7 ways to spice up your running

Joe Beer tells us how to keep it interesting

Running tips

Wondering how to keep training interesting in winter? Tri coach Joe Beer has the following tips for beating boredom and making you into a more efficient runner.

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All sessions should have a warm-up of 8-12mins of an easy walk/jog, before moving into mid/upper zone one (74-84% of HRmax). Cool down can be easy walking or a spin on the turbo.

1. Do a fasted run in the morning of 40-90mins

This way you’ll tap into fat reserves, run on an empty stomach and start the day in a positive way.

2. Run off the bike for 15-30mins

This can be after a turbo/rollers session or even a weekend/commuting ride. The point is to challenge muscles that are tuned into cycling to run economically. 

3. Vary your routes

Even running the route in reverse varies the views, terrain and tempo of running.

4. Controlled fartlek for 30-55mins

Once you’re warmed up, throw in 12-stride accelerations (not sprints) every 3-6mins. Cruise back to normal pace and go again when the time has elapsed.

5. Go off the beaten track and explore new routes

Don’t wear a groove in your same old run route. Get lost, even! It’s a great way to discover sights and sounds that you wouldn’t ordinarily. 

6. Use the treadmill for 30-80mins 

Many athletes do this when they travel as a way to put in a swim and a run in the same location. Don’t equate it to speed work; instead, relax and try to cruise.

7. Throw in a parkrun

A very occasional race against the clock, over 5km, provides a great high-lactate, pace-judgement test. 

You can compare your amateur result to the world record and discover what going off fast can do to race times.

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(Image: Jonny Gawler)