We're about to share the craziest, most magical, training hack you'll ever hear! Did that first sentence sound like the caption for every social media post ever regarding training???...gross. In all seriousness though, we'll be covering a few different exercises/training methods you can do that ARE NOT running, that will help you with your running. Whether you are an Obstacle Course Racing, Hybrid, or Tactical athlete, you are definitely going to need to run in competition, and thus you must train for running in practice. These are listed in no particular order.
I'm sure many of you know this, but cycling works many of the same muscle groups in your lower body as running does, and it does so without the impact that running brings. You can also develop your aerobic and anaerobic systems with cycling (and all of the training methods we talk about in this article) which is a big part of your ability to compete well. You don't need a fancy bike (yeah, it's certainly nice to have a fancy bike) to get good cycling training. I bought a bike off a friend for $80...it works. You don't NEED the $1,000 bike, you just need a bike. (P.S. If anyone has no more need for their $10,000 Ironman bike, I can provide a good home for it :D ).
We just released an article (To Ruck Or Not To Ruck) a few weeks ago that goes a little deeper into rucking and how to do it safely (especially for beginners) in order to avoid injury. You can read that article if you'd like, but in any case, rucking is soooo similar to running. There are variables such as stride length and forces applied to muscles, tendons, and joints, but it's still very similar. I don't personally recommend that you run with a ruck on your back, but simply walking with extra weight (as is appropriate for you) will have carry-over in your lower body strength endurance, cardio fitness, and so on.
3: Skiing (Cross Country or Ski Mountaineering)
These are low impact ways to make your legs work for extended periods of time doing movements similar to running. OBVIOUSLY these training methods only work where there is snow...but that is a lot of places, and a lot of top athletes in running sports (specifically mountain running) will cross-train in one (or both) of these training methods during the winter months. Personally, I love snow and snow sports, so if you are in the same boat as me, you'll love these, and they will help you a lot in your training.
We offer training programs for OCR, Hybrid, and Tactical Athletes. As Certified Personal Trainers, and competitive athletes with years of racing experience at the Elite/Pro level, we are qualified in every way to help you reach your next fitness goal in OCR, Hybrid, or Tactical. If you have any questions, please send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for stopping by to read and learn. If you implement these methods of training, they can absolutely help you improve your running without simply adding more running miles.