Fun Running Workouts

Posted by Jesse Flores on

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With everything happening in the world right now, it’s so important to stay active and healthy. For many of you, running plays a big part in keeping you sane. But, running the same route at the same speed day after day can get boring and drive you just as nuts as not leaving the house at all.

Don’t worry. These running workouts are the cure for the common run. Best of all, you can do them in your backyard, your street, or even in your house. 

Just don’t do the same one every day. 

Ladder Workout

This is basically an interval workout where you increase your speed with each interval. It’s a great way to spice up a boring run and keep things exciting. On your way up the ladder, increase your speed. On your way down, decrease it. 

Try it:

  • Warm-up: 5 minute easy jog
  • Work interval: 5 minutes @ marathon pace (or 5 out of 10 on a perceived exertion scale of 1 to 10)
  • Recovery interval: 1 minute at easy pace
  • Work interval: 4 minutes @ half marathon pace (or 6 out of 10 PE)
  • Recovery interval: 1 minute at easy pace
  • Work interval: 3 minutes @ 10K pace (7 out of 10 PE)
  • Recovery interval: 1 minute at easy pace
  • Work interval: 2 minutes @ 5K pace (8 out of 10 PE)
  • Recovery interval: 1 minute at easy pace
  • Work interval: 1 minute @ hard (sprint) pace (9 out of 10 PE)
  • Recovery interval: 1 minute at easy pace
  • Cool down: 5 minutes easy jogging

Note: If you don’t know what the various marathon speeds feel like, just run each interval faster than the last. Just don’t start out too fast! 

Short and Long Sprints

These are just like they sound. A short sprint is usually 55-200 meters while a long one is 200-400 meters. Sprints help develop speed, power, and endurance. 

If you’re a sprint beginner, do 6-8 sprints of 100 meters, giving 75% of your effort. You should still be able to say a few words but not have a conversation. Recover for about a minute, then do it again. Repeat for about 20 minutes.

Sprints can be done anywhere outside with a clear stretch of road or land or on a treadmill inside. 

Fartlek

Don’t laugh, it’s a real thing.

The word fartlek means speed-play in Swedish, so it’s more fun than it sounds.

This workout also mixes fast and slow running but it gives you the control. Vary the pace and timing of each interval as you see fit. Get creative. Push yourself. 

And stop laughing at the name. 

Here’s an example workout from Men’s Journal to get you started, but you can start to choose the intervals once you’re comfortable. 

 Beginner:

– 1-minute run

– 1-min walk/jog

– 2-minute run

– 2-minute walk/jog

– 3-minute run

– 2-minute walk/jog

– 4-minute run

– 3-minute walk/jog

– 5-minute run

– 3-minute walk/jog

Combo Workout

In a combo workout, you can combine running intervals with muscle strengthening to get a total body workout. 

After a 5-minute easy jog, start switching between a run, and a strength exercise like a lunge or a squat. You’ll slowly increase the length of the run (starting at 1 minute and working your way up to five) but keep the exercises to one minute.

This is good for people who are working their way into a running routine.

Long-Distance Run

Nothing beats a good long-distance run…but not all the time. Long-distance running should be a consistent but spaced out part of your running routine. This type of run can help you build endurance, and teaches you how to handle increased mileage both mentally and physically.

If you vary your running workouts, here’s what a run week might look like, according to the No Meat Athlete:

  • Monday: Rest.
  • Tuesday: Tempo workout — 70 minute run with 3 x 15 minutes at tempo pace, and an 8 minute recovery in between.
  • Wednesday: Easy workout — 45 minutes at an easy pace.
  • Thursday: Track workout — 2 x 1,000 meters with 2 minute rest periods + 2 x 800 meters with 90 second rest periods + 2 x 400 meters on the track with 60 second rest periods.
  • Friday: Rest.
  • Saturday: Long run workout — A 17 mile countdown long run.
  • Sunday: Easy workout — 30-45 minutes at an easy pace.

Running is a great way to stay active and get outside (when we can’t really go anywhere else!) so lace up those running shoes, practice good running form, and…go! 

Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program. This general information is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your healthcare professional. If you experience persistent pain, consult your healthcare provider.


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