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Lauren with Fun, Fit and Fabulous!
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Lauren with Fun, Fit and Fabulous!

As you read this I am probably asleep in Gulf Shores trying to recoup after a day of travelling and night #1 with all my buds! I’m so excited to spend my first full day at the beach! 
Today I have for you, my girl, Mrs. Lauren George! She’s going to talk a little bit about one of my favorite things to do: cross train for running! She’s got some awesome workouts down below so make sure you read on. I’ll need to remember these when I get back from vaycay! Oh and I may or may not have added a few comments…in pink!
My name is Lauren George, and I am the crazy girl behind the blog Fun, Fit and Fabulous! {Go check it out she’s fabulous, really!} I am super excited to be doing a guest post for my wonderful friend Amy while she is soaking up the sun in Gulf Shores. Amy and I met in College where we both taught group exercise at Texas A&M. We have remained friends ever since and love swapping health and fitness tips, funny stories, and fitness choreography! 
Amy and I are both big runners, and are even planning on doing the Disney Princess Half Marathon together in February {can’t wait!}, so I thought I would talk about the importance of cross training today!
Many runners run because they love running, and often times we have one track minds. All we want to do is run all the time and often neglect other types of exercise.  To be the strongest fastest runner you can possibly be, it is important to include cross training in your exercise plan.
 There are numerous benefits to cross training, including:
  1. Injury prevention – Cross training can help prevent overuse injuries by giving your body a break from the constant pounding of running. It also helps create muscular balance which can strengthen joints and improve form.
  2.  Rehabilitation- If you do find yourself suffering from an over use or training injury, cross training can help you maintain your fitness as you rehab your injury and help you return to running faster. It can also help you correct what caused the injury in the first place (for example, muscular imbalances or inflexibility).
  3. Increase your overall fitness – Cross training can help you improve your overall cardiovascular and muscular fitness. It can also help you increase your power, running efficiency, and help you increase the amount of time you are able to spend training without causing injury.
  4. Allows for active recovery – Although outright rest is essential to a complete and healthy training plan, cross training can be a great way to incorporate active recovery. According to Runner’s World Magazine, “runner who performs active-recovery workouts between most pairs of key workouts will become fitter than the runner who does not, provided he or she has gradually worked toward being able to handle the frequency of training involved.”
  5. Prevent Boredom – No matter how much we love running, we all need a change of pace every once in a while. Consistently mixing in cross training can help you stay motivated. It will also give you the opportunity to try new workouts such as Zumba, cross fit, or pole dancing anyone? 😉 We all need to spice things up every once in a while.
Some great cross training workouts for runners include:
  1. Strength Training – Strength training is an excellent way to build lean muscle mass and improve your power. It will also help prevent injuries by improving muscle balance throughout the body.
  2. Yoga – To learn more about the benefits of yoga for runners, check out this article.
  3. Water running – Water running is especially helpful if you are nursing an over use injury because it has little to no impact. If you have access to an underwater treadmill, they are a fantastic cross training tool, but if not, running in deep water with a flotation belt can work great as well!
  4. Cycling or Spinning – Spinning is an excellent way to work on your cardiovascular endurance without more impact on your body!
  5. Rowing – Rowing is not only excellent cardiovascular exercise, but a great upper body workout as well.

Here are some of my favorite cross training workouts, many of which require little to no equipment! 
This workout is excellent for increasing cardiovascular and muscular endurance while working the largest muscle groups of the body! You can complete the circuit twice for a quick 15 minute workout or 4x’s for a sweat pouring 30 minute workout.
This is a total body circuit workout that should be completed on a non running day since it includes both cardio and strength training.
If you’re in the mood to get your spin on, but are a little nervous about going to a spin class or just want to workout on your own time, simply print out this cycle workout and hop on your bike. It includes a good mix of sprints and hills to get your heart pumping and hopefully the throw back tunes will have you lip singing while you ride!
Hopefully now you have a little better idea of why you should cross train as well as the tools you need to get started. I have so enjoyed getting to hang out with y’all today, and hope you’ll stop by my blog {go now!} for a visit sometime! Have a wonderful day and Stay Fit, Have Fun, and Be Fabulous!
In health,
Lauren George
Thank you so so much Lauren for taking time out of your busy schedule {she just moved across the country to Florida!} to do this for me! You’re an amazing friend, strong athlete and fabulous friend! I’ve got even more posts lined up for Thursday and Friday, so make sure you stay tuned!

Until next time…
With love and God bless,

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