Cross Training with Running – How to Balance Both in 2024

Combining Cross Training (a.k.a CrossFit) with running is the ultimate way to take your workouts to the next level. You may think they’re two different things, but trust me, when you learn to mix ’em up just right, you’ll be hitting all your fitness goals in no time.

Crossfit is a super intense workout that helps work all your muscle groups at once, all while training your body in an anaerobic level. On the other hand, running is a cardio workout that helps improve your cardiovascular and respiratory system.

At first glance, they may seem like two totally different sports, but combining the two is a game-changer. CrossFit is mostly anaerobic while running is mostly aerobic, but when you combine them, you get the best of both worlds. Mixing running with CrossFit exercises is great for performance and overall physical condition. So don’t be afraid to mix it up and try a little bit of both, it’ll do wonders for your body and your fitness goals.

Cross Training With Running CrossFit
Cross Training With Running CrossFit

My Story – Cross Training With Running

I was just a runner at first, but my goal was never to be a marathoner.

My true ambition was to look and feel my absolute best. But as I ran more, I noticed myself getting leaner and leaner, and I wasn’t feeling too fond of my “runner’s body.”

That’s when I discovered the power of strength training.

I hit the gym and started lifting heavy, but it was a lonely experience. That’s when I stumbled upon the CrossFit craze. I was like, why the hell not? I joined my local box and never looked back.

For the past few years, I’ve been on a mission to become the ultimate hybrid athlete, combining running and strength training. My weekly schedule now includes a mix of running, CrossFit WODs, and gym sessions and let me tell you, the results speak for themselves. My body is stronger, fitter and I’m damn proud of it!

Cross training with running is the perfect match. These two forms of exercise complement each other perfectly, creating a well-rounded and balanced Hybrid Athlete.

Benefits of Cross Training with Running

Whether you’re a seasoned CrossFitter or a dedicated runner, incorporating both into your weekly routine can provide lots of benefits.

For runners, incorporating CrossFit into your training can increase your endurance, power and muscle strength.

Alternating between CrossFit and running will provide variety in high-intensity exercises that will help you stay in top form every day. Additionally, lung capacity gained from running is beneficial for the intense training done in CrossFit.

CrossFit focuses on high-intensity, short-duration workouts that help you build strength, power, speed, coordination, and even balance. As a CrossFitter, adding running to your routine will not only improve your cardiovascular system but also help keep your bones and joints strong and control your weight.

Running, on the other hand, has its own set of benefits. It improves lung capacity, tones leg and abdominal muscles, and helps burn calories. All of these benefits will help you in CrossFit training.

Running also has the added benefits of reducing stress and anxiety, and preparing your legs for the high-intensity exercises in CrossFit such as burpees, box jumps and various types of squats.

The Benefits:

  • Improving overall fitness and athletic ability
  • Increasing muscle mass and strength
  • Enhancing cardiovascular endurance and respiratory function
  • Building mental toughness and resilience
  • Learning to run on tired legs
  • Improving lactate threshold
  • Increasing energy systems efficiency
  • Balancing muscle imbalances
  • Achieving a well-rounded fitness and conditioning regimen
  • Having a variety of workouts to reduce boredom and keep the body constantly challenged.

Cross Training for Runner – Is it good?

If you’re not a professional runner, then yes. Cross Trainning will increase your endurance, power and muscle strength.

Cross Training With Running CrossFit Women
Cross Training With Running CrossFit Women

How to Balance Cross Training With Running

Combining CrossFit and running can be a killer way to get in shape, but it’s important to know the right way to do it.

First things first, figure out what your main fitness goal is – whether it’s weight loss, running a marathon, increasing muscle mass, or competing in Olympic lifting.

Once you’ve got that down, schedule your workouts accordingly. If running is your main priority, use CrossFit as a complement, maybe hitting the box 2-3 times a week. But if CrossFit is your main focus, limit your running to 2-3 times a week.

Make sure you’re also aware of overtraining, and listen to your body. If you’re feeling fatigued, take a break and switch to light training.

When it comes to CrossFit, proper form is key. Work on perfecting your technique before trying to tackle more challenging exercises and weights. You don’t want to sacrifice form for reps, because that’s a surefire way to get injured.

And remember, it’s always best to join a reputable box with experienced coaches to make sure you’re doing everything correctly.

Sample Weekly Schedules

Here’s the thing, we can’t just ditch the running and focus on CrossFit. Endurance sports require specific muscle contraction endurance, which can only be achieved by logging in miles. So, the key is to find the balance between the two. CrossFit Endurance suggests 3-5 CrossFit workouts a week paired with 2-3 specific sport workouts a week. This way, you’re still getting in the miles, but also incorporating general conditioning to improve overall performance.

Running focus – Sample Week Workout Plan:

running is the priority. Here is an example:

MondayCrossFit Workout
TuesdayEasy Effort run
WednesdayCrossFit Workout
ThursdaySpeed or tempo run
FridayCrossFit Workout or light intensity cross-training
SaturdayLong slow run
SundayRest or light recovery
Cross Training with Running Week Workout Plan
CrossFit focus – Sample Week Workout Plan:
MondayCrossFit Workout + easy recovery run
TuesdayCrossFit Workout
WednesdayTempo or speed Run
ThursdayCrossFit Workout + Easy Recovery run
FridayCrossFit Workout
SaturdayLong slow run
SundayRest or light recovery (yoga, foam rolling, etc.)
Cross Training with Running Week Workout Plan
6 Day Hybrid Athlete Training – Sample Week Workout Plan:
MondayCrossFit Workout
TuesdayEasy Effort Run
WednesdayCrossFit Workout
ThursdaySpeed or Tempo Run
SaturdayGym Full Body
SundayRest or Light Recovery
Hybrid Athlete Workout Plan – Cross Training with Running Week Workout Plan
4 Day Hybrid Athlete Training – Sample Week Workout Plan:
TuesdayCrossFit Workout
ThursdayCrossFit Workout
SaturdayGym full body
SundayRun – Aerobic training
Hybrid Athlete Workout Plan – Cross Training with Running Week Workout Plan
Cross Training With Running
Cross Training With Running

Hybrid Athlete Training Programs

Are you looking to take your running game to the next level while also getting shredded in the gym? Look no further than Nick Bare’s hybrid training program. This program combines the endurance-building benefits of running with the strength and conditioning power gym sessions. Hybrid Training Program

FAQ – Cross Training with Running

Frequently Asked Questions about Cross Training for Runners:

Is CrossTraining Good for Runners?

Hell yeah, it’s good for runners! It can help build muscle, improve your overall fitness, and make you a better runner. You’re probably not a professional runner, keep running without building strength and you’ll keep looking like a thin marathon runner. Muscle is beauty.

How often should runners include Cross Training in their routine?

It’s up to you, but most runners benefit from 2-3 Cross Training sessions a week in addition to their running workouts. Most hybrid programs include 2-3 sessions a week and running workouts that sum 20 to 30 miles.

Will Cross Training make me slower as a runner?

Nope. If anything it’ll make you stronger and faster.

Can I do Cross Training instead of running?

Of course you can, but you’ll run slower. The magic formula is to combine both, not substitute one for the other.

Can Cross Training help with weight loss for runners?

Yes. Cross Training will help you build muscle, boost your metabolism and as a consequence burn more calories.

Should I do Cross Training before or after my running workout?

Strength training first, cardio after. If you’re planning to do 2 workouts in the same day, go for strength training first. Cardio first will drain all your energy.

Is it bad if I don’t like the Cross Training exercises I’m doing?

Find something you enjoy. If you don’t like it, try something else.

Can I still do Cross Training if I’m injured?

Yes, as long as you scale and adapt things accordingly.

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