Fitness: add some pep to your running routine

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To help spice up your running routine, here are four workouts that will keep things cool and restore any speed loss that occurred during the winter.

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Spring is the perfect time to run. Warm enough for shorts and a t-shirt, but not so hot that you’ll sweat a few minutes later. There’s no better time to add variety to your workout.

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Why change things, especially since you’ve just found your groove after spending the past six months battling the elements of winter? Too often, runners are guilty of more of the same thing: the same distance. The same rhythm. The same route. But too much of the same leads to boredom, stalled progress, and poor results. To help spice up your running routine, here are four workouts that will not only keep things fresh, but restore any loss of speed caused by chilling out during the winter.

Incorporate one new workout per week into your routine rather than trying them all in the next few days. Sprinkle these new runs among your regular workouts, saving them for those days when you need extra motivation. Be careful the first time, then play around with your speed, distance, and number of intervals. The idea is to have fun while exploring new limits. So put on your running shoes, slather on some sunscreen and get moving.

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Fartleks

The Swedish word for “speed play”, fartleks are untimed intervals that use cue points instead of a watch to mark the start and end of the interval. It’s perfect for when you’re feeling peppy but don’t want to get bogged down with setting up the interval feature on your smartwatch or phone. Locate a landmark like a stop sign, streetlight, park, or house and pick up the pace until you get there. Slow down to a more comfortable pace for about a minute, then start looking for your next landmark. Don’t worry about doing all the fartleks the same distance. That’s the beauty of those loose intervals: make them short, make them long, it doesn’t matter. Just make sure you can keep your pace high until you reach your predetermined landmark. Start with four fartleks sometime after the first 10 or 15 minutes of your run, then return to your normal pace. Work up to six or eight fartleks, adjusting the length of each fartlek to your mood and energy level.

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Tempo

Tempo races have sustained speed in the middle of the race. This long mid-range interval can last anywhere from five to 40 minutes, depending on the distance you plan, with a moderate to easy pace leading into the tempo portion of the workout. As for the type of speed to maintain, a good tempo run is done at around 80-85% of your maximum heart rate, or slightly slower than “running pace”, which is your goal pace. time. If you’re trying to break up a 30-minute 5k, run your tempo somewhere a little over six minutes per mile (try 6:05 or 6:10 per mile to start).

As the tempo interval gets easier, keep the same pace but go longer. Once you keep up the pace with your new running goal, go ahead and kick the pace up a notch. The idea is to help you tolerate high-intensity exertion, so you should always feel like you’re pushing your pace into that uncomfortable zone. If all of this sounds too daunting, keep the tempo intervals short to begin with and slowly lengthen them as your body improves to tolerate higher levels of exertion.

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Hills

Most runners will do anything to avoid hills, but they are the perfect opportunity to develop running-specific lower-body power. Plan a route with several hills or one big hill that you can repeat. Sprint up. Go ahead and lean slightly toward the hill, flexing forward from the ankles, not the hips, and raise the knees higher as you increase your turnover. Come back down and repeat the uphill sprint four times, trying to maintain the same speed each time you take the incline. If you have planned a route with several hills, instead of one big one, attack each one with the same vigor as the first.

Slow long distance

Find a comfortable cruising pace and settle in. That’s what long slow distances are for. That and improve stamina. To get an idea of ​​what kind of speed we’re talking about, keep a conversation pace, which means you can run with a friend and chat. To be more specific, add 60 seconds to your run or goal pace (using the same 30 minute, 5k example as above, an LSD run would be 6:30/km), which should be nice and easy.

The best time is during a weekend when you can start extending your runs to longer distances. Add an extra one to two kilometers or five to 10 extra minutes to your runs every other weekend until you hit your distance goal, making sure you maintain that comfortable cruising pace from start to finish.

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