Going for a jog isn't the *only* way to run
As cool as it is to tell your friends you went for a run for twenty-five minutes without stopping and getting ice cream (which is really cool, and you should be really proud you can do that), you actually don't get as much out of it as you might think. Jogging on concrete sidewalks or bumpy grass for extended periods of time can exhaust your body, and not in the greatest way. Also… it’s pretty boring to run 30 minutes every day! With shin splints, blisters and general fatigue, it’s sometimes hard to motivate yourself to keep running for that long.
That’s why interval training might be the way to go. You’re really working your aerobic capacity, and you’ll feel nice and sore in your legs in the next day as proof you worked hard. If this sounds better to you than jogging, you might want to try these sprinting workouts instead to maximize the effort but minimize the time.
(Note: You have to have a decent running base to jump into these workouts. If you've never really gone for a run before, start smaller.)
1. Squats between runs. Looking for a major leg workout? You’ll feel this one right away. After you warm up, do 10 squats in between four 20-second sprints (take two minutes in between each to catch your breath!). You’ll feel winded at the end and your legs will be sore, but the whole workout will be done in 10 minutes.
2. Fartlek running. This workout involves a little more endurance. It involves switching from jogging and sprinting for set times. A good starting point is a 30 second sprint, then a two minute jog. You can go for 10 or 15 minutes, depending on your stamina.
3. Hills. Find yourself a nice steep hill near your house, and you can do hill repeats after you’ve warmed up a bit. The number of reps depends on how big the hill is, so use your judgment.
4. Pyramids. This one switches up your distance as you go along. With two minutes of rest in between each one, you can start at a 10 second sprint, then 20, then 30 seconds. Then you go back again (hence, the pyramids!).
Will you try any of these workouts? Let us know in the comments!