Saturday, November 24, 2012

Runner's Workout #1

I had hoped to post once a week, but last weekend got away from me. Everyone here was sick at the same time! Swimming lessons were missed. Workouts were skipped. Much sleep was lost. Oh my!

Now that things are settling back into a normal routine again, I think it's time to post one of my favorite workouts. This is something that you can make as easy or as hard as you want, depending on your fitness level and your goals.

  1. Warm-up run of one to two miles (2-4 km)
  2. Bodyweight intervals.
  3. Cool-down run of one to two miles (2-4 km)
I don't know if there is a better or more proper name than "bodyweight intervals", but it fits.

Normally runners think of interval training as a form of speed training. They will sprint as fast as they can for a minute, then walk for thirty seconds. This forces the heart rate up and down and helps build the fast twitch muscles. While a traditional interval is great for building speed, the rest of us probably want to improve our overall fitness. So here's what you do:

Pick a point about 100 yards (100 meters) in front of you. Sprint to it as fast as you can. Then drop to the ground and perform 10-20 reps of a bodyweight exercise. Good ones to use are burpees, pushups, jumping jacks, crunches, and bicycles. Do as many intervals as you can, but I would recommend no less than four. For more bodyweight exercises, Kemme Fitness has compiled a list of more than 80 variations to try!

We live a little over a mile from a quarter-mile (400 meter) track. Most tracks have markings every 100 meters for sprints and relays. This is perfect for doing intervals, too! I run to the track, go around at least twice (for a total of eight intervals), then run home.

I did this workout Thursday morning before we met the family together for Thanksgiving dinner. In about 45 minutes I burned over 900 Calories according to my Polar heart rate monitor.

I'll post again in a couple of days to review the Renegade Run, a new race in the area. See you then!

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