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Article: 5 sports that complement running perfectly

5 sports complémentaires à la course à pied

5 sports that complement running perfectly

A key tip to enjoy running for as long as possible is to regularly practice one or more sports that complement running.

Why should you do this?

For both physiological and psychological reasons:

- Physiological, to develop different muscles and change/reduce the zones of impact

- Psychological, so that we don't start to tire of a certain monotony, and for the diversity of sensations and experiences that different sports provide.

 Before becoming a long-distance triathlete, I was a marathon runner. So, I was able to compare the day-to-day training between a runner preparing for a marathon and a triathlete preparing for a long-distance triathlon (Half or Full IronMan). And even if the logistical organisation of training, race strategy and equipment are clearly more complex in the case of long-distance triathlons, the diversity of the three sports remains the main difference and the key advantage of long-distance triathlon training.

Without going as far as training for a long-distance triathlon, it's still possible for any runner to benefit from a variety of sporting activities beyond just running.

So, what other sporting activities can be recommended in addition to running?

Here are 5 different ones to choose from, each of which has complementary benefits to regular running.

1. Cycling

Cycling (especially road or gravel cycling) is very complementary to running. It is particularly beneficial for fundamental endurance pace, cardiovascular endurance and reducing impact on the knees and hips. It uses our muscles in a different way and reduces the risk of injury from overuse of ligaments and joints.

2. Swimming

Swimming is another sport that complements running. It's an excellent cardiovascular workout with no excessive impact on the joints. It also puts much more strain on the upper body than running or cycling. The only downside is that swimming is a more technical discipline than running or cycling. But it's never too late to take lessons to improve your technique and learn to swim more efficiently.

3. Rowing

Rowing is also an excellent way of diversifying your training. You'll find the same benefits as with cycling and swimming, namely additional muscle strengthening (very complete in the case of rowing: back, arms, trunk, legs), effective cardiovascular work and low impact on the joints.

4. Yoga

Practicing yoga offers a range of benefits that are different from, but perfectly complementary to, endurance sports such as running, cycling, swimming, or rowing. Yoga improves our flexibility, balance, breathing and our ability to manage stress and focus on the present moment. All these benefits allow us to take a holistic approach to our sporting activities and extend the benefits far beyond improving our cardiovascular capacity.

5. Cross-country skiing

This sport is more difficult to practice firstly because it is a winter sport. So, it's not easy to practice it often or regularly unless you live near a mountainous region. It also requires to learn a good sliding technique, especially for the skating technique. Nevertheless, it's a very complete sport and a perfect complement to running. If you can do it, even if only irregularly, don't hesitate. You'll also enjoy the enchanting scenery of snow-capped mountains and forests.

We have selected these five sports to complement running. The list could have been extended to include other sports such as climbing (to develop the upper body), ski touring (as a 'cousin' of cross-country skiing) or boxing or cross-fit for indoor sports. Depending on your preferences, it's up to you to choose the complementary sport(s) that suit you best. The key is to regularly include at least one or two of them in addition to your running training, for a more balanced, diversified and less monotonous approach overall.

Good to know: the Hirondelle T-shirt from the EDELI - FREE RUNNER collection is perfectly suited not only for running, but also for yoga, with a slightly lower cut at the back.

On the other hand, some sports are relatively risky and can deprive you of the joys of running for a long time, especially as they can lead to serious injuries. This is particularly true of many team sports where the risk of injury from a potential collision with an opponent is relatively high, such as rugby, football, or handball. On the other hand, these sports clearly have both a collective and a playful dimension, which makes them very attractive. It's up to everyone to choose the sport(s) he or she prefers, accepting the risks involved. It's not always easy to reconcile everything.

If running is clearly your favourite sport, don't forget to include at least one other complementary sport activity. This will help you enjoy your passion for longer.

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