4 water sports that will make you a better runner

Paddle-boarding

The core muscles – vital in running for maintaining a stable pelvis and transferring power to the legs – fire constantly in paddle-boarding to keep you upright. Being barefoot on the unstable surface works the lower legs.

Swimming

Swimming serves as excellent active recovery for runners: it’s non-impact, involves a host of muscle groups that aren’t used in running and provides an aerobic workout to build endurance. All in all, it’s as good as cross-training gets.

Related: 5 reasons why every runner should be swimming 

Kayaking

Kayaking does more than test your arms; it’s also a good core workout and improves lower back mobility and strength. You don’t move your legs, but you press your feet against the ‘footpegs’ to provide stability, engaging the muscles of the lower body.

Surfing

It’s not all about riding the wave. Paddling out to reach the break builds stamina and upper body strength. The ‘pop-up’, where you jump to your feet, requires explosive power, which will stand you in good stead for hills – and staying up tests your balance.