A Simple Cross-training Workout for Marathon Runners

There’s nothing simple about training for a marathon. You give up your weekends to go on long runs and spend countless hours in your tennis shoes, pounding pavement. But one of the best things rookie marathon runners can do to prepare has nothing to do with distance, and everything to do with muscle recovery and endurance. Cross Training.

There are plenty of articles out there about how to cross train, or what you should do to cross train, but all too often, runners ignore the advice of all the experts, and simply run their body right into an injury. But taking a day to complete a cross-training workout will not hurt your running endurance or race time. If anything, it can help it!

Changing up your workout routine allows your body time to recover from long-distance runs and lets you focus on muscle areas that would otherwise be ignored. For the average athlete, I suggest completing 1-2 cross-training workouts each week. But that doesn’t mean you need a membership at a swimming pool or a gym full of weight equipment. With some simple calisthenics and body-movement, you can complete a full cross-training workout with just 30-45 minutes.

Here’s one of my favorites:


  • (Warm Up) 100 Jumping Jacks



0.25-mile run

Jumping Lunges (30 seconds) / Rest (30 seconds) x 3


0.25-mile run

Burpees (1 minute) / Rest (30 seconds) x 3

goblet squat

0.25-mile run

Goblet Squats (1 minute) / Rest (30 seconds) x 3


walking lunges

0.25-mile run

100 walking lunges



0.25-mile run

Like the workout? You can easily switch the interval exercises to upper body work for a whole different experience. Swap push-ups, tricep dips, bicep curls, and up-down planks for the interval exercises.

Let me know how it goes. And if you don’t like cross-training alone, you’re always welcome to pop-into one of our boot camp classes at Marathon Fitness. Our classes meet every day of the week.

Posted on September 1, 2015 .