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Diversify for Fitness

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Diversify for Fitness

If you’ve been faithfully logging miles in your jogging shoes and wonder why you are not getting fitter–or why you are not getting fitter faster–you may need to diversify your training. Improving your fitness requires challenging yourself by changing your routine occasionally.

If you’ve been faithfully logging miles in your jogging shoes and wonder why you are not getting fitteror why you are not getting fitter fasteryou may need to diversify your training.

Improving your fitness requires challenging yourself by changing your routine occasionally. Here are four key workouts that may add some variety to your running workout.

Hill Running

An excellent way to develop power and muscle elasticity, hill running is also helpful for improving strength. In order to achieve good leg turnover, choose a hill on the steeper side (about a 5 percent grade) that takes 45 to 60 seconds to run. Start by running for 10 minutes and gradually increase your session to 30 minutes. Leave a water bottle at the top of the hill, and take a drink after every second ascent. Maintain a controlled and slow jog down the hill, as most hill injuries occur due to the physical stress of the downhill run.

The Pyramid

A good training exercise for building strength and endurance is the pyramid workout. The object of this workout is to slowly build up to a set goal, then work back down to the beginning. Try alternating hard running with a slow recovery jog of the same duration in the following intervals: 1-1-2-2-3-3-2-2-1-1. You can make the intervals any duration and you can add intervals as your fitness increases.

Speed Play

Fartlek, Swedish for “speed play,” involves changing your pace for a random time period. For example, during a 40-minute run, you could decide that when you hit the next tree you will run hard until the corner. You can vary your intervals and your recovery time to make any run more difficult and more interesting. This approach helps you develop more self-awareness, as you concentrate on what you feel while running at the different paces.

Intervals

Running intervals involves a simple formula of one to two minutes of hard running followed by one to two minutes of recovery jogging. I recommend 10 sets. Interval running is an excellent workout that combines speed and strength.

Adding these workouts to your training regimen may help to add some spark to your running routine. With this renewed interest, you’re also bound to notice an increase in your fitness level.

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