Race season is upon us! We’re so lucky in this city to have such a beautiful backdrop to our outdoor runs, but we believe that coming inside for a sweat once in a while holds tons of benefits. For those of you training for upcoming races, you should consider adding spin to your regimen! We know – we might be slightly biased in our love of spin . . . So, here are the cold hard facts on cross training!
Cross training is an exercise regimen that uses different modes of training in service of a particular type of fitness. If you’re training for a marathon, for example, the idea is that adding spin, yoga, weight-lifting, etcetera to your schedule will improve and support your running.
Cross training in general has tons of benefits. First, it reduces the likelihood of injury by spreading strain over various muscle groups and joints. Second, it keeps you mentally engaged; shaking up your routine is fun and keeps you committed longterm. Finally, it improves your total fitness by balancing strength training with aerobic conditioning with stretching and so on. You get to improve the entire package while working towards a specific goal.
Here are a few reasons why spin in particular is an effective cross training option for runners:
-Spinning is non-impact. This is a healthy alternative to the high-impact of running. It’s a good break for your joints and tight muscles.
-Spinning is interval training. The continuous switching of position, speed, and resistance in a spin class trains both aerobic and anaerobic systems. This will help runners to conquer hills and regulate speed on up-and-down race routes.
-Spinning strengthens your legs. Pushing your leg through a pedal stroke is simply harder than pushing your leg through a running stride. Again, this will help you to fly up hills when running.
-Spinning burns calories. Because a spin class works large muscle groups intensively and consistently, it creates a metabolic effect. This means that your body will continue burning calories after your class, helping you to control weight as you train for a race.
-Spinning speeds up your legs. There is a connection between pedal stroke cadence in spin and foot stroke cadence in running. Basically, the faster you move your legs on the bike, the faster you’ll be able to lift your foot from the ground when running. The result is that you have less impact with the ground, reducing risk of injury, and you move faster, shaving time off your run.
-Spinning is sweaty. The most effective cross training exercises for a runner are those that keep the heart rate up. Spinning is a safe way for a runner in training to work hard and get sweaty.
Good luck to all the runners out there! We hope to see you on the bike soon!