The weather has been absolutely gorgeous down here in South Florida so I finally set time aside to exercise outdoors.
It has been over 1 year since I have gone for a run on the pavement and it was a little grueling, but it felt so good!
There are various ways to change up your running to make the most out of the exercise and to keep it exciting.
Let’s run this week! (Don’t let it run you)
Many experts do not recommend stretching before a run, however they all highly recommend warming up to reduce the risk of injury.
The following is a warm up I always turn to prior to getting out there:
For my first day of running I was a bit ambitious and started with an interval run. Interval runs involve alternating between a short, intense pace and then an equal or slightly, longer time with a recovery pace.
For example, I did equal intervals of 1 minute running followed by 1 minute of jogging. I did a total of 14 minutes, which equaled to 1.36 miles for me.
The most popular work-to-rest interval ratio is 1:2, where your rest period is twice as long as the work period until you can either decrease your rest period or increase your work period as you build endurance.
According to Runner’s World, interval running helps to improve “running form and economy, endurance, mind-body coordination, motivation, and fat-burning”.
I always follow with a stretch to reduce tension in the muscles and this is one of the videos I use:
I like to give myself at least a day in between runs to allow my muscles some recovery time. During days of “rest” I like to either cross train or stretch.
I was very sore from running because I have not been out there in a while so I decided to go with the following stretches:
I held each stretch for 20-30 seconds and actually worked up a sweat with these!
Today I decided to do fartleks (yea I laugh every time LOL). Fartlek is Swedish for “speed play” and let me start off by saying this is not for the faint of heart!
Fartleks are where you alternate between various speeds and distances and it is unstructured compared to interval running. I used light posts, street signs, and trees, as my cues to either start running, sprinting, jogging, or walking.
I did 2.13 miles in 25 minutes with 47 seconds, which is a lot slower than my interval run from day 1. The various speeds had my heart pumping really hard and the unstructured method really increased the intensity for me.
Unfortunately, I got stomach cramps towards the end of the first mile and really slowed down the pace during the second mile. I also walked for 1 mile after my 2 miles of work just to get my heart rate steady and to cool down.
It is very important to pay attention to our own body and decrease the intensity if needed. There is no shame in slowing down because the fact is that you are still moving it!
The benefits of fartleks include improved “mind-body awareness, mental strength, and stamina.”
Make sure to stretch afterwards:
Try to hold each stretch for at least 20-30 seconds and making sure to keep breathing.
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Each Monday I will feature a blog, blogger, and/or post to help keep us moving!
Fix.com is a lifestyle blog that provides expert information on a wide range of topics, including health and exercise, amongst other things.
The following is an awesome infographic for runners, like myself, that do not have beautiful scenic trails and mountains in their surroundings.
What is your experience with these different forms of running?