I’ve been a runner all my life. But I sort of have a love/hate relationship with running. I’ve always been competitive by nature and running definitely perpetuates that trait. As I’ve gotten older I’ve stopped participating in the races that I used to because quite honestly my body is exhausted from being used so much. I’m the type of person who if I set a PR one race, then the next race I naturally “must” set another PR. That means pushing my body to do more things than it might be capable of. And it means being really sore and depleted frequently. When I finally realized that running to compete was overtaking my original goals of running to have fun and feel good, I decided to take a break from running completely. And then I let my body heal itself.
When I decided to get back to running for fun, I decided to come up with new ways to keep myself motivated and challenged. And yes, also come up with some personal competitions. (Because hey, I’m competitive. )
For the last year now I’ve been doing various interval and sprint routines sprinkled in with your traditional steady state runs of only 2-3 miles. Nothing major for distance. One of the things I’ve always liked about running is that it helps keep my very athletic legs toned and my curvy backside jiggle-free. (O.K. my strength training sessions of squats, KB swings and lunges definitely help too)
Lately, I’ve been really into the below running routine which combines sprints and inclines with steady state running. I’m lucky to live by a park that has an awesome set of stairs in the middle of it. I much prefer taking my running to the streets rather than jumping on a treadmill. For me, this routine allows me to be competitive in a way that doesn’t destroy my body. In addition, depending on my schedule, I can adapt the sprint rounds to fit the time I have. Usually I set a goal of completing 10 sprints and then I “dare” myself to do a few more. This running workout could also be done at a track with a set of stadiums/bleachers or in a neighborhood with a large hill.
The Workout –
- Run 7 minutes (or 3/4 -1 mile)
- Rest 30 seconds
- Stair/Incline Intervals for 7-10 minutes or 10-15 rounds (up & down =1 round)
sprint up & jog down
- Run 7 minutes (or 3/4-1 mile)