When I first started running, I did the same 5 km out-and-back steady state run over and over. And over. In hindsight, I’m sort of surprised I didn’t throw in the towel and declare running to be the world’s most boring activity.
Now I did really improve my running fitness on that path and suspect that I will always have a bit of a soft spot for it. But I’ve come to realize that my body and mind thrive when they’re getting variety.
These days, I try to keep my body guessing as much as I can. And my eyes definitely appreciate seeing different things too. So while steady-state runs are sometimes what call to me, other times I prefer to go to the track to do sprints or to find a hill and make it my friend.
These are 3 runs that I sometimes fall back on and that I hope leave you feeling inspired!
- Speed Intervals
This run seriously goes by in fast-motion. Checking my watch frequently really occupies my mind and I always seem to finish feeling like I just started. I usually plan it as a 5k but you could do the same style with any distance. Here’s the rundown:
– Approximately 1 kilometre warm-up
– Four 30 second intervals with 90 second recovery (jog) periods
– Two 1 minute intervals with 2 minute recovery (jog) periods
– Approximately 1 kilometre cool-down
- Hill Repeats
Basically I just choose a little hill that takes me approximately thirty seconds to one minute to ascend. I run up it as fast as I can manage and then slowly jog back down and repeat that four or five times. With a warm-up and cool-down it makes for a nice 25 minute or so workout.
I have to offer a disclaimer though and warn you that this run can be pretty embarrassing. When someone is working on their lawn or something, by the fourth time you pass them you’re just like “yup… me again!”
- Cat-and-Mouse Partner Run
This is one I’ve done with my dad before and it’s really fun. In a terrifying way. Sort of like a horror movie. HA. One person takes off running and gets a minute or so head-start. When the time comes, runner 2 takes off and tries to catch up with runner 1 before a pre-determined point. It works especially well if runner 2 is slightly faster or just having a ninja day. It does sort of feel like the big bad wolf is coming to eat you. But I seem to run faster when I feel like I’m about to be eaten, so holla!
Lastly, here are a few tunes that have been getting me going during my workouts lately. As a 9 song playlist, it’s short and sweet but ohhh do they get me moving!
Do you have any running routines that you love? What are your favourite workout songs?