Why just running isn't going to get the results you want...
If you are training for a race, you probably have a training plan you follow telling you exactly when and how far to run each day. But are you only running? Times are changing and research has proven that just running will only get you soo far. To become a more rounded runner and athlete, you must crosstrain to get better results and also decrease any possible injuries.
The biggest reason for crosstraining is to reduce and prevent injuries. Imagine repeatedly pounding your feet on the pavement in the same cadence every day, using the same muscles everyday and never giving them a rest or anything new to look at. Eventually this repeated trauma on your body will break down ligaments and muscles and bones and start tiny issues, that if you continue to run on, will eventually become a bigger issue, and turn into fractures or plantar fasciitis, or even more severe lifetime issues. By crosstraining, and adding in other types of exercise, you still get the workout you need and give your body a rest from running.
Another reason for crosstraining is proven in recent research, that some people have been training for races without even running. This proves that you don't need to run every day or even that often to get better results and elevate your performance. Imagine if you were crosstraining and then you added in running a few days a week, how easily and faster you can improve your running results without exhausting your body to fatigue by running every day. An example of this would be to add in spin class or swimming, something non-weight bearing to your training regime.
The last reason for crosstraining is to prepare you body for potential trauma it may endure. If you are training for a Marathon or multiple races a year, your body needs to be in tip top shape. So help yourself out and your body by preparing if for the strenuous efforts you are about to endure. For example, by adding strength training to your regime, you could make your body stronger and more able to handle the stress you are about to put on it with all your miles you may log over the year.
The last thing I want to mention is to properly recover after putting in all of the hard work. This might be something as simple as making a point to stretch after every run, or adding in a yoga class once a week or getting monthly massages and making sure you are hydrating and eating properly.
Good luck to all the runners out there and we look forward to seeing you in our office for whatever you needs may be.