Most runners unfortunately stay only runners. However there can be activities supporting your running, or even replacing your running, time to time and benefiting you on the same way, running does. This needs learning, education, practice, but after a while it can become a great part of your routines and make you a stronger, more resilient, versatile athlete who can pull off magic tricks !
Nordic (ski) Walking
This creates balance, core strength, springiness in your stride, left and right equilibrium, coordination and much more. This is the dryland training of many elite over 90-VO2MAX XC ski athletes. It includes not only walking, but running, ski bounding and ski striding, double poling techniques up and down the hill and strength and conditioning routines with the poles, but no skis !
I post my yesterday's workout here to show you an example:
- 3 x (1min Nordic Walk Hard + 1min off + 1min Ski Run + 1min off) 15° slope
- 6 x 1min + 1min off fast and efficient downhill
- 10 x 10 sec hard and fast ski bounding on a 25° slope
- 5 x 15sec double poling on a 45° rocky slope
- I put some youtube links at the end to show you how it looks like
Mountain Bike / Gravel / Cyclocross
Cycling is not only pedalling. It includes technical terrain, carrying and pushing your bike.
- 4 x 1min uphill hard 2 + 2 min off
- 4 x (20 sec hard push left + 20sec hard pedal + 20 sec hard push right + 1min off)
- 5min hard carry on back
- 4 x 2min uphill hard + 1min off
- 2 x 3min carry on left/right + 1min off
- 10min tempo till home
You can mix and match. I like complicated routines as it develops skill and adaptation. However you can simplify it. In case of mountain biking, you can choose a 5 minute parcours and do a VO2 session of 6 x 5minute. Done and dusted. You can do an XC routine of 1min hard riding and 1min hard carry times 10. The possibilities are endless. The learning curve what mostly scares people off. Learn how to maintain your bike, set up your suspensions, change a tyre, use clipless pedals, lubricate chain, clean your bike, set up seat angle and height, how to carry, what to put in your back pack, knee and torso angle and much more. It is actually like weight lifting. It has to be learnt properly. However the benefits are enormous comparing to the time a lot of runners spend on linear elliptic machines and exercise bikes in the gym. In addition you are outdoors. I advise and encourage everybody to learn and train outdoors the most possible.