Cross Training for Success After a Running Injury
One of our patients, Mark Mahoney, has been a life-long avid runner….and he has had his share of injuries as well.
He took the time to share his success story on the role that cross training has played in his recoveries.
Here is his story:
When injured, I try to look at it positively, as an opportunity to at least maintain and usually improve on aerobic fitness and strength. I do this with intensive x-training with low-impact activities – getting on the exercise bike and cycling hard or swimming. My preference is the exercise bike (my many running injuries include a torn meniscus – I swam to maintain fitness through the rehab for this, but applied the same principles as I would if biking).
The bike provides me with an opportunity to train harder than running might (i.e., longer/harder/more frequent interval training on the bike compared to running). I would injure something if I tried to run at the same level of training effort that I can do on a bike. The bike also strengthens my legs so that when I return to running I feel equally or more aerobically fit, and my legs feel better/stronger. The break from running also allows me the opportunity to focus on supplemental strength training, which I have found is absolutely critical to running, especially as I get older. When returning to running, the combined aerobic and physical strength resulting from intensive x-training allow the benefits realized from the specificity of running to kick in more quickly.
Mark also provided a link to a cross training protocol from a D1 running coach. You can access that HERE.