Since I have had the all clear following my knee operation I have began running. Previously I ran sporadically, however I now try to run most mornings. The problem is, I can find it quite boring!!! Therefore, I have started to use different techniques to mix things up and help me mentally when running. Here’s my top 3 ways to make running more enjoyable…
If you have any running techniques of your own then please share them in the comments below. I’d love to hear them and it may help a reader who is looking for new approaches to running!
1. Add Burpee’s
No, I’m not going mad and yes this does work. I get the fact that on their own these two movements are bad enough. However, if combined correctly burpee’s are a great way to mix up your running and conditioning. There are a number of ways you can add them in, but a favourite of mine is to tag them onto the end of running intervals. Now, this works best with shorter intervals and it will extend how long each work period is so adjust rest accordingly.
I would advise sticking to running intervals of 800 meters and below otherwise the intensity gets lost in the burpee’s. As a general rule I add-on 5% of the run distance in burpee’s. So, if I run 400m I will do 20 burpees, 200m is 10 burpees etc. You should be able to maintain around the same run pace as normal and exert the equivalent effort throughout the burpee’s. If you find yourself slowing massively on the burpee’s, drop the number slightly.
2. Fluctuating Intervals
This type of running conditioning is my go to if I am flagging mentally. It kind of tricks you (well, me at least) into thinking you;re not running much whilst accumulating distance. You can work these in two ways, either shorter to longer intervals or longer to shorter intervals.
Basically, set the distances that you want to run before starting – this could be 150, 300, 450, 600, 750, 1000 and so on. For your rest, as each interval increases in distance, rest should increase by the same increments each time. So, if the first rest interval is 30 seconds the second should be 45 seconds and the third 60 seconds etc. If you’re running the intervals from longest to shortest the rest periods should run in the same way.
3. Negative Splits
So, this concept isn’t new and one which runners have used for some time – you can find out about some of the other benefits of negative splits here. In short, this technique involves running the second half of your run faster than the first half.
I simply set out to run for a certain time period, say 20 – 30 minutes. I then completely forget about how far I am running and try to settle into a good pace from the off. I then keep an eye on my watch and as soon as I hit halfway, i.e. 15 minutes, I turn and head back. The goal is to get back in under 15 minutes or however long it took you to run to your halfway turnaround point – the key is not to over pace, even try to forget about the second half of the run.