Cross-training in prepartation for a half marathon

Cath's Question

Hi Lee,

I've just signed up to do my second half marathon (SMH in May), and I wanted to ask you about cross training. Doing a long run once a week causes me some trouble with my knees, last time I trained I did a long run once a fortnight and stuck to one 10km run plus cross training in the gym the rest of the time. I was very happy to finish just under 2hrs but would like to try to beat that time. What are your suggestions for the best ways to cross train? Should I be concentrating on strength or cardio or a mix of both?

Lee's response

Hi Cath,

You should be concentrating on both. You need the cardio as running is an endurance event but as you are running half marathons you will need to do some strength work. Try to do most of your running on soft surfaces such as grass, gravel/ dirt paths and stay of the hard roads. This will help you to get some more running into your legs and not beat your knees up to severely. Also, make sure your shoes are adequate with enough support and cushion and also ice your knees after your long runs to help reduce swelling and inflammation.

Good luck with your prep for the SMH in May.