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Switch things up and see improvement when you vary your running routine

Everything can feel out of balance when you initially vary your running routine. Have you added new workouts? Are you getting up earlier than normal? Is your distance progressively increasing? Will you accrue some of your miles on a trail? All of these changes can impact your schedule and how your body feels after. This is much better than running the same route and distance every time. You’ll eventually adjust to your new routine and begin to see improvements! However you vary your running routine, don’t skip the warm-up.

How can you vary your running routine?

Switch up your running routine to see improvements.

There are many ways to add some spice and excitement to your routine. Below are 5 different ways you can change things up. You can mix and match several of them to work in concert with one another. Make sure you’re adjusting your routine to fit your schedule and your goals.

  1. Frequency

Increase or decrease in the number of days you run. This will fluctuate depending on your goals, the number of rest days, and how often you cross-train (workout, swim, yoga, cycle, etc.). 

  1. Intensity

Adjust your intensity to coincide with the distance of your run.

Use your heart rate to change this variable. If you prefer to run for long distances at a steady pace, consider adding a workout with shorter distances with more intense efforts. If you normally run just a few miles at a fast pace, you’ll need to dial your effort back if you begin to increase your mileage. Do you want to take your kids with you on your run? Learn how to run with a stroller and know that you’ll have to adjust the intensity of your run.

  1. Length

This is dependent on your goals and the training plan you’re following. If you’re running to stay healthy, perhaps you stay in the 10-20-mile range every week, but you adjust the intensity and change your routes. If you’re training for a half marathon, then you’ll need to increase your weekly mileage as you get closer to race day. Pro tip: as you’re increasing your mileage, this advice can help you prevent and cure shin splints.

  1. Type

Include staircase runs and hill repeats to get stronger.

You can adjust how you run based on your smaller weekly goals that lead to your larger goal. If you want to get faster, include track workouts or interval training. Include hill repeats or staircase runs to strengthen your lower body and improve your breathing ability. These 7 different types of runs will help you switch things up.

  1. Location

Don’t just run the same one or two routes all the time. Switch it up! If you run the same thing all the time, your body will become accustomed to that route. Whether you add hills to your route or take it to the trails, you’ll become stronger when you change your route. Add some track workouts to increase your speed.

How often should you vary your running routine?

The answer to this question depends on what you want from running. If you’re after general fitness, then consider changing it up every 4 to 6 weeks. If you’re planning to run a half marathon, then you’ll want to vary your running routine for the 3 to 4 months you’re training. Even small, weekly changes help because you’re giving your body a new set of challenges. They’ll help you reach your ultimate goal.

Whatever your goals are, you can become a better runner when you vary your running routine. Remember to change things up based on how they help you reach your goals. There might be some growing pains and slight changes to your schedule, but you’ll eventually settle in! Don’t forget to adjust your nutrition too. These 4 taco recipes are delicious and a great place to start!