Thursday December 5, 2013
Yes, it's that time of year again. The weather is colder, the days are shorter, and our treadmills (whether at home or at the gym) are getting a lot more use. If you're finding that you're already starting to suffer from extreme treadmill running boredom, try some of these tips:
- Run with a friend. If you and a friend belong to the same gym, get her to run on the treadmill next to you. You can motivate each other and provide distraction to make your workout time go by faster. And one great thing about treadmill running with friends is that you don't have to be the same pace, so you can run with friends who you wouldn't normally run with outside.
- Mix it up with strength-training exercises. After a 5-minute warm-up, run at a comfortable pace for five minutes, then step off the treadmill and do two minutes of strength-training exercises, such as crunches, push-ups, side-crunches, lunges and dips. Try doing four sets of running/strength-training.
- Alternate with another cardio machine. Try breaking up your run by alternating with the bike or elliptical trainer. If you want to do a 40-minute cardio workout, run on the treadmill for 10 minutes and then jump on another machine for 10 minutes, and keep alternating until you've reached your total goal time. If you run on a treadmill at home and that's your only cardio machine, try running up and down the stairs for five minutes, in between running segments.
Thursday December 5, 2013
If you're one of those people who continue to run outside despite cold temperatures, blustery wind, and even snowy roads, you've probably heard more than once, "Why would you run outside in this weather?" Or, you may be the person asking that question.
Even if you're new to running, there are ways that you can "train your brain" to run straight through the winter months. Try some of these ideas:
Run with a group or a buddy. Find a local running group or recruit a friend to run with you. Knowing that someone is waiting for you will help motivate you to do those chilly runs.
Get the right clothes. Wearing running clothes that are right for cold weather running makes a huge difference in your comfort and motivation levels. Even though winter running clothes are not cheap, a few quality pieces are worth the investment.
Be prepared to run or work out indoors. Sometimes it's just not safe to run outside when it's extremely cold or very icy. But if you miss a few runs because of bad weather, it's very tempting to then just give it up completely during the winter. Keep up your exercise habit by running on a treadmill or doing other indoor workouts.
Sign up for races. Doing road races throughout the winter is a great way to guarantee you'll a) keep motivated to stay in shape and b) run outside, at least occasionally (for the races).
Wednesday December 4, 2013
Even if you've never run in costume or with bells on your shoes (probably a good thing, since this would annoy most runners), a holiday race is the perfect time to try one of these ideas. In the Arthritis Foundation's series of Jingle Run/Walk events, for example, they encourage participants to tie jingle bells to their shoelaces. The sound of hundreds of jingling runners can definitely help get you into the holiday spirit. Some holiday races, such as the Las Vegas Great Santa Run, give each registrant a Santa suit to wear during the race.
Signing up for a holiday race is the perfect way to make sure you don't put your running on hold during the busy holiday season. Even if you don't have a Jingle Run/Walk or Santa race near you, there are lots of other holiday-themed races, so check sites such as Active.com for ones in your area.
Tuesday December 3, 2013
Today is the second annual Giving Tuesday in the U.S. Giving Tuesday is a campaign to create a national day of giving at the start of the annual holiday season. Runners have lots of opportunities to contribute to charitable activities by being part of a charity running team or participating in a race that benefits a charity. But there are other ways runners can make a difference in their communities. Here are four ways runners can give back.