One of my favourite ways to spice up my running is to try out new gadgets and gear; runners are notorious for splashing out on the latest running tech.
Now before you start thinking that this is all about punting my latest gadgets – it’s not – today we are going to look at other ways to sprinkle a little spice into our workouts.
Ok so we all know that doing the same thing ad nauseam is the quickest way to end your relationship with running or leave you feeling stale after another boring loop around your neighbourhood. So what can you do to liven things up?
Adding interval training, hill running and running form drills to your running schedule are great ways to mix things up. But let’s be honest here, doing 5x 100m sprints with a short recovery in between or 8x 1 minute hill running with recovery in between is basically swapping one kind of boredom for another.
What you want to do is really add some va va voom to your running program. Because I’m training for a big race happening early next year I’ve made it my mission to find different ways to train that will take my breath away and hopefully you will find something here that shakes you up too!
The Burning Hills
This workout is from runnerspace.com which is a brilliant resource for any runner. It’s a wicked twist on the boring old hill repeats because it is made up of varying sprint distances that are target specific.
I call it ‘The Burning Hills’ because it burns the crap out of your muscles; this workout leaves you buzzing with endorphins so it’s worth the hard work!
Gabi’s Pyramid Run
This interval training program will add never before experienced ZING to your running program and it’s not for the faint hearted! It goes like this…
|1||1 min Recovery Pace||30 sec High Intensity|
|2||1 min Recovery Pace||30 sec High Intensity|
|3||1 min Recovery Pace||1 min High Intensity|
|4||1 min Recovery Pace||1 min High Intensity|
|5||1 min Recovery Pace||1.5 min High Intensity|
|6||1 min Recovery Pace||1.5 min High Intensity|
|7||1 min Recovery Pace||2 min High Intensity|
|8||1 min Recovery Pace||2 min High Intensity|
|9||1 min Recovery Pace||1.5 min High Intensity|
|10||1 min Recovery Pace||1.5 min High Intensity|
|11||1 min Recovery Pace||1 min High Intensity|
|12||1 min Recovery Pace||1 min High Intensity|
|13||1 min Recovery Pace||30 sec High Intensity|
|14||1 min Recovery Pace||30 sec High Intensity|
Before you even begin to attempt this interval training pyramid be sure to warm up for a minimum of 20 minutes, this is high intensity interval training so your muscles need to be really warmed up and well lubricated – anything less and you’ll risk injury.
When you get to 7 and 8 you are at the apex of the pyramid and from there the workout tapers back down to where you began.
Remember:Lean forward slightlyLight feetShorten the strideRecovery Pace – 5/6 out of 10High Intensity – 8 out of 10
I can honestly say I hate a treadmill! I know there are those of you who will gasp at my blatant dislike but actually it’s my lack of skill on the damn thing that makes me hate it, so don’t be put off by my lack of enthusiasm.
Seriously, the first time I got on one I almost did a face plant within the first 15 minutes and it wasn’t long before my second attempt at knocking out my already not so straight teeth!
If I was any good at running on a treadmill and not an accident waiting to happen; these workouts would be top of my list.
If you do use a dread… err… I mean treadmill or if you are thinking of incorporating it into your training check out this article on ways to make treadmill training part of a successful running program.
Know the Drill
Since an Achilles tendon injury that had me sidelined and seeing a physiotherapist I have been very interested in running form and how to improve mine. Check out my article on running form for some great ideas on running form drills.
I think strength drills specific to distance runners is equally important. On runnerspace.com I found a video demonstrating easy and effective drills to strengthen medial and lateral muscles.
I practiced these drills two days ago and although I felt a bit like a duck while doing them, I can feel that I’ve worked the muscles and that’s what really matters.
Spicing up your running program can be done simply by changing a few basic workouts to create something special that fits in perfectly with what you require. The most important things are; Finding different twists on everyday training to keep things interestingPaying attention to often neglected aspects of running like running form and strength Experimenting and find what works for you, it’s easy to modify training to suite your ability and fitness Keeping things simple, a workout doesn’t have to be complicated to be interesting Having fun!
I hope you enjoyed this article, please feel free to give your opinion by commenting and if you have an exciting twist on a workout that you do, please share it with us.