Marathon cross training is a great way to stay in shape should you need to take time off from running due to an overuse injury or if the weather does not allow you to run. If the weather is bad and you have access to a treadmill, then you should run on the treadmill. Following are some great marathon or half marathon cross training exercise for marathon training. Remember though, running is by far the most beneficial exercise when training for a marathon. You should not expect to be able to finish a marathon by just cross training.
The big difference is these exercises eliminate the constant pounding your legs experience by running. Just use these exercises as needed due to injury or bad weather. Marathon cross training is a great way to maintain conditioning during injury recovery.
Cycling is great because it works your legs and cardiovascular system while taking away the constant pounding your legs experience while running. This is a great exercise to use if you experience shin splints and need to take time off from running. To determine how long you need to cycle, multiply the estimated running time for the day’s training by 1.5 and cycle for that amount of time in place of the run. Stretch after the exercise just as you would after a run.
• Run in Water
Running is water is great because it simulates running and is a cardiovascular workout. If doing this in deep water, you will need to use a floatation device. Obviously, you will not be able to run as fast as you would on land due to resistance by the water. Your heart rate will also not be as high. Run in water for the duration you would expect your run to take. Use intervals if you find yourself bored due to running so slowly.
• Elliptical Machine
Elliptical machines are a wonderful way to get a total body workout in a short time. Great for cardio and there is not the impact you get with running. In addition, the backwards setting allows you to work additional muscles not commonly developed by running alone.
Rollerblading is great because you get an aerobic workout and give your legs rest from running. To determine how long to rollerblade, multiply the time you would have expected to finish your training run by 1.5 and rollerblade for that amount of time. Don’t forget to stretch afterwards.