Kickstart the new season with a fresh workout plan
Spring has officially sprung and it’s the perfect time for a spring clean – not just of your wardrobe, but of your running routine, too.
Hitting a fitness plateau is something common to all athletes, at all levels of experience, age and ability. The key to overcoming this is maintaining some variety in your workout plan and mixing it up wherever possible.
From swapping the time you go for a run, to incorporating some hill training into your plan, there are plenty of easy ways to switch up your routine and keep motivated.
So if you’re looking to shake off the winter slump or freshen things up to welcome in the new season, here are some tips to get you re-energised and back in the running mood.
1.Change up your running route
A great way to mix up your workout plan and keep things interesting is to break out of your comfort zone by changing your usual running route. Jump in the car and drive to one of the many beautiful running trails across New Zealand, find a different park, or simply choose a different route through the city.
A change in routine is important both for mental and physical running performance, as there can be a great sense of boredom and dissatisfaction by continually repeating the same regime, resulting in a loss of motivation.
“Nature thrives on variety. As runners, we tend to stick with what’s familiar, what’s comfortable – we have to force ourselves to vary our training. Constant variety is the key to improvement, and to staying healthy.”
- Doug Steward, biomechanic professor
Training in different environments is one of the best ways of keeping both you and your body on your toes!
2. Get involved in group training
Joining a running group of like-minded individuals is one of the best ways to maintain training motivation and can bring about great improvements in both performance and enjoyment.
While many runners enjoy their solo runs, group training provides a fresh environment and some healthy stimulation to get you through the low-motivation days when it’s difficult to drag yourself out of bed.
When it comes to your performance, the competitive edge that group sessions provide can encourage you to push yourself and reach new running goals, learning to keep pace with faster runners and keep going for longer.
The ASICS Move Club runs weekly group training sessions in Auckland, so if you’re local be sure to come down, get involved and push your limits!
3. Challenge yourself with hill training
Running uphill increases your heart rate and improves overall aerobic fitness. If your runs are becoming boring or stagnant, incorporating some hill training into your routine can be a great way to both mix it up and improve your performance.
Drive to a trail or run to the nearest hilly spot and test your stamina and coordination on some uneven surfaces. You will find yourself lost in the challenging terrain and the scenic landscape and find the training flys by!
If you’re just beginning hill training, don’t push yourself too hard on the first go: start with just one or two 8 second sprints on a steep incline, with rests in between.
As you get used to this type of running, your legs and muscles will adapt to the new stresses on the body and you can increase your repetitions.
4. Try out interval training
One way to add variety to your workout plan and take your running to the next level is with some interval training. Interval training is a type of training that involves a series of high intensity workouts, interspersed with rest periods.
To do this you simply run fast for a short amount of time and then have a measured recovery time, either walking briskly or running at a slower pace. Repeat this pattern as many times as you can. Ideally, the high intensity period of your run should be as close to your limit as possible.
You can also try interval training with steps. The process is similar: run up the steps as fast as possible, and then walk back down.
Repeat this a few times, using the walk down to recover your breath before running up again. This is a great way to both gain strength in your legs and improve your cardio stamina.
5. Mix in some strength training
The best workout routine is all about balance. Of course, it’s great to go for a long run, or hit up some running trails, but it’s also important to incorporate some variety to strengthen your muscles.
Strength training is a great way for runners to build muscular strength, helping prevent injuries and improve your running efficiency and form.
Don’t worry, strength training doesn’t have to be all about pumping weights in the gym. You can easily incorporate it into your daily runs.
Try a set of 5 lunges or squats every time you’re waiting at a pedestrian crossing, or add a 30-second plank every kilometre of your run. These little changes will not help improve your muscular strength, but can make your daily run that much more interesting!
If you’re considering incorporating interval training or hill training into your running workout, you will need gear that supports you on all terrains and at all intensities!
ASICS provides women’s running and men’s running gear specifically designed for performance to help you reach your fitness goals.