5 Quick Ways to Switch up Your Training
by JP Slater
Whether you’re preparing for a specific race or just trying to get in shape – training can be arduous. The daily dilemma of motivating to get out the door and get your sweat on. So instead of the same old run you are starting to believe is more of a burden than a pleasure, here are 5 quick ways to switch up your training and make it just a little more interesting!
1. Switch up the scenery
Though this may seem simple, it truly can make your run feel shorter and more enjoyable! Whether you’re used to bustling cityscape as your pain palace or beautiful trails, switching up soft surface for the city streets or streets for immaculate trails may give you the change you need. Also, running on roads every so often can get your legs prepared for your next road race, and if you’re switching the streets for trails, it may give your legs the added recovery they have been dying for!
2. Do a fartlek
If you’re crunched for time or feel like there is no way this longer run is going to happen, shorten up your run and try out a fartlek! If you’re wondering if you read the word right, you sure did! Fartlek runs are great for learning what it is like during competition with the constantly switching changes of pace. And the best part is you pick how long you want each surge in pace to be! So if you just feel like getting out there and sweating a little, a great workout could be a 30-45 minute run with a 30 second push every 2-3 minutes! This allows you to recover after each pace pick-up, while at the same time getting your heart rate pumping!
3. Tempo run
Along with the fartlek, if you’re feeling like you are progressing in fitness or just want to really push yourself, a tempo is a great fitness builder/tester. Getting out for a tempo can help switch up the usual boring run and make it a mental/physical battle and leave you feeling satisfied and ready to tackle many more runs until your next tempo!
If you have time for a repeat workout, it is an excellent way to build fitness and help shed some pounds! Repeat workouts are a great test of overall fitness. Getting out the door and doing a repeat workout allows you to practice a faster pace. But instead of suffering through a tempo, you can take a break after each repeat and practice quick recovery before you jump right back into another repeat! (Ex. 10-15 min warm-up, 4-6 x 800-meter repeats at goal race pace, 10 minute slow jog to cool down).
5. New terrain
Whether you’re the king of the hill or the master of the open roads, changing up the terrain can help you prepare for any type of run or race. Running on a nice hilly course not only makes you work a bit harder for each mile but is one of the best ways to prepare for a race without hammering out a workout. Moving off the hills for a day and running on a nice flat road or trail can make your usual pace seem all the easier! It boosts your confidence and gets you joyfully bounding down the open road!
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JP Slater was born and raised in Los Angeles, Ca. He attended UC Berkeley, where he was the captain of the Cross Country and Track and Field teams. JP has the third fastest 10,000-meter time in Berkeley school history. After finishing school in 2014, he started racing professionally. JP has been involved in competitive running for over 10 years and will continue to race on the elite scene for as long as he can stay competitive. Slater says: “I’m super into eating healthy and living a healthy active lifestyle.”