By Myprotein Writer |
Need a training trick? Start mixing adventure into your running schedule! If you’re training for an event, whether it’s an ultra-marathon or a 5k, it’s no lie that tedium can strike at any time: the same concrete pavements, the familiar pot-holes, the same dogs and their owners.
Although they are a necessary feature, start with these refreshing training tips to spur your mind to take your body further and faster.
Apps To The Rescue
There are numerous new apps and websites to lighten up your running, even if you’re doing the same routes. Strava (strava.com) is perhaps the most popular, which uses your phone’s GPS to break your run into segments and places them on a global leader board. This is good to set goals, compete with friends (and frenemies) and also find new routes nearby.
A similar app and website is mapmyrun.com. For a light-hearted approach to running, take a look at the Zombies, Run game (zombiesrungame.com). The audio prompts you when to speed up and slow down to find supplies and rescue people, and when to sprint to escape the apocalypse. It’s great fun and has hundreds of missions to keep you entertained.
Fastest Known Time (FKT) racing has been online since 2005, and will bring a new intensity to your running. It allows you to compare your times with professional athletes (and to compete with them) running up various remote hills in the fastest known time. Check this site for an in-depth article on FKT.
It’s the summer and you might have holidays coming up. But just because you’re going away doesn’t mean you will be lying about.
A new location will of course freshen your perspective on your training (who doesn’t love getting lost running in a new locale), but why not combine your passion for running with your passion for travel? Check online for staycation spots, some great adventure runs in Europe and much further afield. Here are some examples to whet your appetite:
Holidaying in the UK?
Try the many hill races in the Scottish Highlands such as the Ben Ledi ascent, or through Glen Nevis.
Off to Europe?
If you’ll be hopping over the water to mainland Europe, you can’t go wrong running in the Alps. At runthealps.com you will find ample information on races, guided tours and many other aspects, such as trail tours around the infamous Eiger (why not add in some rock climbing?) or ultra-trails at the roof of Europe, Mont Blanc.
If you have the time, these adventures are truly worth saving and planning for: racingtheplanet.com will provide you with all the information you need to complete any or all of the four desert races they organise (the Sahara Race, Atacama Crossing, Gobi March and The Last Desert: Antarctica).
Run Hiking Trails
If, like me, you are bored of pounding the concrete, try to escape the towns and cities at the weekends.
Whether you have easy access to the Grampian Mountains or a hiking path around spectacular coastline, the feeling of getting away from the grind and doing what you love somewhere challenging and refreshing will help to clear your head, inspire and ramp up your training schedule.
You will probably find it much easier to go faster and longer when your mind is more stimulated by new things around you.
Sign Up For An Event
Not everything is about reaching your PB. Try to add some humour to your running by joining fun and adventure races.
They will beat the monotony of solo runs early in the morning, allow you to enjoy running with friends and family, and still keep you on track for your goals.
Colour Run Events
One of the most popular charity running events is the colour run. Dress in white, and run (but don’t race) to the finish with friends and family, finishing in every colour except white. Check out thecolorrun.co.uk for more info.
If you want something more physically challenging, but also game for a laugh, try the Spartan Races and Tough Mudder competitions for size.
These events will not only test your skills as a runner, but your all-round fitness too. They will pit you against various challenges, from mud pits, wall climbs, cargo nets and the like, to simple all-out sprinting. These races will prove to be a good all-round training event for any purely running races you have this season.
A fantastic way to improve your core strength and therefore give your running a boost is climbing. The athleticism, strength, agility and mobility that you need to successfully scale climbing walls or cliffs can be transferred to a litany of other disciplines, and running is no exception.
If you want to climb without the need for equipment and spotters, then try bouldering, which is the same concept as the climbing walls, but does not require ropes or a partner at the end of them, the walls are much closer to the ground (you have no ropes), but often the angles of the walls are especially challenging, leaving you dangling trying to scramble over protrusions. Clamber up to reap the rewards!
Take home message
As much as you love any sport, there will always be times when you need to refresh your approach and your regimen.
Make sure to keep your mind fresh and your body will thank you for it!