Real Fitness Equipment™ Blog

Options That Work As Cross Training For Runners

If you’ve ever vigorously trained for a race, or really any other type of event that you’ve worked really hard up until, then you’re most likely familiar with the importance of an off day, or a cross training day. Sometimes referred to as ‘XT days,’ these days represent a very important part of a comprehensive training plan - even when you’re not running your heart out at the gym or the track, your rest days and cross training days still count toward your overall training plan. Your body needs the proper amount of time to rest and recover between each intense workout session that you do, as even the best of runners cannot and should not constantly pound the pavement each and every day for weeks in a row. It’s just not ideal for your muscles and bones.

The Real Runner Is The Best Cross Training Option

Do you know what is ideal for cross training? That’s right - having something as convenient, safe and effective as The Real Runner™. With our low impact cardio workout machine, you’re obtaining all of the benefits of actually running on the ground without any of the negatives associated with running. And if you’ve read our recent blog about common running injuries, it’s all the more reason to train and increase your cardiovascular endurance by using The Real Runner.

So, The Real Runner is giving the benefits of a cross training day by not being conventional running, but gives you all of the running-like benefits. What we have here, folks, is the ultimate cross training machine for nearly any athlete or person who wants to get active. Now, besides taking advantage of the incredible benefits that The Real Runner offers, let’s take a look at some other good cross training options for runners in today’s blog post.

Cycling Is A Decent Option

Cycling or casually biking around town, like local trails, is an easy, fun and practical way to get some cardiovascular exercise and workout your legs in the process. Remember that bikes build up pretty quick speeds - especially when going downhill - so just make sure that you’re careful, especially if you only ride your bike occasionally and casually.

Aqua Jogging

I guess we just can’t keep our minds off of jogging. Well, with aqua jogging - where you run (or at least attempt to run) in the pool, the main benefit is that there’s no impact involved. So, any runner looking to increase their cardiovascular capacity without any wear and tear on the muscles should consider taking a dip in the pool. With tremendous resistance from the water, your heart rate will skyrocket and your muscles will get quite the workout. And again, the best part is that there’s no harsh impact.


Now, compared to the brilliance of The Real Runner, using an elliptical might seem like an inefficient waste of time. But if that’s your only low-impact training option, it’s not a bad one to consider. To a degree, an elliptical still mimics running better than most other activities or pieces of gym equipment. To get good cross training use out of an elliptical, just make sure to crank up the resistance to ensure that you’re elevating your heart rate and sweating out that frustrating day at the office.

Nordic Skiing

Depending on where you live and what time of year it is, nordic skiing may or may not be a realistic option. But if you can do nordic skiing, it’s one of the best and most efficient cross training options for runners and all types of athletes. As it turns out, elite Nordic skiers have some of the highest  VO2 max capacities in the athletic community, which is a pretty big deal. By taking a load off of your hard-working joints, Nordic skiing offers runners who live in colder climates a chance to train outdoors in the winter.

Go For A Simple Walk

This is one of the ideal low-intensity counterparts to running. Sure, the cardiovascular workout isn’t nearly the same, but the big plus is that you’ll be using the same muscles that you use when you’re running. Additionally, walking is easy, you can do it virtually anywhere and your non-running friends can join you. And best of all, your dog will thank you for those extra walks every week.


We briefly mentioned aqua jogging above, because we figured that would appeal to runners more so than actually jumping in a pool and swimming in it. The horror! All jokes aside, swimming is, in fact, one of the best non-weight bearing cross training exercises for runners. Like aqua jogging, it will also get your heart rate up while offering a total body workout. In fact, if you want to work out your upper body and core more, swimming is a better cross training choice in comparison to aqua jogging.

Downhill Skiing

While Nordic skiing is arguably a much better and more strenuous cross training workout, it could also be argued that downhill skiing is a more fun workout. Locked into skis, even an hour or two of downhill skiing could really help with things like quad strength. Plus, when you’re flying down the mountain, it will help you maintain things like posture and stability, which are also important when you run.

Train With The Real Runner Today!

If anything, using The Real Runner is closer to normal training, i.e. actual running, than cross training. But we appreciate that you want to get out and do multiple kinds of activities, because as great as running is and as much as it kicks your butt, variety is the spice of life. If you’re trying to improve your endurance running, you’re dealing with knee pain while running, or you’re solely concerned about training for runners, shop The Real Runner today!