If you’re a runner, you probably remember the first time you laced up your sneakers and hit the pavement…exhilarating, wasn’t it? The wind in your face, the sunshine on your neck, the endorphins flowing after getting your heart pumping – it’s almost a magical feeling!
Fast forward to today. Is going for a run as freeing as it was when you first started? As with any hobby or interest that you have, it likely needs a bit of spicing up over time. That’s not to say that running gets boring, but maybe it takes more pushing to slip on your running shoes and log some miles, especially if you’re doing the same routine or the same running path day after day without any change.
With that being said, let’s look at four ways that you can implement changes to your running routine and make it more fun along the way!
Run Stairs For Your Workout
Whether you run them at your local high school, a park, or a nearby stadium, stairs are wonderful for changing up your running workouts. Not only can running on stairs help improve cardiovascular endurance, but it can also strengthen your leg muscles differently than running on flat ground.
If needed, run the stairs up and walk down for recovery. Just about anybody can modify running stairs to fit your fitness level. If you’re a beginner on stairs, start with only a few at a time, then add on when needed. If you are more advanced, then set your sights higher with how many you can do at a time before needing a break.
Change The Terrain You’re Running on
If you’re used to running on asphalt through your neighborhood, this is a perfect opportunity to switch it up by finding a local park trail to run on – and vice versa. If you’re running in the park – go to a local track.
Any change of scenery helps boost morale and gets you excited to go and run, and if you’re hitting a local trail, you are probably going to be training differently than you were on flat ground. This is because running on trails helps build better balance and coordination, especially if you are learning to dodge rocks and tree roots along the way. Increased ankle stability and a better view? Perfect!
Switch Up Your Music Playlist
Does your old playlist need some revamping? Now might be a good time to change some of the songs on constant repeat while you’re running, especially if you know what’s coming next on the list! Granted, for some people, old favorites are motivating. And knowing what song is next may fall in line with your running pace for the next few minutes; however, for most, having new tunes to jam with while logging miles is beneficial. It helps you push the pace and keeps you moving along to the correct tempo. Bonus points if it’s some of your favorite songs on that list, too.
Try A Tabata Workout
While your regular running workout might not have you varying your speed much from the norm, Tabata workouts will have you doing just that. Tabata involves working in 4-minute increments at a time. This means 20 seconds of an all-out sprint, then 10 seconds of rest. This is repeated a total of 8 times.
It doesn’t sound challenging, but if you’re truly going hard during those 20-second sprint intervals, then the 4 minutes will be packed with heart-pumping work! If you are new to running, you can always cut the 4-minute timeframe down to 2 minutes or drop the working pace during the sprint intervals (i.e., go 80% instead of all-out).
Other Running Ideas
Now that you know some ways to freshen up your running routine, it’s time to implement them. You can also play around with intervals, run with a buddy or a running group, and add other training (such as resistance training or yoga) to make your workout more well-rounded. However, you choose to change up your routine, make sure that you enjoy the new tweaks!