Tis the season for outdoor running! Even if you’re a veteran runner with 1,000 miles under your belt, there are always things you can do to improve or change it up. Here are a few suggestions to try out next time you feel the urge to get outdoors and run:
- Head to your local track and do sprint intervals. Most High Schools allow locals to use the track. Take the kids and let them play (its pretty contained so its a win-win!) Warm up with 1-4 laps at an easy pace, then alternate sprint pace 400 meters with walking 400 meters. Go for as many rounds as you have time for and finish with 1-4 laps easy/recovery pace. Get your HIIT training while getting your miles in!
- Hit the Hills! Find a challenging hill and run it over and over again! This is another fantastic way to incorporate HIIT training into your outdoor runs. Want to add some strength too? Add in a squat at the top and bottom. On round 2, add 2 squats to the top and bottom…continue till you’re out of time or can’t fathom another hill. Don’t have a suitable hill nearby? McKinley Monument fits the bill with lots of stairs. Or hit up the bleachers at the local track.
- Run with a friend! If you don’t have one, go to a local park/trail during the morning or after work hours and you’re guaranteed to find someone else running. You don’t have to run with them, but see if you can pace them (without looking like a stalker). Are they slower than you? Pull over and do some push-ups/mountain climbers/planks… and let them get ahead of you a ways. Then see if you can catch up again. Focus on not looking like a stalker.
- Sign up for a RACE! Whether its your 1st or your 50th, races can be a fun challenge. Set a goal with a few weeks out and train for it. The consistency of training will make race day so much easier and with the crowd cheering you on, you’re guaranteed to have fun whether or not you PR. There are a ton of races in the summer, find one that fits you. Obstacle Races, Color Runs, 5K, Dog Runs, Beer Run (not as easy as it sounds), Night Races….
- Run with your kids. I know summer seems overwhelming with a million activities going on with sports and vacation. But you don’t want them sitting on the couch on those down days. Kids need activity every day! If they aren’t old enough to run with you a quarter mile or more, take their bikes! They can pace you (and hold your water bottle) and you can even plan it on a trail that just happens to pass by a place for a quick treat (who won’t run or bike for ice cream)?
Enjoy this weather (Ohio doesn’t give you a lot) and get outside! Don’t forget to be sun smart and hydrate especially on those hotter days that are coming!