Many new runners are unaware of popular workouts that can add variety to their runs. In this article, Larry Greenfield, a New York-based fitness coach, describes five variations that runners can add to their running routines. These variations will help beginner and intermediate runners have more fun and improve their fitness.
If you’re getting tired of running on the same old path or running routes, the best way to add some variety is to try a new one. Maybe there’s a new trail in town, an area of town you want to check out, or a path that your friends have been talking about. A new path is a surefire way to add a little spice to your daily running routine.
Adding a little more distance than usual will not only let you check out some new scenery while running, but will also let you slow down your pace and enjoy your run a little more. You can focus more on your breathing and heartbeat when running slower. Long runs will improve your endurance, your running economy as well as improving the strength of your heart. There are even different kinds of long runs you can do to add even more variation. Those include the tempo run, marathon pace run, and a long, hilly run.
Add some variety to your runs by incorporating intervals. This can be done in either long or short bursts of intensity. While you are running intensely, you want to make sure you are giving it your all and really pushing yourself. Then, give yourself a chance to catch your breath and do it again. Interval running is great to boost your speed. Intervals help torch calories, increase your speed and endurance and help promote heart health. Interval running is also fun, especially if you can bring a buddy along with you.
A fartlek is a base run plus some intervals. These are similar to interval running but less structured so you can really enjoy and have some fun with the speed of these types of intervals. You can change up the interval length with landmarks you see. For example, an all-out sprint until you get to the bark bench and so on. You can even use the fartlek method on your long runs to break up the monotony. When you are on the long run and want to try fartlek, simply run for 20 minutes at a slower pace and then gradually increase your speed for the next 40 minutes. Bursting and slowing down while on long runs is a great way to work on endurance and speed at the same time.
Yes, this type of running is as scary as it sounds, but you can’t beat the workout or the hill training. Hill repeats are short segments where you run uphill and then repeat over and over. Hill repeats help you get used to running on an incline and can really increase the strength in your glutes and hamstrings. This added strength will really help boost power to all of your runs.
Adding variety to your runs is a great way to make sure that you don’t become bored with your running routine while also working different muscle groups and increasing your aerobic strength.
Larry Greenfield is a certified fitness coach from New York, NY, who specializes in helping men and women over 40 get into the best shape of their life. Through years of experience, he’s discovered that personalizing his approach to fit each client’s needs and aiming for long-term results is the best path to improve his clients’ lifestyle. When he is not working, Larry enjoys fitness, art, traveling, and outdoor activities with his family.
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