Wednesday, May 5, 2010

TOPIC OF THE MONTH - Cross-Training


Now the mountain has closed and spring is upon us, we are beginning to think about training for those fast approaching bike races, trail running events and 14er attempts! But before you don the cycling shoes – and start spending hours and many miles on the bike, think about incorporating cross-training into your training schedule. Cross training refers to training in different ways to improve overall performance.

The proven benefits of cross-training are:

• Greater aerobic fitness: Participating in a variety of exercise activities allows the body to recover from one beneficial stress, while being exposed to another. For example there is only so much running an individual can do in a week before they are at risk of an overuse injury, and as a result only so much aerobic fitness can be achieved. By adding a different exercise, such as swimming to the schedule, extra aerobic fitness can be gained, without increasing injury risk!

• Fewer injuries: Being involved in one sport alone can cause tightness or weakness in certain muscles – this can contribute to an array of injuries. Furthermore high impact activities such as running can lead to overuse injuries, such as stress fractures and shin splints. Cross training involving a non-weight bearing exercise can reduce the risk of injury occurrence.

• Reduces boredom and mental fatigue: Variety is the spice of life after all!! Boredom can potentially derail your exercise regimen. Mixing it up with a different activity once or twice a week can keep workouts from getting stale.

• Faster rehabilitation: Following an injury, you may not have to stop exercising. Instead, another type of exercise may be used that won’t aggravate the injury, but will still allow for maintenance of an appropriate training volume.

• Greater efficiency and power: By incorporating strength training, plyometric exercises, Pilates or Yoga into your schedule this will help build core strength and stability which in turn leads to more power for the athlete, and enhances efficiency of movements. This could potentially improve race times and also decrease the chance of developing an over-use injury.

If you would like more information about cross-training, an assessment to screen for muscle imbalances and potential injury risk factors prior to the start of your training schedule, and a specific exercise regimen to combat any deficits – please contact 970.949.9966

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