In years gone by I have hit the road countless times just running for 30-45 minutes, although I found this fun I was always naturally inclined to throw in things like sprints and pushups but wouldn’t as I had been brainwashed into ‘Jogging’ which is slow monotonous and simply painful. As time went by I discovered the joys of what I like to call a “Playful Run.”How to Run PlayfullyI go about my playful runs by simply putting on my Nike Free’s/Shorts/ T-shirt grabbing my iPod and hitting the road. I run at varying paces and throw in all kinds of things which make the whole process a 20-30 minute workout of varying difficulty dependent on how I feel that day; Some days I will throw in more sprints and pushups, other-days I will do more running and lunges. It all depends on how sore I am and how energetic I am feeling…Favorite things to do while Running1- Sprint Combinations: I love to throw in a few sets of sprints while running I usually go for 100-200 meters and then throw in a set of either explosive pushups or jumping squats. This combination of exercise has been shown to elicit a great HGH response.
2- Lunges to Burn: This is something to throw in at the end of a run, simply lunge until you feel your legs really burn, this will normally be 10-15 reps for each leg. It’s a great way to finish off a run and get a good burn in your quads.
3- Agility Training: This basically means doing things like sidesteps, running backwards, doing some long jumps and weaving between objects. It’s a great way to work on your balance and agility. Preparing you for a sport and it really works your mind-body connection.
4- Drop and Give me 20: This is quite simply stopping your run and either doing 20 pushups, 20 body-weight squats or Burpees. It’s a great way to change the rhythm of running and allow you to get a full body workout.
5- Hill Running: I am lucky to have a nice uneven hill near my house, which I can do, sprints up. These are especially challenging, as the surface is uneven and your running at an incline. If you don’t have access to a hill try and find an uneven surface to run on like grass or gravel.
Give it a Try
Hit the road and improvise, just keep things intense and keep the time under 30 minutes. If you throw in a combination of the above techniques you will achieve a great full-body workout with no equipment and it will allow you to get in touch with nature, try and improvise even further if you see a solid tree branch do some pull- ups, the beauty of a playful run is that it allows for so much creativity and randomness allowing your mind and body to be free….
I personally love doing these workouts first thing in the morning and there is no better way to start a day!
Photo Credit: ansbachers
About the Author
Chris writes on his blog, Zen To Fitness, to pass on things he has learned through life about fitness and lifestyle.