Cross-training is the secret to reaching your performance goals as a runner while avoiding over-use injuries caused by too much repetitive motion and too many miles on the road. Try water running. Running in the shallow end of a swimming pool will lessen the stress on your joints, which are often a sore spot for runners. You could also try running in the woods on softer ground.
By balancing your weaker muscles with your stronger ones, you’ll help reduce your chance of injury. Inline skating strengthens stabilizing muscles in the hips and core. The elliptical trainer closely simulates running but takes the weight and impact away. Running day after day will eventually burn out even the most hard-core running enthusiast. Combat boredom with cross-training. It gives runners a much-needed mental break from their sport, which is especially important for those training for long-distance events such as marathons.
Bicycling also works well to build strength in the legs while eliminating the negative effects of body weight and foot impact on pavement. In inclement weather, ride a recumbent bike for similar benefits. Stay motivated by watching TV or videos.