Many runners are always aiming to improve. Whether it’s time or distance, or preparing for that big race, there is always that next goal they have in mind. Sometimes, injuries and overall strength can impede the potential goal of a runner. Cross-training can help improve your running and help you hit your goals sooner and without injury.

Even if you are a pro at running, it doesn’t mean you are advanced with weight lifting or body weight exercises. Make sure to start off right! You could join a personal training group program, such as Bootique Fitness, San Diego’s best and largest fitness solution for women – where the trainers will assess your fitness level and take you to your highest potential to help build lean muscle. They can also provide you with modifications if you do have an injury and can help you work through it. Before you know it, your athletic performance, whether it’s running or doing those burpees, will increase; and your injuries from running will decrease.

Running can also put such a strain on knees, legs, and feet, it’s important to strengthen your muscles and bones to prevent injury. Bootique Fitness uses a variety of bodyweight exercises such as planks (for your core), variations of squats, and hip strengtheners to help decrease the impact running has on your body as a whole. The weaker your muscles are, the easier it is for you to get injured. Don’t just run off those injuries, prevent them with a stronger body overall.

Water workouts, biking, and elliptical machines are also great for cross-training. They are the closest workouts to running with less recovery time: Most cross-training options avoid the impact forces involved with running and leave you less sore and tired the following day. As a result, it’s possible to get in a long cross-training workout without having to schedule a lengthy recovery period afterward. That makes it a crucial component of the training program, allowing you to get in big workouts on days that would otherwise be filled with easy, less-productive recovery runs.

Of course, running is a great cardiovascular workout and great for our heart and body. You are raising your heart rate and shedding extra fat. Adding cross-training to your running routine will improve and enhance your athletic performance on your runs. And don’t forget all the other benefits! Stronger bones and muscle can help with chronic conditions like back problems and arthritis. Some research also suggests it helps control and prevent diabetes.

Cross-training will make you a more efficient runner. You already prepare in so many different ways: buying the right shoes, following a running schedule, breathing techniques, and carving out new trails and places to run. Why wouldn’t you take the time to prepare physically? Less injury and a stronger body equals a quality run. Now, you can meet your goals and set new goals to conquer with less pain and more gain.

Question: Is running a part of your regular workout regimen? What motivates you to run?