The Run Down: 4 Ways To Mix Up Your Routine

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Whether you start running to lose weight or simply to improve your health, you should always aim to enjoy yourself. If you have grown tired of the same old routine and you no longer have fun running, it’s time to make a change! Below are four ways to spice up your workout:

1) Try a scenic route!
Running the same route day after day can make a run feel more difficult. Make a point to seek out beautiful scenery because it can really help with your mental outlook. Take this time to be present — focusing on your breathing, how your body feels, the sights, the sounds, and smells of nature. Try a new trail or running on a beach or at a park. Where you usually turn left, turn right. If you’ve always wondered “what’s down that road?” — find out! The new surroundings will help the time fly by!

2) Try a hill run!
Mix up your conditioning with hill workouts. Hill runs are known to be tough, but they are worth it! If you are doing inclines on a treadmill, the workouts have most likely gotten boring. Hill sprints are a great way to burn fat and build muscle. Get out there, find a steep hill, and get moving. Do short sprint intervals at 15-20 seconds each and walk back down the hill slowly. The steep hill will force you to work against gravity and give you a great workout with a small amount of running. Give it a try!

3) Add a strength circuit to your run!
Strength training is the perfect supplement for a runner because it strengthens both the muscles and the joints. Adding a strength circuit will help improve race times and decrease the risk of injury. The exercises can be made easier or harder based on your ability level. Decrease the number of reps or time interval if any exercise feels too tough. Start by adding basic bodyweight movements such as pushups, lunges, squats and core strengthening exercises, like plank variations.

4) Try running on a softer surface!
Go to a local high school track once a week to practice speed work. The spongy surface of a track provides a good balance between soft and sturdy. Try running at a near sprint speed for 20-30-second intervals with 2-to 3-minute rests in between. By inserting short and quick intervals, you will train your body to run at a pace that is significantly faster than your typical pace.

Jennifer Nash Forrester

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