If you’ve stepped outside the house in the past five years, you’ve probably heard of CrossFit. It’s a high-intensity fitness program that incorporates a wide range of functional movements that create a timed or scored workout.

Although CrossFit can incorporate some running, that’s not really what it’s about. Even so, CrossFit can have a place in your training to help you reach your next PR. It’s flexible enough to let you tailor the workouts to what will help you the most. If you’re a runner, you can work on strengthening your hips, back, legs, and arms.

The workouts require quick bursts of energy that create a cardio element. After two months of doing CrossFit, I got my mile time down by over a minute! I had worked up a strong aerobic base for the 2018 St. Jude Half Marathon.

In the same way, running will also help your aerobic capacity for CrossFit. Both types of training are excellent ways to up your fitness and health. Yoga can also help you find more flexibility and mobility—two things runners often struggle with.

If you’re running has plateaued, try mixing in CrossFit to give your training new dimension and to become a better, balanced runner.

Rachael Smith can be found slinging shoes at Fleet Feet Collierville when she’s not at CrossFit or tearing up the roads. She ran her first 13.1 race at St. Jude in 2018, and is completing a masters degree in sports marketing at the University of Memphis.