They always say cross training is good for your running...
In March of 2015, I had yet another appointment with my longtime physical therapist. This visit, I was seeing him for hip instability and pain on my left side—and probably some other aches too. I have loose ligaments that create issues when running, a tweaked back from college, a subluxed cuboid bone, a rotated pelvis resulting in a partially torn hamstring, a whacked-out hip…the list goes on.
It just so happened that my physical therapist had moved his office to share space with CrossFit Roots, a local chapter of the extreme fitness franchise.
“You should do this,” he said after my appointment. I watched the nearby athletes seemingly thrash their bodies doing he-man/she-man moves. “No way,” I said. “I’m too fragile.”
“It may be just what you need,” he replied. Tired of struggling with injuries for decades, I considered the suggestion.
A week later, still worried about overtaxing my ligaments, throwing out my back or tearing something new, curiosity won out. I walked into a free “Intro to CrossFit” class.
It always surprises me that "runners" don't heed the advice of cross-training that the average Joe probably sees in Runners World every month.
As a runner (and a human), I have notably slumped shoulders. By the second month in, I could tell my shoulder blades and upper back were stronger, my chest muscles less tight. I began to feel less pain while running. I said “yes” more often to longer trail runs with girlfriends.
The proof is in the pudding. Doing more than one sport or exercise regiment is normally better than specialization.