With the Vancouver Sun Run fast approaching on April 22nd and the spring marathon season in full bloom, runners gearing up for the big run will be wise to add cross training and healthy eating habits to their routines if they haven’t already done so. If you shave just a few seconds off your best times, that is a positive. Or you could break through a time barrier you never thought possible. Logan Dube, Fitness Manager at Steve Nash Fitness Club was willing to share her expertise on the subject of cross training. In an email interview she offered her take on the best road to overall fitness. A reporter asked Dube if cross training was an important element to running. Her one-word response: "Crucial!” Then she elaborated, saying, “One – to prevent injury; two – to improve performance with longer run stride, stronger legs, etc." Dube further explains the benefits of cross training: "Firstly, you’ve got a set distance. Then the consideration of how long it takes you to complete the race. Better stride length would mean (fewer) steps to complete the distance. Faster leg speed would mean finishing the race faster. Stronger core would mean more efficient use of the whole body and better biomechanics. Proper joint stability/mobility would reduce risk of injury or wear and tear on the body.” She continues, “Running is one functional movement and the more you do just one thing the more your body becomes unbalanced. Your running muscles might be strong to the point of getting too strong, (leading to) IT band issues, knee pain, hip pain, back pain.” Dube adds, “The movements you don’t train are like the weak link in a chain – any athlete that works to eliminate their weak links is a better athlete. They perform better, reduce risk of injury and can sustain the sport they love for longer! And if you’re stuck at a plateau – can’t run faster, can’t increase distance or nagging injuries – your cross-training will make you faster (with) more effective improvements in your running!" See full story in the Friday, April 13th edition of The Record.