Running outside is a great way to reconnect with the world and that fresh air is so … well, refreshing! If you do not have access to a track or don’t have a GPS watch to guide you through the workout, completing track and interval workouts intimidate some. That doesn’t mean you can’t work on your speed anyways. Good old-fashioned timed intervals are just as effective as a distance workout. Of course, having the feedback of time and distance provides a little more gratification for some.
The intent is to conduct the workout below outside anywhere you please. Ideally, a flat or nearly flat area will be available to you. However, with social distancing and stay-home orders, work with what is available to you. Be safe and if you encounter a hill that is too much, it’s okay to modify these intervals according to the terrain you come upon. When you do the workout again on a different day, try to be better than the prior attempt.
Warm up with an easy 2 mile run or walk. During a warmup, your heart rate should slowly elevate to a zone 2 heart rate. If you don’t know what zone 2 is, then use a rate of perceived exertion (RPE) scale. You should be at an effort of 2 out of 5 by the end of the 2 mile run. If you don’t know how far 2 miles is, warm up for 15-20 minutes. That will be a good target.
For the intervals, we will do 8 sets total. 4 minutes will be hard. This means a 4 out of 5 scale not a full on sprint. Four minutes is a very long time to full on sprint. Following the hard interval, go for 1 minute easy. If you need to, you can stop but we encourage you to at least walk if you can’t jog.
Repeat this 8 times. If you don’t have a long area of safe distance to run, this is a great workout to go back and forth. This will also ensure that you are consistent on your intervals. You should return to the same spot each time.
End this workout with 2 miles of a cool down which is an easy jog or walk. Make sure you stretch and drink water.
NOTE ABOUT FOLLOWING TRAINING ADVICE YOU FIND ON THE INTERNET:
As with all training advice, please read this with knowledge of your own health and abilities in mind. Be sure to ask a doctor if you’re healthy enough to perform these exercises. If you have an injury, make sure you have recovered and cleared for additional activity. Do not over-train and ensure you are fueling your body appropriately to maximize your body’s performance and recovery. If something causes pain, that’s not good. Stop that exercise and perhaps the workout. When you workout, you should feel like you’re doing work but there shouldn’t be pain. Listen to your body and be smart.