Running is my passion and my sport of choice. In my youth, I would run every single day – even twice a day in college – with no problem. But at some point, probably in my 30’s, I found that injuries began to crop up with daily training. After much experimentation, I found that running every other day kept those nagging injuries at bay. Cross training on the alternate days have allowed me to maintain my aerobic fitness while still getting to run regularly and into my current 50’s.
I think this is important for runners to consider NOW, while healthy, before future potential injuries could permanently sideline them from their running. I can’t tell you how many times I have met “new to bicycling” 40-60 year olds, who took up bicycling because of hip, knee or back injuries from running. These folks have accepted that they have completely given up their first love, running. I am thrilled that they have discovered a new joyful endeavor, bicycling, but sad that they had to give up their first and original passion. If only they had introduced cross training earlier – then they might still be running AND bicycling. That is why I urge you to consider cross-training NOW.
Low impact cross training alternatives include bicycling, swimming, low impact aerobic classes and even elliptical trainers. Alternate your running days with these low impact days. Or follow up particularly pounding workouts (intervals or longer distance) with a day of lower impact activity. Achieve your goal of running for a lifetime – and give your legs a break!
(For the new to bicycling of any age, Bicycle Garage Indy can help you find the right bicycle to fit your needs from just having fun to competitive fitness.)