5 Cross Training Alternatives to Running.

I like change, but I dread going through change. I never want to feel as though I am getting stagnate on one particular 'thing'. I love to run, but I know that if I run too much, my body doesn't handle it so well. I need days of rest and days where I do something other than run. 
Cross training is a key element in my training, meaning I need to take a day or two and do something other than run. Easy peasy, right? Well, sometimes in the heat of the moment, I seem to scurry around trying to remember what other activities I can get myself into to keep me on track that are comparable to running. 
So my friends, I have a few different cross training activities that you may find some enjoyment in!
1. Swimming. Swimming is a non-weight bearing activity that allows you to use a variety of different muscles. It also keeps up aerobic endurance that you have worked so hard to maintain while running. This cross training activity is great because it allows you rest your legs all while still getting a full body workout!
2. Pool Running. Exactly as the name sounds, this exercise is done while in the pool. You should pick a spot deep enough where your feet won't touch and literally run in the water. It is very similar to running on a hard surface, but doesn't impact the legs like running on land does. 
3. Cycling. Take your pick here. You can use a stationary bike in the gym, an outdoor bicycle (and take the scenic route!), or go to an awesome spin class. All of these are low impact on the legs and provide that aerobic activity that you need to keep up your running endurance. 
4. Plyometrics. Personally, I love plyometrics. They are hard, but the end result is awesome. They are high intensity and involve skills such as jumping, bounding, and hopping. They provide the groundwork to improve your overall strength and stamina.
5. Rowing. Recently, I have found that I kind of like the rowing machine. It's different, but if done right, it can provide just as much of great workout as running, swimming, or biking. It helps to improve upper body strength as well as hip and quad strength. 
Running is great for the body, but can also take a major toll on it as well. If you don't treat your body well and listen to it, sometimes the good done can cause worse damage and prevent you from obtaining your ultimate goal. I hope you found these cross training alternatives helpful!
What running alternative do you enjoy?!  
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Linking up with Skinny Meg, the Fitness Friday Linkup with Running Bloggers, and Health and Fitness Friday!

Disclaimer: I am not certified in any advice or testament that I provide. I only share what I feel to be working for myself and how it helps me improve.  


  1. Go girl! You make me want to get back into working out! I definitely fell off the working out train when I got pregnant with Hayden. How do you find the time?!

  2. I love cycling in the morning because there's nothing like seeing the sun rise <3
    Sometimes I forget that I'm working out but I get quickly reminded when I have to power up a hill, lol!

    -B ♡ MsBerryStylish 

  3. I love plyometrics too, yet I get really sore! I would like to invite you to SHARE this cool post at my link up party if you haven’t already, hope you stop by every week! I really appreciate your support and encouragement .

    Be Sweet~
    Christina at

  4. I have to say; cycling and plyo's will kick your ass and are great fat blaster's!!! I recommend those to anyone who can't run!

  5. I love Plyo! I haven't done it in awhile and I miss it. Maybe I'll do some this weekend. Have a great weekend!

  6. I probably cycle more than I run since I cycle to work and back each day, and use it for training as well. I think its the main reason I do OK with hill climbing on the trails because of all the quad work I do. Also I do weight sessions and ab work to build upper body strength and core because I think it helps prevent injury when running :)

  7. Learning to enjoy other activities other than running has been huge for me. When I purchased a bike a whole new world opened up! Cross-training is awesome sauce.

  8. Due to an injury I am right now just looking at cross training ideas. I am so glad I came to your post, when I saw #5 it made me smile, I hadn't thought about that. I remember seeing a thing in the news a while back about a local rowing club that meets at a nearby lake a few days a week. I am seriously going to look them up! Thanks for the post, and for the great idea!!!

  9. Swimming, plyometrics, yoga and pilates are my fav cross training tools.
    I love rowing too, but in an actually kayak or canoe.
    The indoor pool in town is quite shallow it's perfect for pool walking. We get loads of elderly ladies that do their weekly exercises in the pool.
    Found you via Running Bloggers.

  10. I just wanted to say how much I agree with you on needing to do some other
    workouts besides running during the week! There was a time (a few years
    ago) when all I did was run.. but it really got kind of stale (and I got
    hurt). Now I break my week up with running, stair climbing, race walking
    and especially hitting the gym. I really love hitting the weights heavy
    and believe it definitely has helped me get more injury proof (and also
    helped me look the way I want to). I like the fact that my cross training
    isn't only aerobic. Will the gym make me faster or able to go longer? I
    don't know for sure yet but I know I enjoy it.. and why else would we get
    up at 4:00am to do the crazy things we do for fitness :)