Some times running makes me feel like a robot… It’s the same thing over and over again. It can get kind of boring and can turn into a downward spiral. Not good. Here are some ways to change up your run for the better. These tips will keep your body and mind more engaged and working hard.
Here are some ideas!
1. Intervals: Tell yourself to sprint/run faster for a certain amount of time and then back off for a little bit with a jog or walk. Do this for your whole workout or start with just a few. Maybe pick a point in the distance and sprint to it. And repeat! Or if you want to time it, you can try and run for a minute then slow down for 30 seconds. This high intensity workout with help your body burn more calories by making it work harder. Warning: You will get tired and feel great after. Want to know why? Because after a workout like this, your body continues to work hard the rest of the day. The post-exercise effect is amazing, even while you are at rest, you will continue to keep burning calories.
2. Increase your distance: This has been happening to me a lot. I usually go out for 4 to 6 miles depending on my mood but I never push myself another half mile or mile or 2 miles. However, last week I ran 8 miles just fine! That’s 2 more than I usually do! It wasn’t even that hard. All you have to do is make sure you have extra time. But now I have the confidence to go further. Making yourself increase your mileage, even if it’s not a significant distance, will definitely burn more calories and it will prove to you that you are capable of doing more than you think.
3. Add some hills or stairs: I love to include stairs or hill training. It makes the workout so much harder. That extra incline will make your body work twice as hard, which means you will burn twice as much. I like to go to a parking garage… at times when it’s not busy… to run up it, then down it, and run up the stairs and then down the stairs. I can get it all done in a parking garage. Or if you don’t have access to that you can find stairs in many places. Hopefully, you can find a hill or even a golf course you can run on too for some hills. Your legs, core and butt will get so much stronger from this workout then just running on a flat course.
4. Pick up those legs: High knees! High knees! This is a quick cardio burst. During your usual run, have a focus on trying to land on the balls of your feet and switching legs fast. This is kind of like interval training but instead of changing the pace of your run, you’re changing your form. You exaggerate the knee lift. And this could even improve your running form in the future. While doing this, your heart rate will be pumping, which is what you want. Do this for a minute of about 30 feet and then rest and repeat 5 – 10 times.
5. Sprint finish: This is a great way to push yourself in that last stretch. If you have a partner, race each other to the end point. In most races someone is usually right next to you and after you give it your all the whole time, you don’t want to slow down at the very end. So you need to practice having that extra push at the end. Imagine a crowd cheering you on and you’re running through the finish. It’s a great feeling to finish your run with an energy burst and fast! Then, slowly come to a jog and walk it out after. This little sprint will keep your body working. Don’t let your body get used to stopping before the finish line. That is a bad habit.