Running doesn’t have to be boring or tedious — and it shouldn’t feel like a chore. There are easy ways to make your runs more fun and to amp up the intensity at the same time. Turn your workout into a full-body routine with the following tricks.
Keep in mind that during these exercises, the idea is to work your muscles to exhaustion. As long as you push hard and go until you can’t push anymore, you will achieve great results. Pick a few of these tips to try on your next run.
1. Add in a killer high-intensity move.
Every half mile or four minutes, perform burpees until you can’t do any more. Use the first set you complete as the number to aim for on every subsequent set!
2. Try a series of sprint intervals.
Give yourself a mile to warm up. Once you feel ready, incorporate some sprints into your run. Sprint for 30 seconds, then walk or jog for 30 seconds. Try to do this at least 10 times before finishing off your run with a nice jog for a cool-down.
3. Create your own obstacle course.
Find a running path with stairs. Aim to hit the stairs at the middle of your run, or toward the end. Review the number of stairs and set a challenging goal for yourself — for example, run up and down them five times. Remember, if you are running on your toes, you’ll work your calves more, but may put more stress on your knees. Try doing one set walking up the stairs, making sure you press firmly through the heel of your foot to engage your booty. This should give you a great burn and give your buttocks a nice lift.
4. Use a bench to speed up your heart rate.
If you can’t find any stairs, use a bench. Jump on and off the bench 20 times. Run a half mile away from the bench, then run back. Complete 20 more jumps before returning to your run. Shoes that work especially well for this type of workout are the adidas Supernova Sequence Boost 8. They’re designed to sustain energy-returning properties, making each and every jump a little more doable!
5. If burpees aren’t your thing, then stop, drop, and plank.
Set an interval for about four to five minutes. After each timed interval, plank from 30 seconds to one minute. Repeat running and planking at least four times.
6. Get your arms working.
After every song on your playlist, perform push-ups until failure.
7. Switch up your running style.
Every couple of minutes or so, run with higher knees for 30 seconds or with a longer stride, pump your arms harder, or twist through your torso more.
8. Create a full-body circuit, and perform it mid-run.
Pick a distance. Run half of your distance and then do a mini workout, using just your body weight. Incorporate push-ups, dips, squats, lunges, sit-ups, burpees, side planks, Russian twists, mountain climbers, and more. Do each exercise at least 15 times before moving on to the next one. Once you’ve completed your exercises, go through them all again. After completion, run the rest of your mileage.
9. Steadily increase your running pace.
Pace your miles differently. Start off at a slow pace; you could even start at a power walk. Every minute, increase your pace for one minute. Keep this up until you cannot hold a pace for a whole minute. Once you have found that pace, slowly drop it back down over the same number of intervals you took to reach your maximum speed.
10. Use a block distance to try something different.
Try something different at each block. Sprint for a block. Then do long jumps for a block. Sprint for another block. Do walking lunges for a block. Run for a block. Perform the “inchworm” for a block. To do the inchworm, start in a standing position and bend at the waist to place your hands on the ground, trying to keep your legs as straight as possible. Walk your hands out until your body is in a plank position. From there, walk your feet up to meet your hands, keeping your legs as straight as possible. Once your feet can’t get any closer to your hands, stand up. Repeat by bending at the waist and placing your hands onto the ground. Incorporate your distance running before or after your block intervals.
Remember to pace yourself. Start at a level that feels comfortable to you. Focus on your breathing and form to reduce your risk for injury. And most important, have fun!