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Five great cross-training activities for runners to take up this fall

Starting to wind down your running or cycling mileage for the summer? Here are some other fun cross-training activities you can do to help keep you moving outdoors while the weather is still nice.

Paddling

If you were too busy with endurance training all summer to get out on the water, the fall is still a great time to explore your local waterways by canoe, stand-up paddleboard or kayak. Head to any paddle or surf shop to rent your watercraft of choice and take in the fall scenery from the shoreline for a few hours. Just remember to dress warmly in layers, especially if you plan to paddle in the ocean. Check out this article on taking up paddleboarding.

Agility training

Agility training is a great way to mix things up as you start to wind down your endurance training from the summer, especially if an obstacle course race is in your future. Head to a local park or playground and practice jumping over park benches, sprinting in the grass, running through tires, and hopping over logs or rocks. If there are no parks nearby, pick up an agility ladder and practice a few drills outside at home.

Climbing

Take to the climbing gym and lead (get it?) your muscles to an entirely new state of being with this fun and exciting sport. Climbing is a fantastic workout for the entire body and will have muscles firing that you didn't even know that you had. The easiest way to take up the sport is at an indoor climbing gym, where participants can try two options: bouldering or lead. Bouldering requires nothing but climbing shoes to participate as the heights are lower so no harness is required. Lead is usually a two-person activity as one person needs to belay while the other climbs, but many gyms now have auto-belays. Both are fantastic, so give them a try.
 

Geocaching

If you’re looking for a fun, outdoorsy activity to do with your kids that only requires a smartphone, good hiking shoes, water and snacks, it might be time to give geocaching a try. Geocaching, where you use GPS to hunt for hidden “cache” boxes with cool treasures inside, is a great way to get some exercise outdoors and spend time with your family. For tips on how to get started, check out this beginner’s guide to geocaching with your family.

Hiking

Fall is one of the best times of the year to hit the trails in Canada, and not just because extreme temperatures, poor weather and bugs and other irritants that can ruin your hike during the spring and summer months are nowhere to be found—hiking in the fall also means that you get treated to the stunning colours of the season, and what better way to keep moving than to enjoy the scenery of some of Canada’s best trails that you may have missed while you were so focused on training this summer. Here is an article with 75 hikes in Eastern Canada as a jumping-off point.

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