Cross-training: Week 4 of Half Marathon Training

It is week 4 in training and everyone should be starting to build their mileage. Remember the only way to be a better runner is to run. The schedule that we are following is meant to be a guideline. Every Sunday I review the weeks plan and adjust to fit my personal schedule, you should do the same. For example, the first week my long run was 6 miles instead of 8 (I think 8 is a bit much for the first week) and the 2nd week I did 8 instead of 9. This week I ran the 10 miles as scheduled.  Usually when I train for a half marathon I don’t do my 8 or 10 miler until about 4 to 6 weeks before the race but this upcoming race is going to be tough and I want to go into it strong. If 8 and 10 miles feels like too much for you this early on, then do 6 or 7 for your long run, but don’t skimp on the runs during the week. And rest on rest days! Recovery is important to avoid injuries. And cross-train!


What exactly does cross-training mean? Well for runners it is anything that is not running. I think the phrase “cross-train” was thought up by a runner because everyone else would simply call it exercising.

Some of you might be asking yourself “Why do I even need to cross-train, I mean seriously, I’m already running, isn’t that enough?”. You might also be thinking (like I used to) that cross-training means you have to do a bunch of sit-ups, push-ups or jumping jacks. That’s not the case at all. Anything that is not running (or your usual work-out) is considered cross-training. So back to the question of “why”. Why do you need to cross-train?

Top 3 Reasons Why You Need To Cross-train:

  1. Prevents boredom. Cross-training allows for diversity in working-out.
  2. Works different muscles. I consider myself fit and my legs to be pretty strong but put me on a stair-master and my legs feel like noodles when I’m done. (And don’t even ask me to do push-ups!)
  3. It gives your legs a rest.  Which is why you can cross-train on rest days.

warrior pose

8 Cross-training Ideas:

  1. Cycling I love riding my bike. Check out this post for tips on cycling. For my east coast friends,  there are stand alone sites popping up all over for spin classes…until you can go outside of course.
  2. Swimming I’m not much of a swimmer but it is a great low impact form of exercise…perfect if you have an injury and cannot run.
  3. Yoga Helps improve flexibility and overall strength.
  4. Hiking Great activity to do with the whole family. Being outside in nature helps with your overall well-being and stress levels.

    devil's den
    My girls at Devil’s Den, AR 2017
  5. Resistance Bands check out this workout that I have been doing with my daughters. I found these bands on Amazon. So far so good.
  6. Lift weights I try to lift my weights every night. Here’s the workout I do.
  7. Kayaking I haven’t been out on my kayak for quite some time, but when I do I love it…and my arms need all the help they can get. kayaking
  8. Stand-up paddle boarding Helps with balance and core strength. 

I hope this helps you find something you enjoy that will keep you moving.

What do you do when you’re not running?

While cross-training is important nothing improves your running like running. Meaning if you have to eliminate a workout it should be the cross-training day, not a run day.

Next weeks focus: Hill repeats and why they are important.

Thanks for reading! If you like what you read please share with your friends! 🙂

Keep Running!


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