How do you build robustness in your running training?

It is important to build up your body’s robustness alongside your running to withstand the impact of running and help you stay injury-free. Robustness refers to your ability to remain strong and healthy even when faced with adverse conditions.

There are many different programmes and exercises to build your robustness. Here are two suggestions to help you on your running journey.

Core circuit

Strengthening your core can help you to maintain stability whilst running, especially on uneven terrain. This is an example of a core circuit, demonstrated by Manni Ovola.

Cross training

Cross training is another training method to help you build robustness, through building endurance and strength. We caught up with Tom Craggs, National Endurance Manager (Off Track) with England Athletics, to learn more.

What is cross training?

Cross training is a great way to move your fitness along. By cross training we mean anything that is working your heart and lungs that isn’t going for a run.

Examples include:

  • Cycling
  • Turbo training
  • Rowing
  • Swimming
  • Aqua jogging
  • Elliptical machine

So, we’re trying to build fitness, we’re still working the heart and lungs but we’re taking some of the impact of your running away and it really can work.

Where do I start with cross training?

A great way to start is to mimic the volume in terms of time that you would do running and try to translate that into cross training if you are injured or perhaps you are trying to supplement your running. So, don’t go crazy adding in loads of volumes just because you’re not running.

Having a good sense of your perceived exertion will also help with cross training, as people will often measure their running intensity by using a GPS, so they know what pace they are working at and how far they have run, but when cross training they don’t know what this equates to.

How can cross training help my running?

Cross training is just generally a great way to supplement your training adding in a bit more resistance and stimulus than you just get from your running.

So, do mix it in, don’t feel like you need to run all the time in order to get fit, it’s a great way to add volume and push your training along.

More advice from Tom to improve your running