point during the event.


Strength, speed and power training should be a part of your overall training program. Having more power and speed will give you an advantage over your competition.

If you are a competitive athlete, you should do more than run when you train. You should train like an athlete to avoid injuries and perform at a high level.

There is a certain amount of injury risk with any exercise program. Marathoners and triathletes have to be especially careful because of the intensity and endurance required in these events.

Improve your performance and decrease your risk of injury by following these 5 tips:

1) Strength training should be a big part of your training regimen. Two to 3 days a week of full body weight training will strengthen your core and overall body. A strong body and core is a prerequisite to being a good athlete.

A strong body will also help you recover faster from races and injuries. Plyometric and speed training should also be a part of your overall training program.

Speed and plyometric training increases your chances of injury. Proper warm-up is critical. You could include one day each of speed and plyometric training (not consecutive days).

Or, you could combine training types on some days such as:

--Chest press on ball, 10 repetitions
--Walk 1 minute
--Dumbbell squats, 10 repetitions
--Walk 1 minute
--Step Ups (knee high platform), 10 repetitions each leg
--Walk 1 minute
--Sprint intervals (60 yards) for 6 minutes (run sprint, walk back to start)
--Mountain climbers, fast, 30 seconds
--Walk 1 minute
--Squat jumps, fast, 30 seconds
--Walk 1 minute
--Bentover dumbbell rows, 10 repetitions
--Walk 1 minute
--Standing dumbbell shoulder press, 10 repetitions

Repeat this circuit 1 more time after 5 minute rest.

2) Mastering proper running mechanics will make you a more efficient runner and protect you against injuries. You will make a tough race or triathlon even tougher when you "fight against yourself" as you run.

It is important to practice good mechanics for swimming as well (triathletes). And, endurance and speed swim training is needed to produce good results during the event.

3) Don't over-train your body. Research shows that the lowest number of running injuries occur when you run three days a week. Each added day increases your chance of injury. Also, don't run too many miles in a week. Those who run 20 miles or less a week experience the lowest number of injuries.

4) You need rest between exercise days and walk breaks during long runs.

5) A dynamic warmup (using your muscles to warm-up your muscles) has been shown to prepare your body best for strenuous activity. A sample dynamic warm-up could be a 5-10 minute jog, prisoner squats, 1/2 speed sprints, jumps, hops, lunges, etc. Static stretches would be done after your workout.

If you feel sharp pain during any run or exercise, stop immediately and seek medical help if needed. Don't just be a runner---train and run like an athlete. That's what you are.

Train hard and safe!

Be sure and download your Free Bodyweight 500 Metabolic Fat Burner Workouts and start shaping your body faster!

Mark Dilworth, BA, PES

About Mark

About Mark

Mark Dilworth is a Lifestyle and Weight Management Specialist and since 2006 he has owned Your Fitness University, Her Fitness Hut, My Fitness Hut, Sports Fitness Hut.

Mark has helped thousands of clients and readers make lifestyle changes that lead to better long-term health, which includes acceptable body fat and ideal body weight.He does not recommend fad diets, quick weight loss gimmicks, starvation diets, weight loss pills, fat burner supplements and the like.