I am an intern at Eastbay who is training for the Chicago Marathon this fall. Follow my Blog to get tips on getting ready to run your first marathon.

It is easy to forget the importance of cross training when I am so focused on the required running mileage in my training program, but after a cross training workout I am usually sore enough to remember! My cross training day is Sunday, and I’ve mostly been doing biking as my cross training workout. I need to incorporate some other types of workouts into my cross training, so I asked some of my fellow Eastbay employees what they do to cross train.

A lot of people told me to use swimming as cross training because it is a great full body workout but it is easier on your joints. I’m not a very good swimmer, but I’ve been trying to do this workout anyway to help build my aerobic strength. Swimming can be done year-round as well, provided you have access to an indoor pool.

Occasionally I do yoga to cross train, especially during the winter because it is easy to do inside. I find that this workout really works my core, which helps me maintain good running form.

I was also told to utilize the summer months to do fun summer-specific activities for cross training. For instance, earlier this summer I went water skiing, which made me sore for an entire week. It’s amazing that I can run 10 miles without being sore, but after an afternoon of water skiing I have trouble standing up for days afterward.

A friend of mine at Eastbay also suggested activities like canoeing and kayaking to cross train. Earlier this summer, I went kayaking for a day with a friend around a chain of lakes near my house, and afterward my back and arms were sore for about four days.

Cross training builds stamina and works muscles that I wouldn’t normally use while running. It also gives me a break from running too much, which helps preserve my muscles and joints. Hal Higdon’s Marathon Training Plan schedules the cross training workout the day after long run day, which is good to help the body recuperate.

We’ll see what kind of cross training workout I’m up for after my 12 mile run coming up this Saturday…