I firmly believe Pilates makes everything better. I have been selling the exercise method as a form of cross training to many of my endurance athlete friends — primarily because many endurance athletes skimp on strength training due to lack of time, lack of interest, or they just plain don't know that there are so many reasons do it.
Pilates is great for runners, swimmers, and cyclists because it works the core, and a strong stable core makes you more efficient and less prone to overuse injuries, which can plague endurance athletes. As a cross-training method, Pilates works flexibility training into the many multitasking moves that make up the exercise repertoire. Keeping muscles flexible protects your joints and helps prevent injury. Lastly, Pilates is a form of functional fitness, meaning many of the exercises translate directly into everyday actions, from lifting heavy objects to leaning forward over handle bars.
If you're training for a marathon or a long-distance swim, make sure to schedule time for cross training and be sure to check out Pilates.