Running is a great workout, calorie burner and cardio booster. However, there are also many drawbacks. These could be joint pains, breathing problems and boredom. Here are eight ways to make running more interesting:
1. Variety: Avoid long stretches of straight roads, make sure you have bends, curves and different sceneries. This will make sure your brain stays busy as well and it doesn’t get too boring. If you run on a treadmill or the weather is bad, try to watch something on the gym’s tv, your phone or tablet.
2. Music! Make a great playlist of your favorite workout music and change it up every once in a while.
3. Further or Faster: Don’t get into a habit of always running the same distance and the same speed. Switch it up, it’ll give you much more variety and more challenges. This way you can create more small goals for yourself which will lead up to successfully reaching your larger fitness goals.
4. Run with a friend. That is, assuming you are at the same level and have the same goals. Chat about your life, your goals and motivate each other. Just make sure you don’t forget about your workout as well!
5. Register for a race. If you need a little more pressure, register for a race. It doesn’t have to be a marathon but there are plenty of 3-10k’s out there you can join and get excited about.
6. Compete a little bit. If there are other runners around or a person on the treadmill next to you, you can do a little bit of competition (even if they don’t know it). Just make sure you don’t overtrain or get hurt yourself. Know your body, level and limits.
7. Interval Training. It is a great way to get a lot of workout in a small amount of time. It also keeps your mind busy and you’ll definitely feel the workout and results afterwards. However, don’t make all your running about intervals, it’ll only get you so far. Endurance levels will not necessarily skyrocket from this training only.
8. Count your steps. Keep yourself busy counting your steps per minute or half mile. It might make time fly or it might drive you crazy! Try it out.
By Sander Vanacker, owner, instructor and personal trainer .
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The last few weeks, I have been preparing for the consecutive races I had planned.
The Bolder Boulder went great and better than expected. I was able to finish my first ever Bolder Boulder in 51:17 and had a blast! It was so much fun to see all of Boulder outside having a great time and enjoying life. What a great event! It has been years since I ran a 10k and didn’t know exactly what to expect. The reason I don’t run more often is because my joints suffer from the running (I am over 200lbs. after all) and I am more of a bike person since I used to race on the road bike.
Either way, I had a great time and hope to be able to do it many more times. Maybe I should aim to finish under 50 minutes? I have done a 10k before around 45 minutes but that was many years ago and when my body was more designed for endurance sports. That should be a very realistic goal as I didn’t train specifically on running but also on biking, swimming, strength and cross training. Nonetheless, running is a great workout and boosts your cardio. A quality that is important for many athletes. I like to maintain a healthy balance of strength, cardio, speed, flexibility etc. That also means I can’t be a purely competitive endurance athlete but that is also not my goal at this point in time.
I was supposed to do the Sunrise triathlon this coming weekend and Tough Mudder next weekend. However, I will be forced to pass on the triathlon for following reasons:
- I have a wound on my arm that I don’t want to swim with in the Boulder reservoir. It is probably fine but I don’t want to risk any bad infections. I am sure you have heard of the horrible stories that have occurred lately with bad bacteria in lakes (not the reservoir but nonetheless, I’d rather be safe than sorry).
- By having a booth at the Boulder Creek Fest and a big yard project, I haven’t had a chance to recover in weeks. Therefore, I will pass on the triathlon so I can attend the Tough Mudder race. I don’t want to risk pushing my body too much and having to pass on Tough Mudder. We are doing it with a team and I want to participate. Too bad because my training was going fantastic but I don’t want to overtrain.
Unfortunately, the Sunrise Boulder organization was not very helpful in refunding my registration fees because of the wound that may get infected. Apparently they claim they never refund any fees under any circumstances, including medical conditions that may be dangerous to the athletes, whether it’s by own doing or infecting each other. As a business owner myself, I understand you need to reinforce rules but at the same time, also make exceptions. What if someone can infect other athletes, what if I get a heart attack a few days before? They would not refund an athlete? That doesn’t make any sense to me so I believe they should revise their policies as this is not fair or morally correct. I know for sure I won’t be registering with this organization anymore. When someone is unable to train with us because of a valid reason, we modify their membership to accommodate. Simply because it’s the right thing to do.
This week is all about recovery for myself with some cross training sessions to keep my body sharp for Tough Mudder. My cardio is great and I don’t expect an issue with Tough Mudder. And if my body were to let me down for some reason… I tend to be very determined (or stubborn?) in training & races. A quality that people around me don’t always appreciate that much :)
Also check out some pictures that our neighbor Julie Kate Photography took during the Bolder Boulder!