Running can lead to overuse injuries because of the repetitive nature of the sport and the impact of activity level on leg muscles and joints. Instead of engaging in running multiple times during the week, try mixing it up with some impact-free aerobic cross-training such as cycling or swimming. You’ll still get the aerobic workout, but you will be employing new muscles with less impact.
Now that you know why and how to diversify your training routine, stay committed to doing so! The best way to do this is to sign up for a race and give yourself a goal to work toward. If you’ve never entered a race, sign up for one! If you already regularly run races throughout the year, register for one that is a little bit different than your usual type: perhaps a trail race, triathlon, or even a marathon? Remember, variety is the spice of life–and running, too!
Laura Ouimet, the Dana Point Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, is a running and triathlon coach and also puts on the Dana Point Turkey Trot in California. To learn more about the Dana Point Turkey Trot and to sign up, visit www.turkeytrot.com.