Running But Not Losing Weight? Here Are The 10 Reasons

runner trying to lose weight but he keeps gaining pounds

Are you tired of lacing up your running shoes, hitting the pavement with determination, and still not seeing those pounds melt away?

Trust me, you’re not alone. If you’ve been wondering why the numbers on the scale seem stubbornly stuck despite your running efforts, then you’ve stumbled upon the perfect post to unravel this weight loss mystery.

Let’s face it, running is often hailed as the holy grail of weight loss. It’s the go-to activity for countless beginners who are eager to shed those extra pounds and strut their stuff with confidence.

I should know because I embarked on my running journey for the very same reason—to bid farewell to those unwanted pounds once and for all.

But here’s the hard truth: running doesn’t always guarantee weight loss.

When I first embarked on my running journey back in 2006, the pounds started melting away. I was ecstatic as I watched the numbers on the scale drop, shedding around 25 glorious pounds within a few months. But then, the weight loss party came to a screeching halt. Despite my unwavering efforts and determination to stay slim, I found myself regaining about 15 pounds within six months. It felt like a cruel cosmic joke.

But here’s the thing—I refused to give up. I knew deep down that consistency was my only option. So I embarked on a journey of trial and error, determined to crack the code and keep those pounds at bay. And you know what? It worked. Today, I stand before you, ready to spill the beans on the main reasons why your weight loss progress may be slower than expected.

Are you ready? Let’s go.

Running But Not Losing Weight Reason – 1. You are Gaining Muscle Mass

Imagine your body as a canvas, and running as the brush that creates a masterpiece of physical transformation.

When you first embark on your running journey, your body undergoes a series of remarkable changes in response to this newfound activity. It’s like a symphony of adaptations and physiological shifts that set the stage for a total body makeover.

One of the most exciting transformations is the shift in your body composition. Picture this: as you lace up your running shoes and hit the pavement, your muscles start to awaken from their slumber and begin to grow stronger.

They become lean and sculpted, like the well-defined strokes of an artist’s brush on a canvas. Running has the power to increase muscle mass, particularly in those key running muscles such as the glutes, quads, and calves.

But here’s the catch: while your muscles are gaining mass and becoming more defined, your fat cells may not be as quick to bid farewell. They cling on stubbornly, like an unwelcome guest overstaying their welcome. It’s possible that you could be building muscle faster than shedding fat, which might leave you scratching your head and wondering why the numbers on the scale aren’t dropping as quickly as you’d hoped.

Additional resource – Here’s how to lose body fat.

Running But Not Losing Weight Reason – 2 Bad Nutrition

Here’s the truth: just because you lace up your running shoes and hit the pavement regularly doesn’t mean you can indulge in a greasy Big Mac or a decadent slice of chocolate cake without consequences.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but that’s not how the real world operates.

Sure, a moderate 45-minute run can torch around 500 calories, but all that hard work can easily be undone if you follow it up with a sugary soda or a tempting donut. It’s like running a race and then taking a detour that leads you right back to the starting line. The calorie deficit you thought you had achieved vanishes in an instant.

In fact, research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) revealed a startling truth: people tend to underestimate the calorie content of high-caloric foods nearly 100 percent of the time.

Here’s what you need to do to remedy this quandary.

First and foremost, focus on eating right. While everyone’s eating plan may differ based on factors like genetics, body type, and metabolism, the general rule of thumb is to choose natural, whole foods at least 90 percent of the time. Think of your plate as a vibrant canvas, filled with colorful fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains that nourish your body and support your running goals.

Next, aim for three satisfying meals a day that keep you fueled and energized for four to five hours without the nagging need for constant snacking.

When it comes to food choices, say a resounding “no” to sugary temptations, processed foods, and anything with a laundry list of unpronounceable ingredients. Remember, the fewer the ingredients on the label, the better.

Portion control is another key aspect of successful eating for weight loss. Grab those measuring cups and spoons and use them to keep your serving sizes in check. It’s a simple yet powerful way to ensure you’re not overdoing it and consuming more calories than you intended.

Timing is everything. Yes, even when you eat plays a role in your weight loss efforts. Consider exploring the concept of meal timing and its impact on your body’s metabolism. It may just give you an extra edge in achieving your goals.

Lastly, keep a close eye on your overall calorie intake. Knowledge is power, and monitoring your calories can provide valuable insights. Utilize a simple online calculator to determine your daily calorie needs and adjust accordingly based on your weight loss objectives.

Additional resource – Clean keto food list for beginners

Running But Not Losing Weight Reason – 3 You Run too Much

Picture this: you’re a dedicated runner, pounding the pavement, logging in those miles, and pushing yourself to new limits. It’s exhilarating, isn’t it? But here’s a plot twist you may not have anticipated: too much running without enough recovery time can throw a wrench in your weight loss vision. Yep, you read that right.

Overtraining is the villain in this story, lurking in the shadows, ready to wreak havoc on your health and sabotage your weight loss efforts. It’s not just about feeling exhausted and fatigued; overtraining can actually mess with your body’s delicate balance, affecting crucial factors like fluid levels, electrolytes, blood sugar, and stress levels.

And guess what? All of these can put a strain on your thyroid and slow down your metabolic rate, dealing a blow to your weight loss aspirations. Talk about a setback you didn’t see coming!

In simple terms, excessive stress, whether it’s from overtraining or other aspects of your life, can be a major roadblock on your weight loss journey, no matter how diligently you champion a healthy lifestyle

Here’s the fix you’ve been waiting for:

Recovery must become your number one priority. Give your body the TLC it deserves and watch as the benefits ripple through every aspect of your well-being. Here’s what you can do to promote effective recovery:

First and foremost, eat for recovery. Focus on post-run nutrition, fueling your body with natural, nutritious foods that replenish your energy stores and support the healing process. Think of it as giving your body the nourishment it needs to bounce back stronger than ever.

Next up, sleep like a champion. Aim for a solid 7 to 8 hours of uninterrupted slumber each night. Sleep is when your body works its magic, repairing and rejuvenating itself. Don’t skimp on this essential recovery tool.

To truly prioritize recovery, integrate it into your training program. Schedule dedicated recovery runs, workouts, days, and even weeks. These intentional breaks give your body a chance to recover and adapt, setting the stage for better performance and weight loss progress in the long run.

Running But Not Losing Weight Reason – 4 You’re Not Running Hard (or Long) Enough

You start off on your running journey, taking a few short runs around the block, and you’re thrilled to see a few pounds melt away.

It’s like a magic trick, right?

But then, after a couple of months, you hit a roadblock. Suddenly, the progress comes to a screeching halt. What’s going on? It’s as if your body has decided to play a cruel joke on you.

The truth is quite simple. Our bodies are incredibly smart machines, designed to be efficient and adapt to the demands we place upon them.

So, if you keep running the same route at the same pace, over and over again, your body catches on and says, “I’ve got this.” It adjusts to the workload, and the weight loss party comes to a disappointing end. It’s like hitting a weight loss plateau—a frustrating predicament that can make you want to throw your running shoes out the window.

But don’t despair just yet! The researchers at the University of Tampa have shed some light on this phenomenon.

They found that while running on the treadmill for 45 minutes at a steady pace does promote weight loss, it’s most effective during the initial weeks. After that, the magic starts to fade, leaving you stuck in a fitness limbo.

Here’s what you need to do

First and foremost, be consistent. If you’re serious about shedding those pounds, aim to schedule at least three runs per week, totaling a minimum of 240 minutes of exercise. Consistency is key, my friend.

Now, here comes the secret ingredient: diversify your training. It’s time to kick boredom to the curb and introduce some high-intensity interval training (HIIT) into your routine. This could mean incorporating sprints, hill repetitions, or other HIIT workouts that will leave you breathless and your muscles begging for mercy. By mixing up the intensity and duration of your runs, you’ll break through that weight loss plateau and reach your running goals in no time.

But wait, there’s more! Don’t limit yourself to running alone. Embrace the world of cross-training. Whether it’s spinning, yoga, weight training, or swimming, cross-training sessions will not only keep you consistent but also accelerate your fitness gains. It’s like adding some secret ingredients to your weight loss recipe.

Additional link – Slow running vs fast running for weight loss

Running But Not Losing Weight Reason – 5 The Scale is Just One Piece of a Much Bigger Puzzle

The scale—a sly trickster, if you ask me. It has a knack for playing mind games and can easily throw you off track when it comes to measuring your weight loss progress. Trust me, it’s not always the most reliable buddy in your weight loss journey.

Here’s the thing: our body weight is like a mischievous rascal, fluctuating by a few pounds from one day to the next. Blame it on the hormonal dance, the foods we consume, or even our hydration levels. These factors can create a rollercoaster ride of ups and downs on the scale.

Let me share a little secret with you: the scale doesn’t tell the whole story. It’s like trying to understand an intricate painting by focusing on a single brushstroke. Weight loss encompasses so much more than what those digits reveal.

But fear not! I have the perfect fix to liberate you from the scale’s mind games. Are you ready?

It’s time to broaden your horizons and embrace a variety of measurements to track your progress. The scale is just one piece of the puzzle, my friend. Consider incorporating other methods to paint a clearer picture of your weight loss journey.

For starters, how about taking some measurements? Grab a measuring tape and track the changes in your waistline, hips, and other areas of interest. These measurements can be a fantastic indicator of your progress, even when the scale refuses to budge.

Oh, and let’s not forget about the power of visual evidence. Take some “before” photos and snap new ones every few weeks. Compare them side by side, and you’ll be amazed at the transformation your body is undergoing. Remember, a picture is worth a thousand words—much more than a number on the scale.

And here’s a little tip that athletes swear by: keep an eye on your clothing. As your body transforms, your clothes will start fitting differently. That snug pair of jeans will suddenly become looser, and those shirts will drape over your figure in a whole new way. Pay attention to these subtle changes—they’re a testament to your progress.

Now, here’s a refreshing thought: instead of solely relying on the scale, shift your focus to how you feel. Are you gaining strength? Are your energy levels soaring? Can you tackle physical activities with newfound vigor? These non-scale victories are priceless and a true reflection of your overall well-being.

Try some of these ways to measure your progress:

  • Measure your body fat percentage once per month.
  • Measure your waist circumference.
  • Keep tabs on how well your clothes fit. Try on the same pair shirts or jeans every four to six weeks, and look for the subtle differences.
  • Take before and after pictures on a monthly basis.
  • Keep tabs on your emotional states and energy levels. Are you sleeping better? Do you have more energy? Are you feeling less stressed? Do you feel more alive? Etc.
  • Keep tabs on your athletic performance. Is your athletic performance improving? How much you can you run? How long can you run? How fast can you run? Take these fitness tests on every six to eight weeks to see how your fitness level stacks up to the average Joe.

Running But Not Losing Weight Reason – 6 Unrealistic Weight Loss Expectations

Alright, let’s have a heart-to-heart about weight loss. Brace yourself because I’m about to drop some truth bombs. Are you ready?

Here’s the thing: weight loss is not a magical overnight transformation. I know it’s disappointing to hear, but it’s the reality. Contrary to popular belief, shedding those extra pounds takes time—more time than we’d like it to.

Now, don’t get me wrong. We’ve all heard those tales of people who seemingly dropped weight like it was nothing. But here’s the catch: those stories of rapid weight loss rarely tell the whole story. In fact, research shows that losing a substantial amount of weight quickly is not the healthiest approach, nor is it sustainable in the long run. So, let’s put those unrealistic expectations aside.

If you’re feeling frustrated with the scale, it might simply be a matter of not giving it enough time. Patience is key, my friend. Weight loss is more of a marathon than a sprint. It’s about embracing a slow and steady journey rather than chasing quick fixes.

Now, I can already hear you saying, “Easier said than done!” And you’re absolutely right. But fear not, because I have an action plan to help you navigate this weight loss marathon.

First things first, let’s set realistic goals. Aim for no more than one pound of weight loss per week. Yes, you heard me right. Slow and steady wins the race. This means creating a daily calorie deficit of 300 to 500 calories. It’s all about finding a sustainable approach that works for you in the long term.

Running But Not Losing Weight Reason – 7 You Are Under Too Much Stress

Plenty of research has revealed that stress and weight gain go hand in hand.

Not convinced? Check the following studies:

Research 1

Research 2

Research 3

Research 4

Research 5

Chronic stress can contribute to a host of health issues, including:

  • Elevated cortisol. Not only does this mess up your hunger hormone, but also cause extra belly fat storage.
  • Research shows that we’re more likely to reach for ‘comfort foods’ that are rich in sugar and fat when we’re stressed.
  • Skipping Runs. When you feel like the world of the world is on your shoulders, it’s easy to put your run on the backburner in favor of a delicious waffle or a beer.

The Solution

Let’s take a moment to talk about the importance of checking in with yourself and managing your stress levels. Trust me, it’s worth it. But hey, don’t just take my word for it. I’ve got some fascinating research to back it up.

According to a study published in the journal Eating Behaviors, regular meditation can actually help tame those pesky binge eating tendencies and reduce emotional eating. So, taking a few minutes out of your day to consciously center yourself and lower your stress levels could be a game-changer on your weight loss journey.

Now, let’s dive into another reason why you might be running but not seeing those pounds melt away. Are you sleep-deprived? Hear me out on this one. I know that squeezing in your morning runs means sacrificing precious sleep time, but here’s the thing: getting enough shut-eye is crucial if you want to shed those extra pounds.

Multiple research studies have highlighted the link between poor sleep and obesity. It turns out that sleep deprivation is a common risk factor for weight gain. So, if you’re not clocking in enough hours between the sheets, it could be sabotaging your weight loss efforts.

Think of it like this: sleep is the secret sauce that helps your body function at its best. It’s the time when your body restores itself, balances hormones, and regulates metabolism. When you skimp on sleep, you’re throwing off this delicate equilibrium and potentially derailing your weight loss progress.

Here are a few:

Study 1

A study out of the University of Chicago found that sleep-deprived subjects opted for foods with twice as many carbs and fats as those who had enough sleep.

Study 2

One Mayo Clinic research found that sleep deprived subjects consume an average of 500 extra calories a day.

Study 3

Research out of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that sleep deprivation can increase the chances of late-night snacking and unhealthy food decisions.

Study 4

Research proposes that lack of sleep may lower your resting metabolic rate, which is the rate at which your body burns calories when at rest.

In other words, by skipping on sleep, your body is cooking up a perfect recipe for weight gain.

The reasons sleep affects your weight are manifold. These include :

  • Sleep deprivation can boost both insulin and leptin levels, resulting in the body becoming desensitized to their response.
  • You’re more likely to get takeout for dinner then hit the bed late because you feel uncomfortably full.
  • When tired following a bad night, you may choose to skip your workout or simply do less, burning fewer calories.
  • Being tired and moody the next day sets your brain up to make bad food decision, research shows.

The Solution

Ah, the elusive and often underestimated power of a good night’s sleep. It’s time to dive into the solution for those sleep-deprived nights and the impact they can have on your weight loss journey. Trust me, it’s worth the effort.

To get things rolling, you’ll want to aim for a solid seven to eight hours of quality sleep each and every night. I know, I know, it may require some adjustments to your schedule, but trust me, it’s worth every minute.

Now, let’s talk about improving the quality of your sleep. Here are a few tips to help you catch those Zzz’s like a pro:

First up, let’s talk about napping. A power nap can work wonders, but remember to keep it short and sweet, no more than 30 minutes. It’s like a little recharge for your brain and body.

Next, experiment with different bedtime schedules to find what works best for you. Maybe hitting the hay at 11 pm and waking up at 7 am is your sweet spot. Give it a whirl and see how it feels.

Consistency is key, my friend. Aim to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, yes, even on weekends. Your body loves routine, and it’ll reward you with better sleep.

Now, let’s set the stage for a restful night. In the few hours leading up to bedtime, try to reduce distractions and limit your exposure to bright lights. Think of it as creating a tranquil and cozy environment for your slumber.

Oh, and here’s a sneaky culprit to watch out for: stimulants. Avoid caffeine and nicotine at least three hours before bedtime. They can interfere with your ability to drift off into dreamland.

Running But Not Losing Weight Reason – 9 You’re Losing Weight Without Realizing It

Here’s the deal: the scale provides just one piece of the puzzle, your absolute weight. But here’s the thing, that number doesn’t always give you the full picture of what’s really happening in your body.

Stepping on the scale day in and day out only captures the everyday fluctuations in your hydration levels and other trivial weight metrics. It’s like trying to measure the vastness of the ocean with a single drop of water.

But wait, there’s more to the story. Muscle gain can also throw a wrench in the scale’s grand plan. Yes, running might not make you bulk up like a bodybuilder, but it does allow you to build lean muscle mass, especially in those powerful lower body muscles.

So, if you’ve been hitting the pavement consistently and notice those defined running calves and quads, congratulations, you’ve gained some muscle! And here’s the twist: muscle weighs more than fat.

So, it’s no surprise that the scale might not move in the direction you desire or, heaven forbid, it might even show a slight increase. But fear not, my friend, it’s just a sign that your body is getting stronger and more resilient.

Now, let’s get to the solution. First and foremost, step away from the scale obsession. No need to hop on it every single day.

Remember, weight can fluctuate by a few pounds throughout the day due to various factors. Instead, focus on gradual and consistent changes in your weight over a span of three to four weeks. This gives you a more accurate reflection of your progress

To eliminate the influence of external factors, establish a routine. Weigh yourself at the same time of day, on the same day each week. And here’s a pro tip: do it first thing in the morning, before indulging in breakfast or getting dressed. This way, you’re capturing your body’s true state.

But hold on, my friend, there’s a whole world of measurements beyond the scale that can provide valuable insights into your progress. Let’s explore some alternatives:

First, grab a measuring tape and track your waist circumference. It’s a fantastic way to monitor changes in your body shape and inches lost.

Next, consider measuring your body weight percentage. This gives you a glimpse into the proportion of your weight that comes from fat versus other components like muscle and water.

For a deeper understanding of your body composition, you can even get your body analyzed. Various methods, such as DEXA scans or bioelectrical impedance, can provide you with detailed insights.

And last but not least, keep an eye on your body fat percentage. It’s an excellent indicator of your overall progress and can help you see beyond the scale’s deceptive games.

Running But Not Losing Weight Reason – 10  You Have A Medical Condition

Maybe you’re not losing weight, despite running regularly and eating well, is because you have got an underlying health condition.

A host of medical conditions can hinder weight loss or cause weight gain. Among them are:

  • Cushing’s syndrome. Occurs when your adrenal glands release too much cortisol, resulting in the buildup of fat in your abdomen, upper back, and face.
  • Happens when your thyroid is underactive, resulting in a limited production of the thyroid hormone, which is key for burning stored fat.
  • Polycystic over syndrome. Or PCOS, this condition is caused by a hormonal imbalance, affecting more than 5 million women in the US alone.
  • Insulin resistance. Or hyperinsulinemia, this is the umbrella term for host health issues thought to be rooted in insulin resistance.
  • You’re more likely to turn into eating to ease your emotional issues. Some antidepressant medications (SSRIs) can also cause weight gain.

The Solution

Regardless of your exercise, diet, or lifestyle habits, if you’re piling up the pounds and don’t know why, consult with your doctor to rule out a medical issue as the cause.

Although you might feel tempted to give up, don’t. Most of these medical problems can be solved.

Running But Not Losing Weight – The Conclusion

If you’re having trouble losing the pounds while running, you need to get real get back to basics—most of which I shared with you today (as well as this previous post).

It’s not only important to pay attention to what you’re putting in your mouth, but also how much sleep you’re getting, your stress level, your training intensity, and the fact that you might have medical issues that are sabotaging your weight loss efforts.

I know it’s hard to keep track off, but it’s worth the effort.

Just remember to take action, start small, and build these healthy habits gradually.

Then it’s just a question of time.

Losing weight is a messy business, especially when you’re a fat runner.  There are no shortcuts nor silver bullets—and it requires hard and persistent work to see results—the type of result that works for the long term.

Please feel free to leave your comments and questions in the section below.

In the meantime, thank you for reading my post.

Keep Running Strong.

David D.

The 9 Diet Mistakes Runners Make

runner making Diet Mistake

When you’re a runner, proper nutrition is critical.

This is true whether you’re looking to lose weight, boost performance, or improve health.

The right diet maximizes energy, prevents GI distress, aids digestion, and optimizes recovery.

I can go on and on endlessly about this subject because I’ve made my share of mistakes.

Probably the worst mistake I ever made was underestimating my calorie needs.

I started skimping on meals with the intention of speeding up my weight loss results, and it had a serious outcome — my running performance suffered horribly.

In fact, I wanted to quit many a time.

Now that I look back at it, I don’t regret making that mistake.

It was a valuable lesson—something I’d to experience first-hand to fully appreciate.

Diets Are Hard To Maintain

Maintaining a healthy diet is more easily said than done.

Been there, done that. I struggled for years to figure out the right diet, but thanks to consistency, practice, and a bit of luck I was finally able to turn my nutrition around and bring myself into shape.

I got pretty down on myself when I figured out what I was doing wrong, but I now know that I was far from unique.

Nutritional mistakes are universal, even among runners of all training backgrounds and levels.

There’s no reason for you to go through the learning curve that I did – I’m here to help you learn the mistakes and what you need to do to fix them.

Read on!

  1. Not Eating Enough

This is probably the first mistake I made when I took up running as a means for weight loss.

My reasoning was simple.

If I drastically reduced my calorie intake, I’d lose a ton of weight.

I was wrong.

The truth is that depriving your body of vital nutrients gains you nothing.

It actually undermines your workouts AND your weight loss progress.

The Fix

Eat appropriate portions of healthy foods.

As long as your diet is mainly made up of vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fats, and some fruits, you’re on the right path.

Looking to shed weight? Aim for a 500-calorie deficit per day.

Weight loss is a numbers game.

As a general rule, men should aim for eating at least 1800 calories per day, while women need about 1500 calories a day.

On hard training days your need for more nutrients is higher than usual, so spend less time worrying about calories.

Additional resource – Guide To BCAAs for Runners

  1. Eating Whatever You Want

Many runners overestimate their calorie burn and underestimate the amount they consume.

This is why many struggle with weight gain, despite training every day.

Here’s the truth.

You simply can’t outrun a crappy diet.

Yes, you can go ahead and try it, but I’d bet you won’t go that far.

The Fix

Running for miles and miles every day doesn’t give you license to eat everything under the sun.

That’s why you got to be aware of your eating habits. Learn to recognize the signs that you’re full, so you don’t end up overeating.

Also, practice the 90/10 rule.

That means you should eat healthy and clean 90 percent of the time, then give yourself 10 percent for cheat meals and occasional indulgences.

What’s more? Keep tabs on your daily calorie burn with a GPS watch or an online calculator.

These types of tools can help you keep tabs on body weight, training intensity, and other valuable stats.

Additional Resource – Here’s your guide to pre and post run nutrition

woman eating an apple after a run

  1. Not Consuming Enough Protein

I hate to break it to you, but skimping on protein will do nothing but set you back on both your running and fitness goals.

And you don’t want that.

You may think of protein as being a bodybuilder’s main nutrient, but as a runner, you might need even more protein than a strength buff.

Why? There are plenty of reasons.

Protein keeps you feeling full for longer, speeds up your recovery and ensures optimal health.

I could go on and on about the importance of protein, but I’ll do that on another day in another blog.

In the meantime, you can learn more about it here.

The Fix

To get enough protein, aim for 1 to 1.5 grams per pound of body weight.

How can you do this? Simple: Add at least 15 to 20 grams of protein to every meal.

Some of the best sources include lean meats (such as poultry and fish), eggs, milk, yogurt, almonds, and nuts.

  1. Addicted to Sports Nutrition

Performance nutrition—sports drinks, gels, chews, etc. —has its place in a running program.

But going overboard piles on more calories than you need, eventually leading to weight gain.

Eating too many energy bars can also result in nutritional imbalances.

When you go for processed junk instead of whole foods, you end up sacrificing vital nutrients such as vitamins, carotenoids, fiber, etc.

Additional resource – Running supplements for runners

The Fix

Know when you need specialty sports nutrition and when you don’t.

For instance, you don’t need special drinks and gels for short runs of less than 50 to 60 minutes.

Planning to run longer than that? Then consume 40 to 50 grams of carbohydrates—the equivalent of a 16-to-32-ounce sports drink—per hour of exercise.

Remember that energy bars are not a meal replacement.

Be sure to eat high-quality foods such as veggies, lean protein, and fruits, and also drink plenty of water to keep your body well hydrated.

Additional Resource – Creatine For Runners

  1. Running Away from Fats

Skimping on fat? You’re doing your body a big disservice.

Here’s the truth.

Eating fats won’t make you fat any more than eating money will make you rich.

Not only that, but purging all types of fat from your eating plan is like throwing the baby out with the bath water.

Dietary fats help your body absorb nutrients like Vitamins A, D, and K.

They also regulate hunger, reduce your cholesterol level, aid digestion, and a host of other vital functions.

The Fix

Make healthy fats a priority.

Eat plenty of mono-and polyunsaturated fats, which are found in avocados, fish, nuts, olive oil, and seeds.

These are what protect your heart and promote feeling full.

The fats that you need to avoid like the plague are trans fats.

These are the manmade hydrogenated fats typically found in cookies, fast foods, and other processed items.

Healthy fats should make up 20 to 25 percent of your daily calorie intake.

As a rough guideline, consume a half gram per pound of body weight per day.

Additional resource – Best sources of electrolytes for runners

  1. Ignoring Post-run Fueling

It took me years to realize the importance of my post-training diet.

I just didn’t know better, so I kept reaching for junk, non-nutritious, food to satisfy my post-run cravings.

I ended up taking in loads of empty calories and little to no nutrients at all.

Until one day when I learned about the importance of post-training eating for both performance and recovery, That’s when I changed my ways.

Eating during the recovery window is crucial because that’s when your body is most receptive to nutrients.

If you skip post-workout eating, your muscles won’t get the stuff it needs to repair itself and build new muscle after a run.

That, sooner than later, limits recovery and hinders performance.

I’m pretty positive that you want none of that.

Additional resource – What to eat after running at night

The Fix

Two words: Plan ahead.

Have your post-run recovery snacks and meals ready beforehand.

Choose foods loaded with carbs and protein to replenish your muscle and hold off hunger.

Depending on your preference and personal goals, go for a 3-to-1 or 4-to-1 ratio of carbs to protein.

If you don’t have the stomach for solid food following exercise (which is the case for some of us), then go for liquid options.

My favorites include chocolate milk or a smoothie with a protein shake.

This is also a great way to reward yourself after a run!

  1. Not Drinking Enough Water

I cannot emphasize this enough.

Runners who stay well-hydrated run harder, perform better and have an enjoyable time doing it.

Water is essential to almost every bodily function.

As research shows, losing two percent of body weight in fluid can drastically reduce your power and athletic performance.

The Fix

Keep your body well hydrated throughout the day.

Shoot for at least 100 to 120 ounces of water—the equivalent of 12 to 15 cups.

As a rule, drink 8 to 12  ounces of water right before you start running to ensure that you’re hydrated starting off.

Planning a long session? Drink on the run.

Aim for at least 6 to 8 ounces of fluid every 10 to 15 minutes.

To measure your dehydration level, watch out for changes in body weight before and after training.

For every pound you lose, drink at least 16 ounces of fluid.

Additional Resource – Running while constipated.

  1. Rushing Results

In my opinion, the biggest mistake you can make when it comes to trying to achieve diet success—or in any other area of life—is rushing results.

Change takes time, and when you’re trying to change something that’s hard and tricky like a nutrition plan, you need to be patient.

Every runner is different and responds differently to various nutrition plans. The secret to success boils down to EXPERIMENTING with different methods and finding the solution that works for you – and this takes time.

The Fix

Start with the basics.

Eat clean most of the time and experiment with different diet plans, then evaluate each approach for its short-term and long-term benefits.

Your goal is to find what works best for you.

Remember to go slow and go small.

As a rule, make small changes, one at a time.

For example, start by trying to develop a post-run eating strategy, or with eating more protein.

Drink more water and don’t skip breakfast.

It’s not sexy, but it all works.

Each of these steps and fixes put together will help you lay the foundation for healthy eating.

Remember: This is your life we’re talking about, and you’re in it for the long haul.

Every positive change you make is worth the effort, but it may take time for it to become second nature.

Be patient with yourself.

New to Running? Start Here…

If you’re serious about running, getting fit, and staying injury free, then make sure to download my Runners Blueprint Guide!

Inside this guide, you’ll learn how to start running and lose weight weight the easy and painless way. This is, in fact, your ultimate manifesto to becoming a faster and a stronger runner. And you want that, don’t you?

 Click HERE to check out my Runners Blueprint System today!

Don’t miss out! My awesome running plan is just one click away.

Conclusion

There you have it!

The above diet mistakes are some of the most common I see runners (as well as non-runners) make on a consistent basis.

Now it’s your turn. Are you making any of these mistakes? Or do you have other insights you’d like to share?

I’d love to hear from you in the comments section.

In the meantime thank you for dropping by.

Keep Running Strong

Building A Better Running Lifestyle – The 8 Runners Habits You Need

runner on a beach

Want to unlock your full running potential? Ready to smash those personal records, conquer new distances, and kick those extra pounds to the curb for good? Well, you’re in the right place because we’re about to dive headfirst into the world of the best runner’s habits.

Now, I know what you might be thinking—building habits sounds daunting, right? Fear not! I’m here to show you that it’s not rocket science, and it can actually be kind of fun. So, lace up those running shoes and get ready to transform your running lifestyle one habit at a time.

In this article, we’re going to break down each habit, sprinkle in some practical tips, and guide you on how to seamlessly integrate them into your running routine.

Excited? You should be! Let’s hit the ground running and discover the secret sauce to becoming the best runner you can be.

Running Lifestyle Habit – 1. Become a Morning Runner

Our lives are a whirlwind of activities, from work commitments to social gatherings and family responsibilities. It often feels like there’s barely enough time to maintain a consistent running routine. But what if I told you there’s a simple solution: become a morning runner?

Embarking on a morning run has two significant advantages. First and foremost, it allows you to check off your run before the chaos of daily life takes over. Studies even suggest that people who exercise in the morning tend to stay more committed to their fitness regimen in the long run.

Secondly, starting your day with a run sets a positive tone that can enhance productivity, alertness, and overall energy levels. It’s like a shot of espresso for your body and mind, minus the caffeine jitters.

Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. If you’re a night owl and have successfully maintained a consistent running schedule in the afternoon or evening, kudos to you! But for many of us (myself included), transitioning into the “morning runner” lifestyle has been a game-changer.

Running Lifestyle Habit – 2. Set a Variety of Goals

Goal setting is the cornerstone of a successful running journey, but it’s not a one-size-fits-all concept. To truly harness its power, I encourage you to embrace a variety of goal types that will keep you motivated and consistently progressing.

Let’s explore the key goal categories every runner should consider:

Life (Long-Term) Performance Goals:

Think of these as your ultimate running aspirations—the crowning achievements that define your running journey. It’s your lifetime running legacy. Examples include conquering a marathon, earning that coveted Boston Marathon qualification, or triumphing in an ultra-distance trail race. These are the goals that make you say, “I did it.”

Annual Performance Goals:

These mid-range objectives serve as stepping stones towards your life goals. They provide the roadmap to your ultimate running dreams. For instance, it could be breaking the 20-minute mark in a 5K race by June or completing a local marathon in under 3 hours and 30 minutes. Annual goals keep you focused and moving forward.

Short-Term Goals:

While life and annual goals set the direction, short-term goals define your day-to-day and weekly actions. They are the building blocks that prop up your larger objectives. Short-term goals typically span one to four weeks, depending on where you are in your training cycle.

Examples include committing to two weekly speedwork sessions or ensuring you tackle a long run every weekend. These goals keep you accountable and steadily progressing.

Other goals to consider:

Here are other goals you might consider setting:

Running Lifestyle Habit – 3 Do a Dynamic Warm-up Routine Before a Run

Ah, the dreaded warm-up miles. We’ve all been there, right? But fear not, my fellow runner, because I’m about to let you in on a game-changing secret: dynamic warm-up exercises.

Dynamic warm-ups are like your running BFF. They not only get your blood pumping and your heart racing but also make sure your joints and muscles are all geared up for action.

So, without further ado, here’s the idea dynamic warm-up routine:

Step 1:

Start with a leisurely 5-minute walk. This is like your warm-up for the warm-up.

Step 2:

Now, get ready to shake things up. Spend 20 to 30 seconds on each of the following exercises in the order listed:

  • Leg swings: Channel your inner pendulum and swing those legs back and forth.
  • Skips: Yes, you read that right. Skip like you’re a kid again. It’s fun, I promise.
  • Squats: Drop it like it’s hot (but controlled) with some squats.
  • Lunges: Step into greatness with some lunges. Alternating legs, of course.
  • Inchworms: Feel like a mini-giant as you inch your way forward and backward.

Step 3:

Now that your body is awake and raring to go, slowly transition into your regular running pace. It’ll feel like a breeze, trust me.

After your invigorating run, don’t forget the golden rule of running: stretching. Show some love to those hardworking muscles – calves, hamstrings, quads, and hip flexors. Give your shoulders and chest a little TLC to release any built-up tension.

Running Lifestyle Habit – 4. Take Care of Your Body

Oh, running, the beautiful agony of it all! It’s a love-hate relationship, isn’t it? On the one hand, you’ve got the thrill of the open road or the soothing rhythm of the treadmill, and on the other, there’s chafing, cramps, blisters, and the ever-looming specter of more serious injuries.

But here’s the deal, my fellow runner: to keep those running shoes laced up for the long haul, you’ve got to embrace the art of recovery. It’s not just a nice-to-have; it’s an absolute must. Why, you ask?

Well, let me drop a truth bomb on you: you’ll never unlock your full running potential if you’re constantly nursing injuries or feeling like a burnt-out candle.

In the grand scheme of things, I’d say you’re only as good as your recovery game. For the elite athletes out there, recovery isn’t a side dish; it’s the main course. So, my friend, it’s time to get serious about your recovery. Ignoring it or trying to outmuscle it is a one-way ticket to a world of trouble.

After all, those personal records and that runner’s high are waiting for you on the other side of a well-executed recovery routine.

Here are a few of my favorite ways to speed up recovery and staying injury free:

  • Schedule recovery runs, recovery days, and recovery weeks into your training program.
  • Never run through pain—especially in the hips, knees, shins, or feet.
  • Stay within your fitness level at all times—but stretch it gradually.
  • Get at least 8 hours of high-quality and uninterrupted sleep during the night’s time.
  • Change your running shoes every 400 to 500 miles.
  • Take care of your running feet.
  • Use a compression garment while running.
  • Cross train—preferably low-impact activities, such as walking, biking, strength training, and yoga. This can also be a form of “active recovery.
  • Keep listening to your body and adjusting your training program accordingly.

Running Lifestyle Habit – 5. Strength Train

Ah, the weight room – the secret haven of many a successful and joyful runner. It might sound counterintuitive, but believe me, resistance training is your running BFF.

Let’s break it down: hitting those weights does wonders for your running game. It’s like the Swiss Army knife of workouts for runners. First off, it tackles those pesky muscle imbalances, and when you’re balanced, you’re less likely to wind up on the injury list.

Nobody wants that, right?

But that’s not all – resistance training is your ticket to building power and speed, two things that can turn you into a running powerhouse.

Plus, it’s like a crash course in improving your running economy, which is a fancy way of saying you’ll use less oxygen when you run. Efficiency is the name of the game.

Strong muscles working in harmony, proper form locked in, and you are gliding like a gazelle (or at least feeling like one). That’s the gift of a well-rounded athlete.

So, here’s the deal – make those weight room dates at least twice a week. Give your muscles the love they deserve, and they’ll reward you with strength, resilience, and endurance.

Now, I get it – not everyone’s besties with the gym. No problem. You can start right at home with some classic bodyweight exercises like push-ups, squats, pull-ups, lunges, and planks. These bad boys will whip you into shape and boost your total body strength in no time.

And hey, if time’s not your friend, don’t sweat it (well, maybe a little). You can squeeze in some strength exercises post-run. Imagine this: you’ve just crushed your run, and now you’re topping it off with a bonus round of 25 push-ups, 30 squats, 20 lunges, and a 90-second plank.

Running Lifestyle Habit – 6. Run With Others

When it comes to achieving success – and I’m talking about success not just in running but in every nook and cranny of life – the people you surround yourself with are like secret weapons.

Here’s the deal: if you want to crush your running goals while having an absolute blast, there’s no better way than to run with others, especially those you genuinely enjoy hanging out with. Why? Because you are the company you keep, plain and simple.

But don’t just take my word for it; science has our back on this one. A nifty study by the Society of Behavioral Medicine spilled the beans – those who exercise with others are way more likely to stay true to their training.

But wait, there’s more. Running with your crew isn’t just about clocking miles together; it’s about building a support system, a cornerstone of long-term health and fitness success.

Running Lifestyle Habit – 7  Eat Healthy

Whether you’re pounding the pavement or taking it easy, a healthy diet is your ultimate sidekick – and trust me, it’s not up for debate.

Here’s the deal – even if you could run from sunrise to sunset, you’d never outrun an unhealthy diet. Period.

So, let’s make healthy eating a lifelong habit, shall we? I know it’s easier said than done, but hey, it’s not rocket science.

Now, let’s break it down.

The “when” is key.

What you munch on before, during, and after a run directly impacts your performance and how much you enjoy that workout. So, here’s the game plan: chow down something light and easy on the stomach one to two hours before your run.

Think carbs – they’re your energy buddies. And don’t forget to refuel right after you wrap up that run. Your body will thank you.

Now, let’s talk “what.” Proper nutrition isn’t about stuffing your face; it’s about fueling your engine with the good stuff.

So, load up on veggies, fruits, lean proteins, healthy fats – you know, the A-team. Kick the junk to the curb. It’s time to level up your plate game.

Running Lifestyle Habit – 8 Drink lots of Water

I can’t stress this enough – you need to make guzzling water a daily habit. Not coffee, not iced tea, and certainly not soda or sugary drinks. We’re talking good old H2O.

Here’s the game plan: aim for at least 36 ounces of water per day. That’s about six six-ounce glasses. But, if your body’s hankering for more, then drink up. But here’s the catch – don’t go overboard. Too much water can actually upset your stomach and mess with your sodium levels. So, be smart about it. Know when to say when.

Now, here’s a pro tip for you – your pee is a hydration indicator. If it’s clear throughout the day, you’re nailing the hydration game. But if it’s looking pale and yellow, you’ve got some catching up to do in the water-drinking department.

Building A Better Running Lifestyle – The 8 Running Habits You Need – Conclusion

Last but not least, I want to hear from you, guys and girls.

Which of these eight habits do you think is more crucial?

Which one(s) do you need to start working on?

And please, do you have any habits or running practices you feel like sharing?

Leave your suggestions and questions in the comment section below.

Thank you for reading my post.

Top 7 Hip Stretches For Runners

hip stretches for runners

Looking for some of the best hip stretches for runners?

You’re in the right place.

In today’s article I’ll show you how to stretch your hips in a safe and comfortable way. But first things first, let’s talk about why you need to add a few hip opening stretches to your training routine.

Let’s delve deeper…

*Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products I’d use myself and all opinions expressed here are my own. 

What Are The Hip Flexors?

Located near the top of your thighs, the hip flexors consist of a group of muscles and tendons on the front—anterior—of your hip joint, connecting your legs to your pelvis.

When contracted, your hip flexors let you raise your knees or bend at the hip.

The primary hip flexor muscles are the psoas major and the iliacus— collectively known as the iliopsoas, (usually the weakest of all of the muscles).

Other hip flexor muscles include the sartorius, tensor fascia latae, and rectus femoris.

See image.

And here’s how they look like :

The main hip flexors muscles

Source – Wikipedia

The Functions Of the Hip Flexors

The hip flexor muscles are used in every stride when walking, running, and sprinting.

These allow you to walk, run, bend kick, and swivel your hips.

Your hip flexors are contracted on every step forward.

The more miles you log in, the more you put them to work.

Some of the main functions:

  • Bringing the thighs up toward the chest.
  • Driving the knees up and down.
  • Maintaining proper running form.
  • Moving the legs from side to side and front to back.
  • Stabilizing the pelvis.

Causes of Hip Issues

The hips is just one region of the body that’s prone to tightness if you’re a runner.

Running’s repetitive nature means that you’re constantly working the hip flexors and extensors through a very small range of motion.

So it’s not surprising that hip pain from running is such a common issue.

Add to this the fact that, thanks to our sedentary lifestyle, we spend the bulk of our time sitting—roughly a third of the day.

When you spend a lot of time in a seated position, your hip flexors are kept in a shortened position more than they should be, which, in turn, makes them super tight.

This has huge negative effects on your posture, spinal stability, and gait.

Ramifications of Tightness

Tightness in the hip flexors results in an exaggerated anterior pelvic tilt.

This occurs when the arch of the lower back increases while the backside stick out more.

The tighter your hip flexors get, the more your pelvis tilts back and the more likely you’re to lean forward—as in stick out your butt and arch your back—while running.

Not only this is bad form, but can also set you up for back pain and serious injury. And you want none of that.

For more on the research conducted on hip muscle tightness and overuse injury, check the following studies:

Study 1

Study 2

Study 3

Study 4

How To Test Your Hip Flexor Flexibility

Wondering if your hips are too tight—or loose enough? Take the Thomas test.

Also known as Iliacus test or Iliopsoas Test, this test is used to measure the flexibility of the hip flexors—more specifically, that of the iliopsoas muscle group, the pectineus, Rectus Femoris, gracillus as well as the Sartorius and Tensor Fascia.

Proper form

Start by laying or sitting at the very edge of a table or bent, with the tailbone resting at the edge.

Then, roll back onto the table while pulling both knees to your chest.

This helps ensure that your lumbar spine is flat on the table and your pelvis is posteriorly rotated.

Next, hold the opposite hip in maximum flexor with the arms, while the assessed limb hang down toward the floor.

Last up, perform on both sides and compare.

Results

If your left leg lower backs, and sacrum remain flat on the table with the knee bending to 70 to 90 degrees, kudos…you don’t have tight hip flexors.

However, if one of your thighs or legs stay up drastically higher than the other, then you do have tight hips, and regular hip openning stretches are required.

Now that you know a thing or two about the importance of hip stretches for runners, let’s get to the exercises themselves.

Top 7 Hip Stretches For Runners

Fortunately, there’s is an abundance of good hip openining stretches that you can perform at home to decrease tightness, relieve pain, and increase mobility in your hips.

You won’t need to join a gym, buy a lot of expensive equipment or even leave the comfort of your home to perform the following hip flexors exercises.

Enjoy!

Hip Stretch for Runner – 1. Pigeon

Also known as Eka pada rajakapotasana, this is a famous yoga pose, and one of the most effective hip flexors stretches, especially the hip abductors.

Proper Form

Begin by sitting with your right knee bent and left leg stretched behind you.

Next, while making sure that your left hip is always pointing toward the mat, drag your right heel toward your left hip.

Then rest your hands on your right thigh or your hips, then walk your hands out in front of you, and lower your hips down toward the floor over your right knee.

Hold the pose for 30 seconds to one minute.

Be sure to breathe into any area of discomfort or tension.

Repeat on the other side.

Hip Stretch for Runner – 2. Lunge Hip Flexor Stretch

One of the best best hip stretches for runners that  not only targets most of the muscles in the hips, but it’s also ideal for stretching the glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps.

Proper Form

Assume a lunge position with your right knee forward.

Next, drop your left knee to the ground, and place your hands on your right knee or the floor under your shoulders, according to your flexibility level.

Be sure to keep your upper body tall, and core engaged the entire time.

Then, while keeping your front knee directly above your ankle, hold the position for 30 seconds to one minute, and feel the stretch in your left hip flexor.

Change sides and repeat.

Hip Stretch for Runner – 3. Happy Baby

Also known as Ananda Balasana in the yogic circles, this relaxing hip stretch also targets the lower back and the hamstrings.

Proper Form

Lay flat on your back with both knees bent while gently holding the outside edges of your feet with your hands.

Next, while keeping your arms on the outside of your legs, press both knees to the ground below your armpits.

Feel free to rock lightly from side to side if that feels good.

Hold the pose for at least one minute, then move to the next stretch.

Hip Stretch for Runner – 4. Butterfly

A powerful hip opener that also stretches the glutes and the inner thighs.

Proper Form

Assume a cross-legged seated position with the soles of the feet pressed together.

Next, while grabbing your ankles, lengthen your spine upward,  draw your belly button inward then slowly fold forward from your hips with a deep exhale.

Focus on your inner thighs and be sure to breathe into that area to release any tension or discomfort.

For more stretch, feel free to crawl your hands forward away from your body.

Hold the pose for one minute then slowly release and move to the next stretch.

Hip Stretch for Runner – 5. Extended Wide Squat

Not only this hip opening stretch is ideal for the hip abductors, but also increase mobility in the lower back, hamstrings, and glutes.

Proper Form

Assume a standing position, with the feet slightly wider than your hips, toes pointing out so that hips are open.

Next, while keeping your back flat and core engaged, slowly bend your knees and lower your hips toward the floor.

For more stretch, place your elbows inside of your thighs, gently pressing them out against the inside of your knees.

Hold the pose for 30 seconds to one minute then slowly release back to standing position.

Hip Stretch for Runner – 6. Frog Hip Stretch

This simple pose stretches and opens up the the hip abductors, the insides of the thighs, and the groin.

If you have any recent leg, hip or knee injury, be careful with this one.

Proper Form

This is one of my favorite hip flexor stretches.

Assume an all fours position with hands and knee in a tabletop position, then bring your forearms onto the mat or a yoga block.

Next, slowly slide both knees away from your body and widen them out as far as possible as you lower your chest and hips toward the floor.

Hold the position for one to two minutes then slowly release it and move to the next stretch.

Hip Stretch for Runner – 7. Standing Wide-Legged Split

This stretch will not only target your hips but also opens up your inner thighs and hamstrings.

Proper Form

Begin by sitting up tall with the feet three to four feet apart, heels a bit wider than the toes.

Next, while keeping the soles of your feet flat on the floor and torso long,  fold forward from the hips and place your hands on a yoga block or mat right below your shoulders.

Hold the pose for 30 seconds to one minute.

If your flexibility allows it, feel free to lower onto forearms for a deeper hips stretch.

hip flexor stretches for runners

New to Running? Start Here…

If you’re serious about running, getting fit, and staying injury free, then make sure to download my Runners Blueprint Guide!

Inside this guide, you’ll learn how to start running and lose weight weight the easy and painless way. This is, in fact, your ultimate manifesto to becoming a faster and a stronger runner. And you want that, don’t you?

 Click HERE to check out my Runners Blueprint System today!

Don’t miss out! My awesome running plan is just one click away.

Top 7 Hip Stretches For Runners – The Conclusion

There you have it!

The above hip flexor stretches for runners are all you need for to open your hip flexors and keep flexible for the long haul.

Just make sure to do them on a regular basis. The rest is just detail.

How to Protect Yourself From Dogs While Running

Welcome, fellow runner, to the realm of canine defense!

Today, we embark on a mission to arm ourselves with the knowledge and strategies to protect ourselves from the unexpected menace of hostile dogs.

Picture this: you’re out on your run, feeling the wind in your hair, when suddenly, like a bolt from the blue, a snarling dog charges toward you with teeth bared and a not-so-friendly demeanor. What do you do in that heart-pounding moment of truth?

Now, let me make one thing clear before we proceed. I, like you, have a deep appreciation for our furry friends. Dogs hold a special place in our hearts, but when they turn from playful companions to aggressive adversaries during our runs, it’s a whole different story. We don’t want to find ourselves caught in a canine nightmare, do we?

In fact, dogs can transform into a runner’s worst nightmare when they unleash their hostility upon us. It’s a scenario that outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds can relate to—runners, bikers, walkers, you name it. We all have our tales of encountering these four-legged foes up close and personal.

And let me tell you, these stories are not a figment of our imaginations. They are real, and they serve as a reminder that even in the world of running, danger can lurk in unexpected forms. Take, for instance, the tragic account of a 63-year-old woman who met her untimely demise while out on her morning jog in Palmdale, California, attacked by four vicious dogs. It’s a sobering reminder that we must be prepared for the worst, even if such incidents are rare.

So, my fellow runner, it is crucial that we equip ourselves with the knowledge to handle such situations should they arise. Prevention is key, and knowing how to react in the unlikely event of a dangerous encounter is worth every bit of effort we put into it. After all, our safety is paramount, and it’s better to be prepared than caught off guard.

Sounds helpful? Let’s get started.

The Statistics

Did you know that in the United States alone, approximately 4.7 million people fall victim to dog bites each year? That’s a staggering number, my friend. And here’s the truly alarming part: out of those incidents, a shocking 1 in 5 individuals end up seeking medical attention in the emergency room. It’s not something to be taken lightly, as approximately 17 of these encounters even result in death. These statistics, provided by the American Human Association, shed light on the severity of the issue at hand.

When it comes to fatal dog attacks in the US, pit bulls are involved in around 55 percent of those tragic incidents. This is not to single out any specific breed, but it emphasizes the importance of understanding the potential risks and taking necessary precautions to protect ourselves.

How to Protect Yourself From Dogs While Running

Now, let’s dive into the crux of the matter—how to safeguard yourself from dogs while indulging in your passion for outdoor running. We all know that prevention is the best medicine, and this holds true for dog encounters as well.

So, before we delve into techniques for fending off aggressive dogs, it’s crucial to explore ways to avoid animal encounters altogether. And believe me, my friend, these measures go beyond simply relying on a dog repellent spray for runners.

Of course, accidents can still happen, and despite our best efforts, we may find ourselves confronted by an aggressive dog. In such moments, it becomes essential to possess the knowledge and skills to defend yourself effectively.

Know your Route

If there’s one crucial piece of advice I can impart to you when it comes to avoiding dog attacks, it’s this: be hyper-aware of your surroundings at all times. This may seem like common sense, but you’d be surprised how easily we can become lost in our own thoughts while pounding the pavement.

First and foremost, keep your gaze fixated on the path ahead of you. It’s all about maintaining a vigilant eye. Should you spot a dog in the distance, exercise caution and create a safe buffer zone between yourself and the four-legged friend, even if they’re on a leash. Don’t hesitate to alter your course or gracefully cross the street to ensure a safe distance

Here’s another nugget of wisdom: be mindful of the areas in which you choose to run. Steer clear of locales known for their lax dog control, where furry companions are allowed to roam freely. These spots can prove to be quite the minefield, and it’s best to avoid them altogether. Seek out routes where responsible pet owners prioritize the care and safety of their four-legged companions.

Now, let’s talk about a running accessory that has become near and dear to many athletes: headphones. While it’s tempting to immerse ourselves in the rhythm of our favorite tunes, I encourage you to consider leaving your headphones at home. By doing so, you’re granting yourself the gift of full sensory awareness. In areas that are not-so-safe or unfamiliar, it’s essential to be fully conscious and attuned to your surroundings.

Read their Body Language

Let’s explore some of the unmistakable signals that indicate an impending attack. Keep your eyes peeled for the following:

First off, pay close attention to the dog’s overall posture. A tense body, accompanied by raised hackles (that patch of hair between the tail and shoulders) and ears standing tall, is a telltale sign that all is not well in their canine kingdom. It’s as if their body is coiled like a spring, ready to pounce.

Take note of the dog’s facial expression, particularly the furrowed brows. It’s as if their forehead is knitting together in a fierce expression of displeasure. And if you happen to witness drool dripping from their mouth like a wayward faucet, it’s time to proceed with caution.

Watch for the flickering tongue, my friend—a subtle yet significant clue. It’s as if the dog is anxiously licking their lips, almost tasting the anticipation of their next move.

Now, here’s an important cue: observe if the dog is simultaneously growling and slowly backing away. It’s their way of issuing a final warning, urging you to create a safe distance without hesitation.

Keep an eye on that tail, my friend—it speaks volumes. If you notice it stiff and rigid, or held high and wagging at an accelerated pace, it’s a clear indication of heightened agitation. Their tail becomes a barometer of their brewing emotions.

Lastly, lock eyes with the dog if you dare, and you may be met with a stare that pierces your soul. Wide-eyed and filled with fury, their gaze can be unnerving and should be taken as a sign to act swiftly.

If you observe any combination of these warning signs, my friend, it’s time to enact your escape plan. Put a safe amount of distance between yourself and the dog, ensuring that you’re out of their reach and harm’s way.

In Case You are Chased…

If and only if things escalate and you couldn’t avoid the attack, do the following:

Stop in Your Tracks

In the face of danger, your first move is to find your inner calm. Take a deep breath, let it steady your racing heart, and embrace the stillness. It’s time to halt your frenzied footsteps, cease your wild sprint, and come to a gentle stop. Stand there, my friend, with your arms folded across your chest, projecting an aura of self-assurance and stability. By doing so, you avoid triggering the dog’s primal prey drive and keep yourself out of harm’s reach.

Now, I won’t lie to you. Every fiber of your being may be screaming at you to flee, to sprint away from this menacing encounter. But resist, my friend. Remember, bolting in the opposite direction will only escalate the situation. Instead, stand your ground like an unwavering oak, rooted in determination.

There is, however, an exception to this rule. If you find yourself in a fortunate position, with a barrier such as a sturdy car, a trusty bench, or a resilient tree within reach, then and only then should you keep moving. Swiftly make your way towards this lifeline, allowing it to act as a shield, a fortress that separates you from the dog’s advances.

But for the majority of scenarios, my friend, it’s all about the art of stillness. Stand firm, control your nerves, and exude an unwavering presence.

Remember, you possess the power to command the situation with your calm demeanor.

No Eye Contact

While it may feel instinctive to meet the dog’s gaze head-on, it’s essential to resist that temptation. Instead, shift your focus to the periphery, keeping the dog within your line of sight without engaging in a staring contest. By doing so, you signal to the dog that you mean no harm, that you respect their space. It’s a delicate balance between awareness and non-confrontation.

However there’s one cardinal rule you must never forget: never, I repeat, never turn your back on the dog. In the language of canines, exposing your vulnerable backside can be interpreted as a sign of weakness, an invitation for further aggression. So, stay strong and face the dog head-on, keeping your body poised and ready.

By averting your eyes and maintaining your frontal stance, you strike a delicate balance between showing respect and asserting your own presence.

Now, let’s face it: we all hope to avoid such encounters, but it’s crucial to be prepared. Your knowledge and understanding of these vital strategies can be the difference between a harrowing experience and a safe escape.

Use the Right Commands

If the dog persists, face him and while using a deep and firm voice, command him to “back away” using a strong and confident voice.

If the owner is close by, call them.

Hopefully, he’ll intervene and call off the dog.

Check this YouTube clip for more tips on using commands:

If You Got Attacked – How To Handle it The Right Way

If all else fails, it’s time to on defensive mode and protect yourself.

Here is what you need to do here;

Try a Dog Repellent Spray For Runners

Imagine having a tiny canister of justice at your side, ready to unleash a powerful force to stop an attacking dog in its tracks. That’s right, I’m talking about the mighty mace—the defender’s best friend when facing a relentless canine adversary.

Now, let’s clear the air here. The thought of spraying a dog with mace might make your heart sink a little. After all, dogs are cherished companions, and it’s natural to feel a pang of guilt at the idea of causing them harm. But fear not, for this solution isn’t as sinister as it may seem.

You see, dog repellent sprays, like mace, are specifically designed to ward off attacking dogs without inflicting lasting harm. They serve as a shield to protect yourself from the imminent danger that an aggressive dog poses. So, when used responsibly, they can be a valuable tool in your defense.

But hold your horses, for it’s important to recognize that dog repellent sprays are not foolproof. There are variables at play that can influence their effectiveness. Factors like wind speed, your aim, and even your mental and emotional state can sway the outcome of using pepper spray. If not used correctly, it may inadvertently escalate the situation and make the dog even more aggressive.

So, let’s be clear: relying solely on mace as a panacea for all your dog-related worries would be ill-advised. It is merely one option among many to consider when facing a dog attack. Your safety should always be the top priority, and exploring various strategies to protect yourself is essential.

If you decide to explore the option of using dog repellent sprays, I urge you to look for products specifically formulated for deterring attacking dogs. These sprays are tailored to deliver maximum effectiveness in these scenarios, providing you with an added layer of confidence.

Give it Something to Chew On

Imagine yourself in the heat of the moment, face to face with a dog whose intentions are far from friendly. In this adrenaline-fueled encounter, your survival instincts kick in, urging you to protect yourself at any cost. Now, my friend, let’s explore a technique that might just give you the upper hand.

Instead of allowing the dog to sink its teeth into your precious flesh, why not divert its attention to something more suitable for gnawing? Think of it as a tactical trade-off, where you sacrifice an object in order to safeguard yourself. By offering the dog an alternative to sink its teeth into, you create a barrier between its sharp canines and your vulnerable body.

Picture this: you swiftly grab a loose-fitting piece of fabric, like a spare jacket sleeve, and dangle it in front of the dog’s eager jaws. Or perhaps you reach for a sturdy stick, a guardian of sorts, that can effectively separate you from the dog’s menacing advance. The key here is to find anything that can act as a physical buffer, a temporary shield to keep you out of harm’s way.

Now, my friend, I must emphasize that this tactic comes with a caveat. If the dog is on the verge of sinking its teeth into you, it may be wiser to offer up your shins or forearms as a sacrificial shield. While it may seem counterintuitive, taking a bite on a less vulnerable area is far preferable to enduring a bite on your face, throat, or other sensitive regions that could cause severe damage. Remember, the goal is to minimize harm and maximize your chances of escaping unscathed.

In the midst of this hair-raising encounter, it’s crucial to maintain your composure. Panicking will only cloud your judgment and hinder your ability to react effectively. Take deep breaths, focus on the situation at hand, and trust in your instincts. By remaining calm, you can think more clearly and make decisions that prioritize your safety.

Do Not Pull Away – Fight Back

In the midst of a life-threatening encounter with a dog, every instinct within you screams for self-preservation. While I understand the urgency to defend oneself, it is crucial to approach the situation with caution and prioritize your safety above all else.

Let’s delve into some alternative strategies to protect yourself effectively.

First and foremost, I implore you not to pull away forcefully from the dog’s grasp. Doing so may inadvertently worsen the situation by tearing your skin and exacerbating the dog’s aggression. Instead, let us explore more strategic methods of self-defense.

Picture this: you find yourself face to face with a dog lunging towards you. In this critical moment, consider directing your efforts towards striking the dog in areas that can deter or disorient it. Research has shown that a well-placed kick or a targeted strike to the back of the head, nose, or throat can potentially deter the dog’s attack. These actions aim to create a momentary disruption, giving you precious seconds to find an escape route or seek assistance.

In some instances, you may come across objects that can serve as improvised weapons—a heavy stick, a rock, or even a nearby brick. If you find yourself in possession of such an object, you can employ it as a means of defense. Deliver powerful strikes to the dog, aiming for its vulnerable areas, while prioritizing your own safety at all times. Continue using the object until the dog retreats or becomes incapacitated, ensuring that you maintain a safe distance throughout the encounter.

In the midst of this intense struggle, it is essential to draw attention to your predicament and summon assistance. Shout for help with every ounce of strength within you. Utter words that will grab the attention of those nearby, such as “Help!” or “Emergency!” Your vocal cries can serve as a lifeline, alerting others to your distress and potentially rallying them to your aid.

Roll into a ball

This is the worst case scenario, so pay special attention to this, probably life-saving, advice:

If the dog takes you down, curl into a ball by tucking your knees and placing your hands behind your neck to cover your head, making sure to protect the soft tissue areas such as your face, throat, and belly.

Also, make sure to keep your hands in a fist to guard your fingers.

Post Bites Measures

Found yourself on the unfortunate receiving end of a dog bite? Then take immediate action upon returning home.

The first order of business is to treat your wound with the utmost care. Think of it as tending to a delicate garden, where each step is crucial to ensure proper healing.

Start by washing the wound diligently with warm water and soap. This gentle cleansing will help rid the area of any potential contaminants while allowing you to examine the bite more closely. Take a moment to assess the severity of the bite. If it appears to be a minor wound, you can administer treatment yourself.

Prepare to become a self-appointed healer, my friend. Apply a topical antibacterial agent, such as bacitracin, to protect against infection. Once the ointment is in place, adorn the wound with a sterile band-aid or bandage to promote healing and shield it from external elements.

Remember, our bodies are resilient, but caution is key. Keep a watchful eye on the wound, inspecting it thoroughly every 24 hours.

Look for any telltale signs of infection, such as increasing swelling, persistent redness, warmth, or the unfortunate presence of oozing pus or drainage. These indicators should serve as a clarion call, signaling the need for immediate medical attention. Waste no time in seeking the guidance of a healthcare professional, my friend. They possess the knowledge and expertise to address any potential complications that may arise.

Now, my dear friend, while I stand by the importance of self-care, it’s always prudent to err on the side of caution. A visit to the doctor is undoubtedly the wisest course of action. By seeking professional assessment, you grant yourself peace of mind, knowing that your injury will receive the thorough evaluation it deserves.

During your visit, the doctor will skillfully examine your wound, assessing its depth and potential risks. Depending on their evaluation, they may recommend a preventive measure to safeguard against infection. This could involve a prescription for antibiotics or a timely tetanus shot—a small but mighty shield against bacteria.

In certain circumstances, my friend, a dog bite may necessitate additional precautions. Should the situation warrant it, the doctor might advise a series of preventive shots known as rabies post-exposure prophylaxis. This preventive measure ensures that you’re shielded from any potential rabies infection, granting you peace of mind during your recovery.

Report It

I understand the emotions that may surge within you after such a harrowing encounter. Rest assured, you have the power to make your voice heard and ensure the safety of your community. Allow me to guide you through the necessary steps in handling this situation with both responsibility and assertiveness.

First and foremost, it’s crucial to snitch, my friend. Yes, I said it—report the incident to the appropriate authorities without hesitation. Reach out to your local police department and animal control, providing them with a detailed account of the attack. This step is vital to document the incident and ensure that proper action is taken to prevent further occurrences.

Furthermore, if you can identify the owners of the dog, it’s essential to engage in a conversation with them. Approach this interaction with a genuine attitude, my friend, for it is possible that the incident was a one-time anomaly—a blip in the vast tapestry of life. Open the lines of communication, expressing your concerns and sharing the impact the incident had on you.

However, my friend, let us face the unfortunate truth that some owners may not exhibit the empathy and responsibility we hope for. In such cases, it becomes imperative to take matters to the next level. Explore the possibility of legal action if the injuries you sustained are severe or if the owners display a blatant disregard for the safety of others. Holding them accountable through legal means sends a powerful message and may prompt them to reflect on their responsibilities as pet owners.

You see, dogs have the potential to bring immense joy and companionship to our lives. Yet, when neglected or mishandled, they can pose a danger to the community. By taking the necessary steps and reporting incidents, we strive to create a safer environment for all.

Cross-Training Powerhouse: Unleash Your Running Potential with These 6 Cycling Workouts

runner doing cycling workout

Are you ready to take your running game to the next level? Then listen up because I have a secret to share with you – cycling can be your secret weapon!

Now, I know what you might be thinking – “I’m a runner; why would I want to get on a bike?” But hear me out. Cycling is one of the best cross-training options out there for runners, and if you do it the right way, it can help you become a faster, stronger, and less injury-prone runner.

In fact, studies have shown that incorporating cycling into your training regimen can improve your running economy, VO2 max, and lactate threshold. Plus, it’s a low-impact activity that can give your joints a much-needed break from the pounding of running.

So, if you’re ready to give cycling a try, then you’ve come to the right place. In this beginner’s guide to cycling for cross-training, I’ll be covering everything you need to know to get started, from the benefits of cycling for runners to the best cycling workouts to improve your running game.

But first, let’s start with the basics – cycling vs. running muscles. Trust me, understanding this will make all the difference in your cross-training routine. Ready to pedal your way to success? Let’s get started!

The Benefits of Cycling for Runners

If you’re a runner, you know how important it is to mix up your workouts and give your body a break from the pounding of the pavement. And what better way to do that than with cycling? Trust me; I’ve been there – I used to think cycling was just a leisurely activity to do on weekends. But after incorporating it into my cross-training routine, I quickly realized its benefits.

First off, cycling targets all the major running muscles, including your glutes, calves, and quads – which, as any runner knows, are key to a strong and powerful stride. The best part? Cycling does this in a low-impact way, meaning your joints won’t take a beating like they might during a long run.

And let’s talk about leg turnover – that all-important metric that separates the fast runners from the not-so-fast. A high cycling cadence can actually improve your leg turnover, which will translate beautifully to your running. Plus, with all the different workouts you can do on a bike – from interval sessions to hill climbs – you’ll never get bored.

But here’s something you might not know: cycling can also be an excellent form of active recovery. After a tough run, a low-intensity, low-impact bike ride can increase blood flow, reduce soreness, and flush out those pesky toxins that are keeping you from feeling your best. And who doesn’t want to recover faster and feel better after a hard run?

So, whether you’re a serious cyclist or a casual pedaler, there’s no denying the benefits of adding cycling to your cross-training routine. And the best part? You don’t even have to leave your house to do it – just hop on a stationary bike or set up a bike trainer in your living room. Trust me, your running legs will thank you.

Cycling For Runners – The Muscles Used

Let’s talk about the muscles used in cycling and running. When you hop on your bike, your quadriceps and hamstrings in your upper legs and the soleus and gastrocnemius in your calves contract in a continuous sequence to generate pedaling power.

In contrast, running engages more muscles such as the quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, glutes, and iliopsoas, which help with hip extension, knee flexion, and pelvis stabilization.

But wait, what about muscle mass? It’s a common misconception that biking and running will make your muscles bulky. In reality, both exercises can cause muscle fibers to break down and shrink as the body tries to make muscle fibers more metabolically efficient. However, strength training can help maintain muscle mass and improve performance.

Beginner Biking Gear

Now, let’s talk gear. If you’re just starting out, an entry-level bike that costs around $1,000 will suffice. But remember, just like your running shoes, your bike must fit you properly to avoid discomfort or injury.

More Gear

Some of the essential items you’ll need to include a bike, helmet, glasses,  bike shorts, cycling shoes, cycling gloves, multi-tool, spare tube,  an inflation device, and working brakes.

Biking Shoes

Speaking of cycling shoes, you might be tempted to wear your trusty running shoes, but they might not cut it for long rides. Cycling shoes with rigid soles can help reduce the risk of foot cramps and pain while optimizing energy transfer to the pedals.

Cycling Clothing

As you probably know, a pair of padded cycling shorts is a must-have to prevent saddle sores and make sure your backside isn’t in agony after a few miles.

But it’s not just about the padding – you should also look for fast-drying and wicking material to help keep you dry and comfortable on the bike.

And don’t forget about a good cycling jersey – choose bright colors to make you more visible to oncoming traffic, and make sure it’s made of high-performance materials that won’t get squelchy if you sweat too much or get caught in the rain.

A jersey with a zipper can also be a great choice to allow you to easily put on and remove tight jerseys and improve airflow on hot summer days.

Helmet

Safety is also paramount when you’re cycling, and that’s where a helmet comes in. Research has shown that wearing a helmet while riding reduces the risk of head injury by 50 percent and the risk of face and neck injury by 33 percent. With so many brands competing to design the best bike helmets, you can find a helmet that’s not only safe but also aerodynamic, comfortable, and breathable.

Additional resource  – Trx exercises for runners

A Water Bottle

Another essential item for your ride is a water bottle. Cycling is hard work, and you’re likely to sweat a lot, especially on long rides in the summer heat. Staying well hydrated is key to getting the most out of your cycling experience, so make sure to take a filled water bottle with you on every ride. A frame-mounted cage designed for water bottles is the easiest way to carry it with you.

Floor Pumps

And finally, don’t forget about a good floor pump to adjust your tire pressure to the conditions. In the hot season, you should increase pressures to avoid rolling resistance and cover more distance, while in the winter, slightly lower pressures mean improved grip on slippery roads.

Cycling For Runners The Safe Way

By now, you should have gathered all the gear you need and are prepared to hit the road.

Are you ready to go? Don’t rush out of the door yet.

When doing outdoor sports, whether it’s running, or biking, you name it, you should always put safety first.

Remember, whether you’re cycling outside or spinning in place, always prioritize safety. Taking the necessary precautions can help ensure that you have a fun and injury-free cycling experience.

Here’s what to pay attention to for staying safe while cycling.

  • Know the laws. Look up your state laws regarding bikes and get to know common safety principles that can help keep you out of harm’s way.
  • Keep it on the road. Sidewalks are the reserves of pedestrians and only pedestrians. Even when biking at a slow pace, you can be going as fast as 15 to 20 miles per hour. This is too fast to be coming down the sidewalk next to walkers and runners.
  • Look for bike lanes. These provide more than three feet of space for you so you can comfortably ride your bike at any pace. Just keep an eye out for parked cars.
  • Use body language. Communication is key for staying safe on the road. Use common hand signals to tell other drivers when you’re slowing down or turning. Signal when turning or changing lanes, as well as when stopping for traffic signals.
  • Be loud. Call out to other riders, runners, or walkers when you’re approaching or about to pass them.

Too much to digest?

Try riding with a cycling group or buddy until you get comfortable with the rules of the road.

Riding in groups is a great way to stay safe on the road while having fun riding the miles.

The Spinning Option

If you decide to hop on a spin bike at your gym, then the only expense you have to worry about is your membership.

Gyms have them, and they are not that expensive.

Not only that, but some spin bikes also come with their own pre-programmed workout routines.

All you need for an awesome spinning session is an iPod with a good playlist and (maybe) a training buddy to help you ward off the boredom of spinning in place.  Find out this detailed guide from TheDrive to compare the most popular spin bikes in case you would want to get one.

Cycling For Runners – Improve your Technique

Cycling is a fantastic way for runners to cross-train and build endurance while minimizing the impact on their joints. But, just like any new sport, learning to cycle can be a bit daunting at first. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t worry! Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is your cycling technique.

It’s important to remember that improving your cycling technique is a gradual process that requires patience, practice, and time. However, there are a few basic tips you can follow to get started.

Want to know where to start?

Here are a few basic tips to help you improve your cycling technique.

  • Improve cadence. Cadence refers to the number of revolutions that pedals make per minute. Shoot for 90 rpm regardless of the terrain.
  • Stay relaxed. Avoid holding your handlebars in a death grip unless you’re in a dead sprint. Just like when running, staying relaxed can help you save energy and keep you from feeling too stressed out and tight while biking.
  • Shift right. Make it a rule to practice shifting to an easier gear before you need it. This includes when approaching hills and stoplights. Waiting for too long may force the chain to slip.
  • When tackling a climb, opt for a more upright position while keeping your hands on the bar tops. Aim for circular pedaling motion instead of pushing down.
  • To ensure a smooth and safe stop, lightly use both the front and rear brakes when you need to stop. Avoid pulling only the rear or front brake lever as well as sudden stops. That’s how accidents happen.
  • Pay attention. By far, this is the most crucial part of proper cycling technique. Just as you wouldn’t simply get lost in your head when logging the miles, you shouldn’t lose focus on the bike either. Sure, have fun, and enjoy the scenery but don’t bike yourself into oblivion.

Running and cycling training plan

Looking to mix up your training routine? Adding cycling into the mix can help improve your overall fitness and prevent injury by providing low-impact cross-training. But how do you balance the two? Here’s a training plan that will help you maximize your gains on both the pavement and the road.

When it comes to scheduling your runs, it’s important to avoid overtraining by performing double sessions of the same type on the same day. This can lead to injury and hinder your progress. Instead, try pairing an intense running workout in the morning with an easy bike ride in the evening. This will allow you to get the benefits of both workouts without compromising your recovery time.

The Best Bike Workouts for Runners

Here is a list of biking workouts you might consider adding to your training program.

I suggest that you do at least one of the sessions below twice a week, and choose another for a third hard day.

1.     The Road Bike Cycling Workout

Fartlek is a Swedish term that means “speed play.” First used by runners way back in the 30s, fartlek training has, over the last few decades, spread to other sports—including cycling.

You can perform this workout on flat sections or hills; just make sure you are biking on feel and picking up the pace every now and then.

The Workout

10 minutes of easy biking to warm up and get ready, then do the following:

  • 5 minutes of moderate biking
  • 2 minutes sprint
  • 4 minutes moderate
  • 1-minute sprint
  • 5 minutes moderate
  • 3 minutes sprint
  • 10 minutes of easy cooldown.

There is no magic formula for the perfect fartlek biking workout.

Feel free to let your creativity carry you forward, and remember to have fun.

It’s called “speed play” for a reason.

2.    Endurance Ride Cycling Workout

The endurance workout is one of my favorite biking workouts—especially on days when I don’t feel like doing something intense but still get a sweat going.

The main goal of this session is to build endurance without causing too much fatigue.

You should feel the tension building in your muscles, but keep the speed at a conversational pace—meaning you can still talk without huffing and puffing.

The Workout

Start, like usual, with a 10-minute easy-paced pedaling to get you warmed and ready.

Next, aim to keep up a steady cadence for the upcoming 45 to 60 minutes, shooting for an effort level of 6 to 7 on an effort scale of 1 to 10 and exercising at 60 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate.

As a beginner, go for a low cadence—roughly 60 to 70 rpm for your first few endurance sessions. As you get fitter, work it up gradually up to more than an hour.

Last up, finish the ride with a 5-minute slow-spinning cool down at an easy pace.

 

3.    Speed Intervals Cycling Workout

Intervals are a crucial part of any cycling training program.

These powerful sessions can help you increase aerobic capacity (VO2 max) and power and burn mad calories, and they are perfect for the time-crunched runner.

You can perform this workout indoors or outdoors.—although I prefer doing it indoors because that way, I can have more control over pace and intervals, length, and duration.

The Workout

Start with a 10-minute easy-paced pedaling to get you warmed and set.

Next, perform at least six to eight one-minute fast-pedal intervals near top speed—nothing less than 90 percent of your max.

Slow down and recover with a one-minute easy-pace spin with minimal resistance.

After the last interval,  slow down and ride at a neutral pace for 5 minutes to cool down.

4.    Tabata Intervals Cycling Workout

Tabata intervals are the brainchild of the Japanese exercise physiologist Izumi Tabata and consist of alternating between 20 seconds of a high-intensity interval with 10 seconds of recovery.

Tabata protocol workouts are perfect if you’re short on time and looking to get the most out of every minute you spend on a bike.

These also increase cardiovascular fitness and shed crazy amounts of calories like nothing else.

For a timer to keep track of your sprint and rest periods, feel free to down this Tabata-timer app.

The Workout

Begin the workout with a 10-minute easy ride as a warm-up of easy spinning.

Next, up the intensity by either boosting gear ratio or tension, then sprint for 20 seconds as fast as possible.

Then, slow down and recover with a 10-second of easy spinning.

Repeat the on-and-off pattern eight times to complete one round.

Pedal easy for one to two minutes, then aim to do at least two to three more rounds.

5.    Climbing Intervals Cycling Workout

The cycling climbing session helps build the strength and power needed to tackle the hills with ease and will also totally challenge your muscular strength and endurance, and power on the bike.

You have two options here:

(1) Tackle a moderate-to-steep hill.

The ideal hill should take you at least two to five minutes to climb and has a steady grade of 7 to 10 percent with no stop signs or traffic lights.

(2) Or hop on a stationary bike with a riser block under the front wheel to simulate a hill by raising the bike’s front wheel.

The Workout

Start with a 10-minute warm-up of easy pedaling.

Begin the uphill, aiming for an effort of 7 to 8 for at least 5 minutes and aiming for 70 to 80 RPM.

Then, coast or recover downhill, and repeat for 25 to 30 minutes.

Repeat the cycle for the duration of your session, then end the workout with a 5-minute easy pedaling cool-down.

Feel free to stand and attack for 15 to 20 pedal strokes a time at the fastest pace possible.

6.    The Recovery Cycling Workout

A recovery ride serves the same purpose as a recovery run. As a result, you shouldn’t be skipping them.

The recovery is going to help you to increase your biking mileage while also allowing your body to recover by spending some time in a lower-intensity training zone.

The Workout

This is easy and straightforward: Ride as easily as you can possibly ride for 30 to 45 minutes.

In fact, go as embarrassingly slow as possible, and do it deliberately.

Keep spinning easy, and don’t let your training buddy ruin this for you—regardless of how much they pressure you into speeding things up.

Top 6 Bike Workouts for Runners – The Conclusion

Congratulations! You’ve reached the end of our exhilarating ride through the top 6 bike workouts for runners. I hope you’ve found the information you were looking for and then some!

With today’s article, we’ve got you fully covered when it comes to finding the perfect bike workouts to complement your running routine. Plus, I’ve dished out plenty of valuable tips to help you maximize your cycling experience, including an exclusive running and cycling plan tailor-made for runners like you.

But hey, this journey doesn’t have to end here. I’m here to answer any burning questions or hear your thoughts on this topic. So, don’t be shy! Drop your questions and comments in the section below, and let’s keep the conversation going.

Thank you for joining me on this exciting adventure. Until our paths cross again, keep pedaling and running toward your fitness goals!

Revolutionize Your Run: The Ultimate Guide to Strengthening Your Obliques

Oblique Exercises

In my many discussions about core training for runners, there’s one muscle group that’s been lurking in the shadows: the obliques.

Today, I’m unveiling a workout specially crafted for these underappreciated wonders of our torso.

Why the focus on obliques now? Well, as we’ll unravel, they’re not just sideline muscles. The obliques play a pivotal role in the ensemble that is our core.

But before we delve into those specialized oblique workouts, let’s tackle an essential question: Why should the core, and especially those often-overlooked obliques, occupy a slot in your training regimen?

Join us as we navigate the intricate web of muscles to understand the significance of a strong core.

The Benefits Of A Strong Core

Sure, a toned tummy looks fabulous when you’re rocking your favorite swimwear, but the benefits go way beyond the aesthetic.

The core—your body’s power hub—plays a pivotal role in almost every move you make. Whether you’re busting out reps at the gym or simply reaching for something on a high shelf, a fortified core is your silent, ever-ready ally.

Think of it this way: a robust core isn’t just about acing athletic feats; it’s also your trusty sidekick for mundane tasks. From lugging grocery bags to strutting confidently down a corridor, a strong core is like your body’s superhero cape.

And here’s a health nugget to chew on: extensive studies have shown that excessive belly fat can be a precursor to numerous health issues, from diabetes and high blood pressure to the more severe like heart attacks.

So, while a flat stomach might be a confidence booster, it’s also a nod to a healthier, more robust you.

For more, check the following studies

What Are The Obliques? Defining The Side Abs

Imagine a set of muscles stretching in a diagonal path, linking your ribs to your pelvis and extending from the edge of your hipbone right up to your sternum. These are your obliques – the unsung heroes of your midsection.

More than just a name on your body’s roster, the obliques play a starring role in shaping and supporting your core. When you invest time in training them right, they perfectly complement your rectus abdominis (that’s the fancy name for the “six-pack” muscles). The reward? A waistline that not only looks stronger but also carries a certain sculpted elegance.

But wait, there’s more to the story! Your oblique family comprises two members: the external obliques, which you can think of as the outer guardians and the internal obliques, the deeper muscle layer. To ensure a core that’s not just show-ready but also performance-ready, it’s vital to give both these sets their due training time.

The External Obliques

Situated on the outer layer of your abdomen, they stretch diagonally from the sides of your rib cage right down to the peaks of your hip bones.

Picture this: every time you sway, swivel, or twist your torso, it’s the external obliques that come into play. What’s fascinating is the teamwork they exhibit. If you’re rotating your body to the right, it’s your left external oblique that takes charge, pulling the strings from the opposite side.

But the talents of these muscles don’t end there. Beyond aiding in those dance floor spins, the external obliques wear multiple hats. They’re pivotal in maintaining your posture, ensuring you stand tall and confident. Additionally, they act as guardians, generating a protective pressure that shields your vital internal organs. And if that weren’t enough, they also pitch in when it comes to spinal movements and other core functionalities.

In essence, these muscles aren’t just about the twist and shout on the dance floor; they’re integral to many of the movements and protections your body relies on daily.

The Internal Side Abs

Unlike their external counterparts, these are nestled snugly just beneath the rectus abdominis (your six-pack muscles) and sit slightly inside the hip bone.

While they may be tucked away out of plain sight, their role in body movement is undeniable. Similar to the external obliques, the internal ones are also intricately involved in twisting and turning. Yet, there’s a unique dance they perform. When you make a move like twisting to the left, both the left and right internal obliques are activated in tandem, working in harmony.

The Functions Of The External & External Obliques

Let’s dive into the choreography your obliques execute daily. Both the internal and external obliques are multitaskers, orchestrating a series of crucial moves that keep your torso flexible and strong.

Here are their headline acts:

  • Lateral Flexion: This is all about giving your torso its signature side-to-side bend. Think of those moments when you’re reaching sideways to pick something up or simply stretching after a long day.
  • Flexion: This move involves rounding your spine. Imagine the motion of curling forward into a ball or bending down to tie your shoes.
  • Rotation: The obliques’ grand finale! This function lets you twist and turn your torso. Whether you’re looking over your shoulder or pivoting in a dance, rotation is in play.

In sum, these functions highlight the obliques’ central role in giving your body its wide range of motion and stability. Whether bending, twisting, or flexing, they’re always at the heart of the action.

That’s why, if you’re aiming for superior performance, you need them to be strong.

As a runner, strong obliques can help you build and keep proper running form by ensuring spine stability and good posture throughout the running sessions.

This is especially the case when fatigue starts to set in.

The 7 Best Oblique Exercises To Try

Every muscle in your body follows the principle of ‘use it or lose it,’ and your obliques are no different. The more you challenge them, the stronger and more defined they become.

Want to put your obliques through their paces? Here’s a curated list of my top exercises that target every facet of oblique functionality, be it through rotation, testing their stability, or working under uneven loads.

Workout Breakdown

These side abs exercises are structured as mini-circuits, making them the perfect addition at the tail-end of your primary workout.

The Aim? To engage as many muscle fibers as possible in a swift yet effective manner. So, as you dive into these exercises, follow the sequence, reps, and rest intervals to the T.

Good News! There’s no need to break the bank with fancy gym memberships. The majority of these workouts are either equipment-free or simply need basic gear like a medicine ball or dumbbell.

A word of caution: This routine is designed to get your obliques burning with intensity! While the pace is brisk, never compromise on form. Prioritize clean, controlled movements to get the most out of each rep while keeping your body safe.

Ready to redefine those obliques? Let’s dive in!

  1. T-Stabilization

Assume a plank position with arms and legs straight but with the feet slightly wider.

Next, shift your weight to the right hand, stack up your feet, rotate the left side of your trunk up, and raise your left arm into the air so that your torso and arms are forming a “T” shape.

Hold the pose for 30 seconds to one minute, then switch sides to complete one set.

  1. Side Plank Crunch

Begin in a side plank on the left elbow with the left foot slightly in front of the right and the right hand behind the head.

Next, while keeping the waist lifted, core engaged, and torso steady, bring your right leg up toward your shoulder to lightly tap the right elbow, pause for a moment, and then bring it back to the starting position.

Aim to perform eight to ten crunches on each side to complete one set.

Shoot for three to five sets.

  1. Russian Twists Oblique Exercise

Sit on the floor with knees bent and feet flat on the floor, roughly hip distance apart, then lean back to a 45-degree angle.

For more challenge, use a heavier weight and/or lift both feet off the floor.

Next, while holding a weight plate and bracing the core, rotate your torso from right to left by twisting at the waist and swinging the weight across the body, tapping the weight to the floor, then twisting back over to the left side, tapping the weight to the left side of their body to complete one rep.

Aim for 12 to 16 reps to complete one set.

Shoot for three sets.

  1. Lying Side Oblique Crunches

Lie on your left side with legs on top of each other, knees bent, and core engaged, then place your right hand on the side of the head and the other hand on the oblique muscle.

Then, contract your oblique muscle by crunching the abs sideways.

Next, start performing sideways ab crunches, making sure to rise as high as possible, hold for a moment, and then slowly lower down to complete one rep.

  1. Metronome Side Abs Exercise

Begin by lying on your back with the knees slightly bent and raised over your hips, ankles parallel to the floor, and core engaged.

Next, rotate your legs to the right side, stopping short of tapping the ground, then move back to the center and rotate your legs to the other side to complete one rep.

Please don’t cheat by using momentum for the rotation.

Instead, move slowly and make sure to engage your core the entire time.

For more challenge, try to keep your legs as straight as possible.

  1. Around the World

Assume a shoulder-width stance with toes turned slightly out and tailbone tucked while holding a weight plate at the outside grip with the arms straight overhead.

Next, while engaging your core and keeping the back flat, bend your elbows and rotate your arms around to move the weight around your head in a circular motion.

Perform 8 to 12 “rotations” on each side to complete one set.

Do three sets.

  1. Spiderman Pushups Oblique Exercise

Assume a push-up position with legs and arms straight, core engaged, back flat, and head in a neutral position.

Next, as you lower your torso towards the ground, lift your right foot off the floor, then pull your right knee up and towards your right side to hip level or all the way up to the elbow, pause, then press back up to the starting position.

Switch sides to complete one rep.

Perform eight reps to complete one set.

Aim for three sets.

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The 7 Best Oblique Exercises To Try – Conclusion

There you have it.

The above oblique exercises workout routine is all you need to build strong and powerful side abs. Just make sure to perform the seven side abs exercises on a regular basis while staying within your fitness level the entire time.

In the meantime thank you for dropping by.

Keep Running Strong

David D.

Top 15 HIIT Running Workout Routines

HIIT Workouts for runners

Looking for the ultimate HIIT running workout routines? Well, strap on your running shoes and get ready for a wild ride because you’ve stumbled upon the holy grail of high-intensity training.

And let me tell you, my friend, I am obsessed with running. Like, seriously obsessed. It’s been my passion for the past decade, and let me tell you, it hasn’t always been smooth sailing.

I’ll be real with you. I’ve made my fair share of mistakes along the way. I mean, who hasn’t? I’m not perfect, and neither are you. But here’s the thing: we learn from those mistakes and we grow stronger because of them. One mistake that stands out vividly in my memory is when I neglected the power of high-intensity interval training (HIIT).

For the first three years of my running journey, I was pounding the pavement tirelessly, thinking that sheer mileage would magically improve my performance. Boy, was I wrong. Not only did my progress come to a screeching halt, but I also found myself nursing a slew of frustrating injuries. And let’s not forget the unwanted weight gain from my repetitive running routine. It was a vicious cycle, my friend.

But then, everything changed when I incorporated HIIT into my training regimen. Let me tell you, it was a game-changer. Within just a few weeks, I started noticing incredible improvements, not only in my running abilities but also in my overall strength and athleticism. It was like unlocking a secret door to a whole new level of fitness.

And guess what? I don’t want you to go through the same struggles I did. That’s why today, I’m here to introduce you to the magic of HIIT training. Now, don’t worry, I won’t drown you in a sea of boring theories and scientific jargon. Nope, we’re going to keep it fun, practical, and actionable.

In this post, I’ll not only share some of the most effective running-specific HIIT routines but also throw in a few non-running workouts that will leave you breathless and begging for more. Trust me, it’s going to be epic.

Ready? Let’s do this!-

HIIT For Runners Defined

So, what the heck is HIIT, you ask? Well, let me break it down for you.

High-intensity interval training is like a thrilling roller coaster ride for your body. It’s all about pushing yourself to the limit through a strategic blend of intense anaerobic intervals and low-intensity aerobic activity.

Picture this: you go all out for 20 to 60 seconds, giving it everything you’ve got, and then you catch your breath during a brief period of rest or lighter activity. And guess what? You repeat this cycle for a total of 15 to 30 minutes of pure fitness bliss.

But what sets HIIT apart from the monotonous, never-ending treadmill sessions or steady-state cardio that most people dread?

Well, it’s all about the intensity. HIIT takes your workout to a whole new level by challenging your body to reach its maximum output capacity, boosting your VO2 max in the process. It’s like revving the engine of a high-performance sports car. You go full throttle, reach your peak heart rate, and then strategically recover before diving back into the action.

Now, let me share the secret sauce to maximizing your HIIT experience. Enter intensity. When those high-burst intervals come knocking, give it your all. Push yourself to the absolute limit and feel your heart racing, your muscles burning, and the sweat pouring down. Embrace the discomfort because that’s where the magic happens.

But remember that it’s crucial to allow yourself proper rest and recovery during the designated periods. It’s like catching your breath at the top of the roller coaster before plunging into the next exhilarating loop.

A Formula for Success

Still confused?

Here’s how to proceed:

  1. Start with a warm-up. Check this routine.
  2. First interval: exercise at maximum power for 30 to 60 seconds.
  3. Recover for 20 to 60 seconds (or longer, depending on the workout).
  4. Repeat step (2) and (3) seven to ten times.
  5. Cooldown. Check my routine here.

The Benefits of HIIT For Runners

High intensity interval training has a lot to offer, including:

Reduces Body Fat

Let me blow your mind with some fascinating research. There’s an Australian study that’ll make you think twice about your fat-burning strategy.

In this study, they pitted the high-intensity interval training (HIIT) group against the steady-state cardio group. And guess what? The results were mind-boggling. The HIIT group, following a mere 20-minute routine, managed to shed a whopping six times more body fat than their steady-state counterparts. Yes, you heard that right—six times more fat melted away in those who embraced the intensity of HIIT.

Now, what’s the takeaway from this remarkable study? It’s simple, my friend. When it comes to burning fat, it’s all about going hard and going short. Forget those long, tedious hours spent on the treadmill or elliptical machine. HIIT is here to save the day and kick fat to the curb.

And you know what I love most about it? It demolishes the age-old excuse of “I don’t have time for exercise.” Say goodbye to those time-consuming workouts because HIIT gets the job done in a fraction of the time.

I remember when I first ventured into the world of HIIT. I must admit, I was skeptical. How could a shorter workout make such a significant impact on the scale? But let me tell you, my friend, it was a game-changer.

Boost Metabolism

Thanks to a phenomenon called excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), your body continues to torch calories even while you kick back and relax. It’s like getting a bonus boost to your metabolism!

And guess what? A study conducted by the brilliant minds at East Tennessee State University discovered that HIIT workouts can keep your metabolism revved up for hours, burning as much as an extra 100 calories post-training.

Now, you might be thinking, “100 calories? That doesn’t sound like much.” But my friend, those calories can add up over time, giving you an extra edge in your weight loss journey.

Build Muscle

But wait, there’s more! HIIT doesn’t just help you shed fat; it also helps you build muscle. You might be wondering, “But isn’t muscle building reserved for those heavy lifting sessions?” Well, think again.

A groundbreaking study published in the Journal of The International Society of Sports Nutrition revealed something fascinating. Even in the absence of traditional strength training, HIIT has the power to sculpt those muscles you’ve always dreamed of. It’s like a magical two-in-one combo—shedding fat while gaining lean muscle mass. How does it work?

HIIT creates an anabolic effect in your body, promoting muscle growth. And here’s the cherry on top: it skyrockets the production of human growth post-training, making your muscles say, “Hello gains, nice!”

Cutting the Junk Is the Big Promise

Researchers at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario cracked the code and discovered that HIIT is like a superhero for your fitness, capable of achieving in 2.5 hours what would take a whopping 10.5 hours of traditional endurance training.

You lace up your running shoes and hit the pavement for an interval run. You push your limits for short bursts of intense effort, followed by brief periods of active recovery. The result?

A fitness miracle that’s four times more effective than your standard cardio routine. It’s like discovering a hidden shortcut to your fitness goals, leaving those monotonous long runs in the dust.

I’ve personally experienced this transformation, and let me tell you, it’s nothing short of amazing.

By incorporating plenty of interval workouts while reducing my weekly mileage, I’ve not only become a faster runner but also managed to keep those pesky injuries at bay.

You Can Do It Anywhere

Now here’s the best part: high-intensity interval workouts can be done anywhere, anytime. They’re the chameleons of fitness, adapting to any environment and equipment you have available.q

Whether you prefer interval runs that make your heart pound like a tribal drum or fartlek runs that keep you on your toes, there’s a world of options at your disposal. And let’s not forget about the power of bodyweight exercises, dumbbells, kettlebells, jump ropes, weights, or even a trusty sandbag.

The possibilities are endless, and you can turn any space into your personal fitness playground.

The Dangers of HIIT For Runners

Listen up, my fellow fitness enthusiasts, because we’re about to dive into the nitty-gritty of HIIT and uncover the potential pitfalls that lie beneath its shiny surface.

Yes, it’s time to shed some light on the not-so-sunny side of this revolutionary training method. While HIIT has the power to transform your fitness journey, you must tread carefully and consider a few important factors before jumping headfirst into the high-intensity abyss.

Now, let’s get real for a moment. HIIT is a force to be reckoned with, pushing your body to its limits and demanding the utmost from your cardiovascular system. But that also means it’s not suitable for everyone, especially those who find themselves in a delicate state of injury recovery, dealing with cardiovascular or circulatory issues, or simply starting from square one on their fitness journey. In these cases, it’s crucial to prioritize your health and well-being above all else.

Here’s the deal: I’m not a doctor, but I strongly urge you to consult with a healthcare professional who can assess your current condition and guide you towards the best workout options for your specific needs. They have the knowledge and expertise to give you personalized advice that takes into account your unique circumstances.

Remember, your health is priceless. Taking a step back and ensuring you’re in the right physical condition to tackle the challenges of HIIT is a wise move. Think of it as protecting your investment. Just like a car needs regular maintenance to perform at its peak, your body deserves the same care and attention. So, don’t be shy about seeking professional advice. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

How to Start HIIT Workouts For runners 

Alright, my eager friend, now that you’ve received the green light from your doctor and you’re ready to take on the exhilarating world of HIIT, it’s time to lay down the foundation for success. I want you to dive into this training method with confidence, avoiding any unnecessary risks or setbacks.

Think of these benchmarks as stepping stones that will guide you towards a smooth and injury-free HIIT experience. They serve as a testament to your commitment and readiness to take on the challenges that lie ahead.

Without further ado, let’s dive into the three key benchmarks that will set you up for HIIT success.

First up, we have the habit of running regularly for the past three to four months. Consistency is key here. It’s all about building a strong foundation of cardiovascular endurance and getting those legs accustomed to the rhythm of the run. Lace up those shoes, hit the pavement, and make running a part of your lifestyle.

But we don’t stop there. It’s time to level up your running game. The second benchmark calls for consistently challenging yourself during your runs, pushing your effort level to a solid 70 to 80 percent. I’m talking about stepping outside your comfort zone, embracing that burn in your muscles, and breaking through any self-imposed limitations. This is where the magic happens.

Now, onto the third benchmark—the weekly long run. Picture this: you’re out there, pounding the pavement, one foot in front of the other, for a solid hour or more. It’s a test of mental and physical endurance, a chance to tap into your inner grit and discover what you’re truly capable of. This long run builds resilience and prepares your body for the challenges that await during HIIT workouts.

If you’ve checked off these three benchmarks and you’re feeling like a running rockstar, then congratulations! You’ve laid a solid foundation for the introduction of HIIT into your training routine. You’ve shown dedication, discipline, and a burning desire to take your fitness to the next level. But hold on, if you’re just starting out on your running journey or haven’t quite met these benchmarks yet, don’t worry.

If you find yourself in this position, my advice to you is simple: invest a few months into building up your stamina. Follow a well-rounded running program that gradually increases your mileage and endurance.

Top 15 HIIT Running Workout Routines

Here are 15 HIIT variations to help you get into the best shape of your life.

Pick one or two workouts to add to your weekly program.

Make sure you incorporate at least one day of rest between each workout.

HIIT Running Workout # 1 – Sprints

Before you dive into the heart-pounding action, let’s not forget the importance of a proper warm-up. Think of it as preparing your body for the exhilarating race ahead. Engage in dynamic stretches, loosen those muscles, and get that blood pumping. A warm-up primes your body for the intensity that awaits, helping you perform at your best and reducing the risk of injury.

Now, let’s talk about sprint distances. Choose a distance that suits your fitness level and pushes you just beyond your comfort zone. It’s like selecting the perfect gear for a thrilling race. Whether it’s a 100-meter dash or a longer sprint, find the sweet spot that challenges you without overwhelming you.

As you gear up for your first sprint interval, give it everything you’ve got.  Go all out at 80 percent of your maximum effort. Feel your muscles engage, your heart pounding, and the wind rushing past you.

After each sprint, take a well-deserved breather. Recovery is crucial to catch your breath and prepare for the next explosive burst of energy. Take between 30 seconds and one minute to recover, allowing your heart rate to settle and your body to replenish its energy stores.

Repeat this exhilarating process of sprinting and recovery six to eight times. Feel the rush of adrenaline with each interval, pushing yourself beyond your limits and unlocking new levels of strength and endurance. Embrace the challenge, and remember, it’s in these intense moments that growth happens.

As you approach the finish line of your workout, it’s time to cool down. Just like a victorious athlete savors their triumph, take five minutes to gradually decrease your pace and let your body ease into a state of relaxation.

HIIT Running Workout # 2 – Hill Sprints

Get ready to take your sprinting game to new heights with an electrifying twist – hill sprints! If you’ve mastered sprinting on flat ground, it’s time to conquer the majestic slopes and unleash your lower body speed and strength.

Now, it’s time to seek out the perfect hill for your sprinting adventure. Find a steep slope that stretches between 100 to 300 feet in length. It’s like scouting for the ultimate conquerable peak, where your efforts will be rewarded with incredible speed and strength gains.

As you embark on your hill sprint session, visualize yourself as an unstoppable force, conquering the incline with every powerful stride. Feel the burn in your quads, the surge of energy in your calves, and the wind whipping through your hair. Embrace the challenge, knowing that with each step, you’re building a stronger and faster version of yourself.

Once you reach the top of the hill, take a moment to catch your breath and enjoy the victorious view. It’s a triumphant pause in your ascent, a well-deserved reward for conquering the uphill battle. But don’t rest for too long, my friend, as you’ll need to make your way back down the hill for your recovery phase. Let gravity be your guide as you jog back down, allowing your body to recover and prepare for the next thrilling ascent.

Repeat this invigorating cycle of sprinting uphill and jogging back down five to eight times. Each repetition is like conquering a mini mountain, pushing your limits and elevating your performance to new heights. Embrace the burn in your muscles and the rapid beat of your heart, for it is in these challenging moments that true strength is forged.

HIIT Running Workout # 3 – The Bodyweight Routine

Picture yourself harnessing the might of your muscles, sculpting your body, and pushing yourself to new limits. Get ready for a bodyweight routine that will ignite your progress and lay the foundation for future challenges.

As a fan of bodyweight exercises, I can’t stress enough their benefits. They’re like the Swiss Army knives of the fitness world—convenient, versatile, and accessible to all. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned fitness enthusiast, bodyweight exercises offer a pathway to success, as long as you prioritize proper form and stay within your fitness level. It’s all about building a solid foundation to support your fitness journey.

Now, let’s dive into a beginner-friendly routine that will set you on the path to total body strength and endurance. By incorporating these exercises regularly, you’ll lay the groundwork for even more demanding workouts in the future. So, grab your enthusiasm, put on your workout gear, and let’s conquer this bodyweight routine together!

For each exercise, aim to complete five sets of ten-to-fifteen reps. Remember, it’s not just about the quantity, but also the quality of each repetition. Focus on maintaining proper form, engaging the target muscles, and challenging yourself without compromising safety.

First up, pull-ups, the ultimate test of upper body strength. Picture yourself hanging from a sturdy bar, channeling your inner warrior as you lift your bodyweight with sheer determination. This exercise targets your back, shoulders, and arms, building strength and definition in those upper body muscles.

Next, let’s embrace the power of air squats. Stand tall, feet shoulder-width apart, and sink into a squat position as if you’re preparing to sit on an imaginary chair. Feel the burn in your quadriceps and glutes as you rise back up, like a phoenix rising from the ashes. Air squats are fantastic for strengthening your lower body and enhancing your overall stability.

Prepare to take a dip into the world of dips! Find parallel bars or sturdy surfaces to support your body as you lower yourself down and push back up. This exercise targets your triceps, chest, and shoulders, sculpting those upper body muscles and improving your pushing strength. Embrace the challenge, and watch your body transform.

Now, let’s shift our focus to the classic pushup. Get into a high plank position, hands shoulder-width apart, and lower your chest towards the ground before pushing back up with controlled power. Feel your chest, shoulders, and triceps engage as you conquer each repetition. Pushups are like the bread and butter of bodyweight exercises, delivering a well-rounded upper body workout.

Last but not least, forward lunges, a move that activates your lower body and challenges your balance. Step forward with one leg, lower your body until both knees are bent at a 90-degree angle, and push through your heel to return to the starting position.

Alternate legs with each repetition, and feel the burn in your quadriceps and glutes as you stride towards greater strength.

HIIT Running Workout # 4 – Tabata Protocol

Get ready to experience a heart-pumping, calorie-blasting, and exhilarating workout that will push your limits and leave you feeling invigorated. Introducing one of my all-time favorite HIIT workouts—the Tabata protocol.

This workout is like a burst of lightning, delivering intense intervals of effort followed by moments of recovery. It’s a high-intensity dance between pushing your limits and allowing your body to recharge.

Studies have shown that Tabata workouts, like the one we just conquered, have numerous benefits. Research papers have revealed that this form of high-intensity interval training can enhance cardiovascular fitness, improve anaerobic capacity, and even boost metabolism long after the workout is over.

For the Tabata intervals, you’ll be running at your fastest pace for 20 seconds—a sprint that will make your heart race, your lungs gasp for air, and your legs feel like they’re on fire. Channel your inner Usain Bolt as you explode forward, pushing your limits with every stride.

But don’t worry, after each 20-second burst of speed, you’ll have a moment to catch your breath and recover. It’s like a brief respite amidst the storm—a chance to regroup, refocus, and prepare for the next exhilarating round. Use those 10 seconds of recovery to jog slowly, allowing your heart rate to settle and your muscles to relax before the next sprint.

Now, let’s repeat this electrifying pattern eight times. Eight cycles of pushing your limits, followed by moments of respite. It’s a beautiful balance between exertion and recovery. With each repetition, you’ll feel your body growing stronger, your endurance soaring, and your spirit igniting with a sense of accomplishment.

HIIT Running Workout # 5 – Tabata Protocol – The Strength Version

Are you ready to take your fitness journey to the next level? Brace yourself for the ultimate challenge—Tabata bodyweight training. It’s time to put your strength, endurance, and mental fortitude to the test. But before we dive into this exhilarating workout, let’s talk about what makes it so unique and why you need to approach it with caution.

Tabata bodyweight training combines the best of both worlds: aerobic and anaerobic exercises.

It’s like a fusion of fire and air, blending the intensity of high-intensity intervals with the power of bodyweight movements. This workout will make you sweat, burn calories, and leave you feeling like a warrior who has conquered the battlefield of fitness.

However, a word of caution—Tabata bodyweight training is not for the faint of heart. It demands discipline, proper form, and a keen understanding of your fitness level. It’s important to listen to your body and know when to push yourself and when to take a step back. Remember, your safety and well-being should always be a top priority.

Here’s the workout routine:

  • Do as many high knee sprints as you can in 20 seconds
  • Rest for 10 seconds
  • Do as many squats as you can in 20 seconds
  • Rest for 10 seconds
  • Do as many pushups as you can in 20 seconds
  • Rest for 10 seconds
  • Do as many burpees as you can in 20 seconds
  • Rest for 10 seconds
  • Do as many sit-ups as you can in 20 seconds
  • Rest for 10 seconds
  • Do as many squat jumps as you can in 20 seconds

Rest for one to two minutes.

Repeat the circuit two to three times.

Finish the session with a 10-minute cool-down.

You can also try this agility ladder workout.

HIIT For Runners Workout # 6 – HIIT Time Challenge

Looking for an extra edge with your training? Try the HIIT time challenge.

Start your session with a 10-minute warm-up of light jogging.

After that, spend 20 minutes doing as many rounds as possible (AMRAP) of:

  • Ten military style pushups
  • Ten hanging leg raises
  • Ten jumping squats
  • Ten burpees
  • Ten pull-ups.

Record your result, then during your next session aim to beat your record.

HIIT For Runners Workout # 7 – Jump Rope Routine

I’m a big fan of jump rope workouts.

These burn mad calories, improve your foot speed, increase coordination, and boost agility.

What’s not to like?

Here’s how to proceed:

Start with a 5 minute forward jumping rope exercise at a comfortable pace as a warm-up.

Afterward, put the rope down and do a set of full-body dynamic stretches.

Next, perform the following exercises:

  • One minute of forward jumps
  • One minute of alternate foot jumps
  • One minute of side-to-side jumps
  • One minute of double unders
  • One minute of high knee jumps
  • One minute of one-foot hops

Rest for two to three minutes, then repeat the circuit two to three times.

HIIT For Runners Workout # 8 – Plyometric HIIT Workout

Also known as explosive training, plyometric training requires your muscles to make use of maximum force in minimum time.

When doing this workout, go explosive for 30 seconds, then recover for another 30 seconds, move to the next exercise, and repeat.

Rest for one to two minutes after completing the whole circuit, then repeat it two to three times.

For a greater challenge, consider holding dumbbells at your sides while doing the workout, or wear a weighted vest.

  • Box Jumps
  • Plyo push-up
  • Jumping lunges
  • 180-degree squat jump
  • Burpees

HIIT For Runners Workout # 9  – The Ab Worker

I don’t believe in “spot reduction” exercises, but I’m pretty sure that HIIT training can tone your midsection.

It’s also a fun way to exercise your abs: HIIT style is much more enjoyable than doing crunches.

Here’s the workout.

Complete three sets of:

  • 25 Russian twists (on each side)
  • 20 Woodchoppers
  • 25 Mountain climbers
  • 20 Bicycle crunches
  • 20 Hanging leg

HIIT For Runners Workout # 10 – Medicine-Ball HIIT Workout

Medicine balls are usually lightweight.

They’re designed for simple grip and maneuverability, and they’re also a powerful tool for HIIT styled workouts.

Med ball exercises target multiple muscle groups, boost coordination, increase endurance, and improve grip strength.

Complete three sets of eight to 15 reps of:

  • Rock and roll up
  • Medicine ball push-up
  • V-up
  • Woodchopper
  • Wall toss.

HIIT For Runners Workout # 11 – Sleds Routine

Sled training is one of the most grueling workouts I’ve ever done.

The first time I ever tried it I truly thought I was going to die, but thanks to a training buddy that kept motivated, I was able to pull it through.

The premise is simple: push the sled from point A to point B as hard and fast as possible without sacrificing form.

That’s it!

If it’s your first time trying this workout, go light and slow.

Start out with a 35-pound slate or lighter.

Only after you’ve nailed proper form should you gradually add more weights and reps.

This I learned the hard way after my first go at sled workouts when I thought I was Superman, I couldn’t sit comfortably nor move my arms for two days!

Here’s how to proceed:

Load a sled on each side and push it for the desired distance.

Then rest for 30 seconds and repeat five to seven more times.

What’s good form? Keep a straight line from your head to your ankle and drive your feet diagonally into the ground with each step you take.

The power needed for the forward momentum must come from your hips and legs, not your arms.

HIIT For Runners Workout # 12 – “Fight Gone Bad” WOD

You cannot do HIIT workouts without throwing some CrossFit WODs (Workout of The Day) into the mix.

After all, CrossFit philosophy revolves around the principles of HIIT training.

I like the “Fight Gone Bad” WOD because it’s intense and will have you doing all sorts of plyo, resistance, and cardio exercises.

To do the “Fight Gone Bad” WOD, complete five rounds of:

  • Wall-ball, 20-pound ball, 10 ft targets (Reps)
  • Sumo deadlift high-pull, 75 pounds (Reps)
  • Box Jump, 20″ box (Reps)
  • Push-press, 75 pounds (Reps)
  • Row (Calories)

HIIT For Runners Workout # 14 – Filthy Fifty CrossFit Workout

The filthy 50 is another brutal CrossFit workout loaded with rigorous exercises guaranteed to push you to your breaking point.

The circuit involves performing 50 reps of 10 different exercises, all done as quickly as possible.

The exercises are:

  • 50 box jumps with a 24-inch box
  • 50 jumping pull-ups
  • 50 Kettlebell swings
  • 50 walking lunge steps
  • 50 knees to elbows
  • 50 reps of push presses with 45 pounds
  • 50 back extensions
  • 50 wall balls using a 20-pound ball
  • 50 burpees
  • 50 double-unders.

Amazing, right? If you can pull this off in under 30 minutes, then you’re in remarkable condition!

HIIT For Runners Workout # 15 – Heavy Rope HIIT Workout

Rope training is the most recent addition to my training regimen, and goodness, it’s freaking tough!

Heavy rope exercises target every major muscle in the body and will push you to the breaking point if you’re not careful.

Here’s a workout routine to try:

Start with a 10 to 15 minutes dynamic warm-up, then perform the following battling rope exercises:

  • One minute of rope waves
  • One minute of shoulder press
  • One minute of rope spirals
  • One minute of side slams
  • One minute of alternating wave lunge jump
  • One minute of start jumps.

HIIT Running Workout Routines – The Conclusion

There you have it. The above HIIT running workout routines are some of the most efficient and powerful workouts you can ever do to improve your fitness and health.

Feel free to leave your comments and questions below, and as always, thanks for stopping by. Keep running strong!

David D.

Running Technique Guide – How To Improve Running Form for Beginners

couple running and have good running form

Looking to improve your running technique and improve running technique? Then you’ve come to the right place.

Now, here’s the deal: Running is as natural to us as breathing. I mean, think about it. According to the evolutionary gurus and running connoisseurs like Chris MacDougal, our very own bodies were designed to do one thing exceptionally well—run, and run for long distances. It’s how our ancestors survived back in the good old days. Running was a matter of life and death.

Now, here’s the not-so-pleasant truth: Having proper running technique doesn’t always come naturally to most of us. Yep, you heard it right. One of the most common mistakes runners make is strutting their stuff with less-than-stellar form. And let me tell you, it’s not a topic that gets talked about enough. I get it, everyone has their own opinion, but that’s no reason to dismiss the importance of proper running form altogether.

That’s where I come in. I’ve made it my mission to unravel the secrets of good running form and compile them into this comprehensive article. I’ll dive into topics like what exactly running form is, why it’s crucial, how to improve your running posture, and even explore the intriguing concept of Lean Gravity Running.

Oh, and we’ll also tackle the burning question of what to do with those hands of yours while you’re out there pounding the pavement.

I know, it’s a lot to cover, but let’s be real here—running technique deserves all the attention it can get. So buckle up those laces, my friend, because we’re about to embark on an epic journey of mastering your running form.

Excited? Let’s get started.

What is Running Form?

Picture running form as the conductor of an orchestra, harmonizing all the different elements to create a symphony of effortless motion. It’s like the secret sauce that can take your running from good to absolutely jaw-dropping.

When we talk about running form, we’re diving into the fascinating world of running mechanics, technique, and style. It’s all about how you move and groove when you hit the pavement. Think of it as your running signature, uniquely tailored to your body and capabilities.

Now, let’s break it down. Your running form encompasses a medley of crucial factors. We’re talking about your running posture, the way your feet strike the ground, the position of those powerful arms of yours, and even the rhythm of your cadence.

But why should you care about all this? Well, my friend, here’s the tea. Proper running form is the key that unlocks a world of benefits. It’s the secret sauce that enhances your running experience and unlocks your true potential.

When you dial in your running form, you’re setting the stage for comfort, efficiency, and mind-blowing results. Trust me, you want to tap into that magic. Picture yourself gliding through your runs with ease, feeling light as a feather, and leaving your competition in the dust. That’s the power of nailing your running form.

The Importance of Good Running Technique

Proper running form, my friend, is the secret sauce that separates the running champs from the strugglers. It’s like having the perfect rhythm in a dance, where each step flows effortlessly and gracefully. When you unlock the power of good running technique, you unleash a whole new level of running prowess.

Let’s get real here. When you master your running form, you open the doors to a world of benefits. Think about it like this: it’s the difference between cruising down the highway in a sleek sports car or chugging along in an old clunker. You want to be the sports car, effortlessly gliding towards your running goals.

But here’s the catch. If your running form goes off the rails, it’s like throwing a wrench into the gears. Suddenly, you’re at risk of injury and your performance takes a nosedive. We don’t want that, do we? No way! We want you to conquer those miles with confidence and reach new heights.

Note: It Takes Time To Build Good Running Form

Learning any new skill—whether it’s a new language, how to use new software, or in your case, how to develop good running form—requires time and experimentation.

It doesn’t happen overnight.

But it’ll definitely help you ward off injuries and run more efficiently.

How To Improve Running Form for Beginners

Here are the exact guidelines you need to improve your running technique.

Your Running Posture

Let’s talk about posture. Now, I must admit, the word itself doesn’t quite excite me. It brings to mind images of stiff, book-balancing individuals trying to maintain a perfect stance. Not exactly the most thrilling mental picture, right? But here’s the thing: despite its lackluster reputation, good posture holds incredible power.

Think of it as the invisible force that aligns your body like a well-oiled machine. It’s like the conductor leading a symphony, ensuring that every instrument plays in perfect harmony. When you have proper posture, everything falls into place—your muscles, bones, tendons, and ligaments all work together seamlessly.

But here’s the kicker: good posture isn’t just important for sitting up straight at a desk or walking gracefully. When you lace up your running shoes and hit the track, proper posture becomes your secret weapon.

Imagine this: your body is a magnificent structure, and good posture is the solid foundation upon which it stands. It’s like the rock-solid base of a towering skyscraper, keeping everything stable and balanced. With each step you take, proper posture ensures that your body moves efficiently and effortlessly, reducing the strain on your muscles.

Let’s not forget the injury prevention aspect. Good posture acts as your body’s personal bodyguard, shielding you from unnecessary aches, pains, and injuries. It’s like having an invisible shield that deflects potential harm, allowing you to run with confidence and resilience.

Bad Posture on The Run

Let’s talk about the nemesis of a good run: bad posture. Now, I understand that some of you may have been lucky enough to avoid this plight, but let me tell you, it can turn your long run into a real nightmare.

Picture this: you’re out there, pounding the pavement, chasing your running goals. But wait! What’s that nagging pain in your neck, shoulders, or back? Ouch! It’s like an unwanted hitchhiker that jumped on board without your permission. And let me tell you, bad posture is often the culprit.

You see, when your posture is off, it’s like your body’s internal GPS got rerouted. Instead of proper alignment, your muscles and joints bear the brunt of the stress. They’re working overtime, becoming tense, and screaming for mercy. Not exactly the kind of harmony you want while you’re out there conquering the miles.

But here’s the thing: bad posture doesn’t stop at ruining your running experience. Oh no, it has a whole repertoire of mischief up its sleeve. Wasted energy? Check. Interfering with your running gait? Double check. Contributing to overuse injuries? Triple check. It’s like a domino effect of discomfort and setbacks.

Trust me, I speak from personal experience. I used to battle a host of problems that I can only attribute to my poor posture. After even a short run, my lower and middle back would ache and feel fatigued. Sitting for just an hour would leave me with a burning pain between my shoulder blades and in my lower back. And let’s not forget the cherry on top—my poor posture made me look shorter and heavier than I actually am. Not the confidence boost I was hoping for.

But fear not! There is light at the end of the tunnel. Once I made a conscious effort to improve my posture, a miraculous transformation occurred. Those issues that plagued me for so long? They simply vanished into thin air.

Sure, I still get the occasional twinge of back pain, but it’s nowhere near as intense or as frequent as before. And here’s the kicker: even with longer work hours and more miles on my running shoes, I’m standing tall, feeling stronger, and looking like the best version of myself.

Good Posture

First things first, it’s all about tackling the root causes of bad posture. Strengthening and mobilizing the right muscles became my secret weapon in this battle. Let me tell you, it made a world of difference.

Now, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of how to achieve that perfect posture. Picture this: a straight spine, relaxed shoulders, and a slight forward lean. That’s the winning formula right there. But we can’t forget about our torso—it should be straight as an arrow, avoiding any excessive chest or booty protrusions. Keep it all in line, my friend.

And here’s where the core takes center stage. Engage those core muscles like a superhero tightening their cape. A strong and tight core not only gives you the stability of a mighty oak but also sets the stage for impeccable posture and efficient running. It’s the rock-solid foundation you need to conquer those miles with confidence.

To truly grasp the essence of proper posture, let’s do a little experiment. Find a wall and stand tall against it. Now, press that derrière firmly against the wall while keeping your chest lifted, core engaged, and back nice and flat. Voila! That’s the posture you should strive for while you hit the running trails.

And if you’re a visual person like me, here’s a little trick for you. Imagine there’s a plum line suspended above your head, gracefully descending through your body, ensuring every inch of you aligns perfectly. Picture that vertical line, my friend, and let it guide you to running glory.

But here’s the cherry on top—don’t forget to check in on your running posture every 10 to 15 minutes. Just like a navigator constantly reassesses their course, you need to ensure everything is on track. Are you standing tall? Are your shoulders relaxed? Is that core engaged? Take a moment, my friend, and make those adjustments if needed. Your body will thank you for it.

woman running

Lean Gravity Assisted Running

The art of gravity-assisted running is like harnessing the power of the universe itself to propel us forward. But here’s the thing, my friend, you’ve got to do it right. Let me share the secret to mastering this technique and unlocking your true running potential.

Imagine this: a slight forward tilt, a mere two to three degrees. It may sound minuscule, but trust me, it’s the sweet spot where magic happens. When you lean forward from your ankles, not your waist, you activate the mighty force of gravity, becoming its dance partner on the running stage.

But here’s a word of caution—balance is key. Avoid leaning too far forward, like a daring acrobat defying gravity’s limits, or too far back, like a hesitant turtle retreating into its shell. Find that sweet spot, my friend, where you’re in perfect harmony with the gravitational forces at play.

Now, let’s talk about the hips. They bear the weight of our running endeavors, and we must treat them with care. Say no to bending backward or forward from the waist. That’s like putting excessive pressure on the hips, asking them to bear a burden they’re not meant to carry. Let’s spare our hips the trouble, shall we?

To truly understand the beauty of proper forward lean, let’s take a moment to appreciate the Nordic ski jumpers. Picture those graceful athletes soaring through the air, defying gravity’s grasp. Their bodies lean forward in perfect synchrony, riding the waves of momentum. They are the epitome of the ideal forward lean we seek in our running form.

Your Head While Running

Picture this: your head held high, like a regal monarch surveying their kingdom. It should be centered, maintaining its rightful place between the shoulders. This is the foundation of a harmonious head-body relationship.

Now, let’s talk about your gaze. Look ahead, my friend, approximately 10 to 15 feet into the distance. Fix your eyes on the path that lies before you, like a keen-eyed adventurer, always aware of what lies ahead. Avoid the temptation to glance downward at your feet. Such an act leads to the treacherous land of slouching—a place no runner wants to be.

The chin is the bridge between head and body. It holds great power over our running form. Keep it level, neither tilting it up nor down. Yes, fatigue may try to tempt you into a downward gaze, but resist its siren call. Your chin should remain steadfast, like a vigilant guardian, protecting the alignment of your head and spine.

Why all this fuss, you ask? Well, my friend, it’s about energy. When your head assumes its rightful position, aligned with the spine, energy flows freely throughout your body.

Your Shoulders While Running

As you embark on your running journey, remember this golden rule: keep your shoulders relaxed and nestled comfortably under your ears. Think of them as a pair of loyal sentinels, maintaining a watchful stance.

Why is this so important, you ask? Well, my friend, hunching those mighty shoulders creates unnecessary tension—a prison of discomfort that inhibits your breathing and restricts your movement. We don’t want that, do we?

When your shoulders are relaxed, it’s as if a weight has been lifted off your chest, allowing your lungs to expand and contract freely. Your breathing becomes a rhythmic melody, a symphony of oxygen flowing in and out with ease. This not only enhances your running efficiency but also fills you with a sense of liberation, as if you’re soaring through the skies like a majestic bird.

But there’s more to it than just breathing. When your shoulders are relaxed, your arms can swing like the pendulum of a grandfather clock, effortlessly propelling you forward. It’s a beautiful dance of synchronization, where your shoulders and arms work in harmony, enhancing your stride and propelling you towards your goals.

Your Arms While Running

While running may seem like a lower-body affair, your arms play a crucial role in your performance. They’re not just idle bystanders; they are active participants in the symphony of motion that propels you forward.

Imagine your arms as swift, graceful wings, guiding you through the air with effortless precision. As you swing your arms in rhythm with your legs, you tap into a hidden well of power. This synchrony enhances your balance, boosts your speed, and elevates your overall coordination and rhythm.

To optimize your arm position while running, remember these key tips. Keep your arms comfortably at your sides, like two trusty companions accompanying you on your running escapade. Let your elbows form a gentle angle of around 90 degrees, slightly pointed away from your torso. This position allows for fluid movement, reducing unnecessary tension and freeing your energy to conquer new horizons.

As you swing your arms forward and back, like the pendulum of a grand clock, embrace the sensation of freedom. Resist the temptation to cross your arms over your body, for it disrupts the symphony and limits your potential. By allowing your arms to move in harmony with your legs, you create a rhythm that is music to the soul of a runner.

Your Hands While Running

Ah, the unsung heroes of the running world: our trusty hands. They may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of running, but let me tell you, my friend, they hold a remarkable power. Like conductors of an orchestra, they regulate the tension in your upper body, ensuring a harmonious and efficient running experience.

Now, imagine your hands as delicate vessels, cradling a precious butterfly or holding an egg that you’re determined not to crush nor break. Keep your hands in an unclenched fist, with your fingers and thumbs lightly touching. Feel the gentle embrace of your fingers, as if they are holding onto something fragile yet full of beauty.

Now, here’s a little secret: instead of swinging your arms forward, imagine that you’re channeling your inner martial artist. Visualize yourself elbowing an unseen force behind you, propelling yourself forward with power and purpose. It’s like unleashing a hidden strength, propelling you towards victory.

Why is all this hand business so important? Well, my friend, tightness in your hands can lead to tension creeping up your back and shoulders. We don’t want that. By maintaining a relaxed yet focused grip, you release unnecessary strain and allow your upper body to move with grace and ease. It’s a dance of freedom, where tension has no place to take hold.

Your Knees While Running

Your knees bear the weight, absorb the impact, and keep us moving forward with grace and resilience. Let’s give these joint warriors the attention they deserve.

Picture this: as you glide through the air, your knees act as flexible springs, always ready to absorb the shock of each foot strike. They are like the suspension system of a high-performance sports car, ensuring a smooth ride even on the bumpiest terrain.

Now, here’s a golden rule to keep in mind: maintain a continuous slight bend in the knee throughout your entire gait cycle. It’s like maintaining a gentle flex, a state of readiness that allows your knees to adapt and respond to the ever-changing demands of the road beneath you.

As your leading leg propels you forward, imagine a subtle bend in your knee, relaxed and supple. This slight bend serves two purposes: first, it allows for a more efficient transfer of energy, enabling you to land with finesse just a tad in front of your center of gravity. Second, it acts as a shock absorber, cushioning the impact of each foot strike like a protective buffer.

You see, my friend, the knees are not meant to be locked in rigid extension. They crave that gentle flexion, that little bit of give, which prevents unnecessary strain and reduces the risk of injury. It’s like the difference between a rigid stick and a supple spring, ready to rebound and propel you forward.

Stay Relaxed Running

Running with tension is like trying to sprint while wearing a heavy backpack filled with rocks. It weighs you down, drains your energy, and prevents you from reaching your full potential. But when you let go of that tension, it’s like shedding that backpack, freeing yourself to run with lightness and ease.

Let’s start by identifying those tension hotspots. They can be tricky little troublemakers, often lurking in our hands, shoulders, and jaws. But fear not, for you hold the key to releasing them. Consciously bring your awareness to these areas and give yourself permission to let go. Imagine gently untangling knots, like a skilled masseuse working their magic.

Your shoulders, my friend, deserve a special mention. Keep them back and relaxed, as if they were carrying the weight of the world with ease. If you sense any tightness, let your arms drop by your sides, open your hands, and give them a little shake.

Now, let’s unlock the power of your face. Yes, your facial muscles can play a significant role in your overall body tension. So, unclench your jaw, allowing it to slacken and your eyes to soften. Think of it as a gentle sigh of relief, releasing any unnecessary strain and inviting relaxation to wash over you.

And those tightly clenched fists? They’re a recipe for tension and improper form. Instead, picture yourself cradling delicate eggs in each hand, eggs you don’t want to crush. Let your fingers loosen their grip, allowing the energy to flow freely and unencumbered.

Lastly, let’s dive into the world of breath. Deep, powerful breaths have the magical ability to both calm and energize. Instead of relying solely on your chest, engage your diaphragm, that marvelous muscle beneath your lungs. Feel your belly expand as you draw in a nourishing breath, and then let it gently contract as you release. It’s a dance of oxygen and vitality, fueling your every step.

Know your Cadence For Proper Running Mechanics

Think of cadence as the conductor of your running orchestra. It sets the pace, the tempo, and determines the harmony between your body and the ground. Each time your foot kisses the earth, it’s like a musical note, contributing to the melody of your stride.

Experts have spoken, and they tell us that an optimal cadence falls within the range of 170 to 180 steps per minute. This golden range, discovered by the esteemed running coach Jack Daniels, holds the key to unlocking your true running potential. It’s the sweet spot where efficiency and injury prevention meet, paving the way for remarkable performance.

But before you embark on your cadence journey, let’s measure where you currently stand. Take a moment to count the number of strides your foot takes in 30 seconds. Then, with a touch of mathematical prowess, multiply that number by four. Voila! You now have a snapshot of your current cadence.

If your cadence falls below the magic 180, fear not. Improvement is within your reach. Begin by increasing your cadence gradually, aiming for a five percent increment every three to four weeks. It’s like fine-tuning a musical instrument, making small adjustments to find your perfect rhythm.

Remember that your cadence may vary depending on the intensity of your run. During speedwork or racing, your cadence will naturally be faster, like a virtuoso violinist playing with passion and speed. So, strive to find your ideal cadence for both training and racing, ensuring a symphony of strides in every scenario.

Foot Strike & Good Running Technique

When it comes to foot strike, we’re faced with three contenders: the graceful forefoot strike (FFS), the balanced mid-foot strike (MFS), and the trusty rearfoot strike (RFS). Each has its loyal following, but here’s the catch—the evidence supporting a clear winner is yet to be discovered.

Now, before you throw your hands up in frustration, allow me to offer some guidance. As a beginner, I would recommend aiming for a mid-foot strike. Why, you ask? Well, it’s like finding the sweet spot between elegance and efficiency. Landing on your mid-foot helps minimize stress on your precious knees and ankles while giving you a solid foundation for a powerful push-off.

Here’s the secret sauce to mastering the mid-foot strike: as you glide through your running stride, focus on landing softly on your midfoot or the area between your heel and midfoot. Then swiftly roll forward onto your toes, engaging those glutes with each step.

But wait, hold your horses! While I’m here singing the praises of the mid-foot strike, it’s important to remember that running form is a deeply personal experience. What works for one runner may not work for another. So, take my suggestion with a pinch of salt and embrace the beauty of experimentation.

Pay attention to how your body responds. If you’re landing in a way that feels right, and you’re free from post-run aches and pains in your lower limbs, then you’re on the right track, my friend. Remember, running is as much an art as it is a science. Find the style that resonates with your unique rhythm and adapt accordingly.

If you find that your current foot strike isn’t serving you well, fear not! You have the power to make a change. Embrace the freedom of choice and explore different foot strike patterns until you find the one that brings you the most joy and efficiency.

Run Your Own Way

Here’s the secret sauce: as you embark on your running journey, focus on developing those proper technique habits. With each stride, you’ll be toning your form, refining it like a sculptor shaping a masterpiece. It’s all about finding what works best for you, like a bespoke suit tailored specifically to your body.

Remember, the key is to let your running technique harmonize with your physiology. Don’t force yourself into a mold that doesn’t fit. Instead, allow your natural movement patterns to guide your form, embracing the freedom to run as nature intended.

Now, here’s a nifty tip for instant feedback on your running journey—join a running group! Picture it as a vibrant community filled with experienced runners who have traveled the paths you’re about to tread. These groups are a melting pot of fitness backgrounds and levels, a treasure trove of wisdom waiting to be shared. Seek their guidance, soak up their knowledge, and be open to honest criticism. Sometimes the truth might sting a bit, but it’s all part of the learning process that propels you forward.

It’s worth noting that every runner has their own unique style. Just like a kaleidoscope of colors, we all bring our own flair to the running world. So, embrace your individuality and cherish the learning process. Keep a keen eye on your performance and the joy you derive from each training session. These markers will guide you along the right path, illuminating the way to running bliss.

Conclusion

To re-cap: when it comes to building proper running form, run tall with a slight forward lean, keep your body relaxed the entire time, improve your cadence, and find the foot strike that suits you the best (mine is the forefoot strike). And that’s it.

As a recreational runner—even if you take your running a bit more serious than the average joe—I don’t think you will need sophisticated from analysis to get the hangs of proper form.

Just keep your focus on the basics of proper running form and you will undoubtedly reap the rewards of proper form: efficient running and fewer injuries. And that will make your daily runs a lot more fun for sure.

And please be gradual about changing your form. In my experience, the fastest way to get injured is to try to change everything overnight—so just give it time and change one thing at a time while listening to your body’s feedback and staying within your fitness level the entire time. Then it’s just a matter of time before you master good running form.

In the meantime, thank you for reading my post.

Go out there and RUN!

The 16 Best Bodyweight Exercises For Runners (& How to Start Body Weight Training)

female runner doing Bodyweight Exercises

So, you’ve heard about bodyweight exercises, and you’re itching to give them a try, but where on earth do you begin?

Fear not, because you’re about to embark on an exciting fitness journey, and I’ve got your back every step of the way.

Let’s face it, whether you’re a seasoned athlete or a complete newbie to the world of exercise, bodyweight training, also known as calisthenics, is a game-changer.

It’s not some secret fitness society; it’s the path to improving your fitness, shedding those extra pounds, and sculpting the body you’ve always dreamed of.

The beauty of calisthenics lies in its simplicity. All you need is yourself and a bit of space, making it the ultimate workout choice for your home, the gym, or wherever your adventurous spirit takes you.

Now, before you start envisioning yourself attempting gravity-defying stunts, relax! I’m here to tell you that calisthenics is more attainable than you might think. It’s not rocket science; it’s about harnessing the power of your body.

In this comprehensive guide, I’m not only going to demystify the world of bodyweight training but also empower you with the knowledge and skills you need to get started. Get ready to dive into the benefits of calisthenics, the essentials for beginners, fundamental exercises, technique tips, and much more.

Excited? Let’s get going.

What are Bodyweight Training Exercises?

As the name suggests, bodyweight training is all about using your own body as your trusty workout tool.

It’s like turning yourself into a human resistance machine, minus the need for fancy equipment like bars, dumbbells, or exercise machines.

Your body becomes your ultimate gym buddy.

Now, you might wonder, what kind of exercises am I talking about here? The possibilities are endless, ranging from the classic push-ups and pull-ups to more advanced moves like muscle-ups and jackhammers.

Whether you’re just starting your fitness journey or you’re already a seasoned pro, there’s a bodyweight exercise for you.

Let’s dive a little deeper into the benefits that bodyweight training has to offer.

Bodyweight Exercises Benefits For Runners

Imagine getting in the best shape of your life without shelling out those hefty gym fees or feeling confined to the four walls of a fitness center.

Sounds like a dream, right? Well, it’s time to wake up because bodyweight exercises are here to make that dream a reality!

The beauty of bodyweight training lies in its sheer convenience. You can kiss those complicated gym machines and pricey equipment goodbye. All you need is yourself, a solid routine, and a dash of determination.

It’s fitness on your terms, anytime and anywhere.

Now, let’s talk simplicity. Bodyweight exercises are as straightforward as it gets, and they grow with you. Whether you’re a beginner just dipping your toes into the fitness waters or a seasoned pro looking for a challenge, there’s always a bodyweight move that suits your level.

But wait, there’s more! You’re about to dive into a workout routine that will push your limits. It’s all about high-intensity bodyweight exercises that’ll have you sweating bullets, with well-deserved recovery periods in between to catch your breath.

Here’s the deal: give it your all during every interval.

We’re talking 110% effort here, while keeping that good form as your trusty sidekick.

By the time you finish this routine, you should feel like you’ve given it everything you’ve got.

If you’re not completely wiped out, well, you’ve got more in the tank, my friend!

The 16 Best Bodyweight Exercises For Runners

Here’s the golden rule: form is your best friend, especially if you’re new to the game. The technique you adopt now will stick with you as you progress on your bodyweight training journey.

Don’t be discouraged if push-ups and pull-ups feel challenging at first. Remember, everyone starts somewhere, and Rome wasn’t built in a day! Once you’ve got these basics down pat, you’ll find that those fancy moves you’ve been eyeing are much more achievable.

Bodyweight Exercise For Runners – 1. Air squats

Benefits

Bodyweight squats are wonderful multi-joint exercises that target almost every muscle in your lower body.

They are also key for boosting endurance, especially if you are doing any type of running, biking, and swimming.

Here are some of the common mistakes:

  • Rounding the shoulders and curving the back as you squat.
  • Excessive forward knee bending until they extend past the toes.
  • Knees falling inward or outward.
  • Dumping weight into the toes places strain on the knee joints.
  • Misalignment of the knees and toes.

Proper Form

Begin by standing with your feet a little wider than hip-width apart, your toes should be slightly turned out, with the arms resting at your sides.

Next, while bracing your core and pulling your shoulder blades in towards each other, start squatting by bending your knees slowly while putting most of your body weight onto your heels.

Make sure to keep your knees aligned over your ankles and back straight the entire time.

As soon as you reach the bottom of the squat, press back up through the heel and return to the standing position.

Do this exercise slowly and gradually at first, but as you master proper form, be sure to speed it up to boost the cardiovascular activity and burn some mad calories during this exercise.

Bodyweight Exercise For Runners – 2. Push-ups

The push-up is a classic bodyweight exercise targeting the upper body and core. It works the biceps, triceps, and pecks like nothing else—as long as you perform it right.

Not only bad push-up form is a waste of time and energy, but it could also lead to lower back pain and severe shoulder and wrist issues.

Here are some of the common push-up pitfalls:

  • Lifting the butt high in the air.
  • Performing half a push-up—not going low or high enough.
  • Sinking the hips down.
  • Holding the breath.
  • Placing the palms in front of the shoulders.
  • Keeping the chin too close to the chest.
  • Poor head position.
  • Putting the hands too far forward.
  • Not fully straightening the arms on the push-up.

Proper Form

Begin by setting up your weight supported onto your toes and hands.  Place your hands underneath your shoulders, then extend your legs straight out behind you. Keep your head in a neutral position, arms, and hands slightly below your shoulders, fingers pointing forwards.

Tighten your core, squeeze your butt, then lower your body until your chest is an inch or two above the floor, elbows pulling back at about a 45-degree, then rise back up by fully extending your arms. That’s one rep.

Engage your core and buttocks, and keep your elbows tucked into your sides throughout the movement. This helps keep your body in a straight line from head to heels.

Can’t perform a single push-up? Use a bench or an elevated surface to put your hands on. I won’t recommend dropping to your knees as it instills lousy form.

As you get stronger, opt for lower surfaces for your hands until you can do clean pushups with no assistance.

Push-up variations: Military pushups, wide-stance pushups, incline/decline pushups, archer push-ups, one-hand push-ups, Hindu push-ups, etc.

Bodyweight Exercise For Runners – Plank

The plank is one of the most basic core exercises out there, but it’s not as simple as you might think. It’s actually one of the most common mistakes when it comes to technique.

Planks are versatile exercises that increase core strength and relieve the lower back. But if performed wrong, they can do more harm than good.

Here are some of the common form errors:

  • Not engaging the core muscles
  • Sinking the hips
  • Arching the back
  • Looking up straight ahead
  • Tilting the hips
  • Positioning the hands too far apart
  • Placing the arms behind or in front of the shoulders
  • Lifting up the hips too high
  • Bringing the shoulders beyond the elbows
  • Not engaging the legs and butt

Proper Form

Begin on your knees and hands in the classic tabletop position.

Position your elbows underneath your shoulder, then tuck your toes and, lift your knees off the floor, and look straight toward the floor.

Engage your shoulder muscles and keep your neck aligned in a neutral position, feet together, and toes touching the ground.

Readjust your hand position until your wrists are lined up under your shoulders.

Hold the plank position for as long as possible without losing form.

Plank variations: low plank arm reach, reverse plank side start plank, low side plank, extended plank, low side plank crunch, forearm plank, etc.

Bodyweight Exercise For Runners – 4. Bench Dips

Also known as a triceps dip, this is a classic bodyweight exercise. Dips target the chest and triceps and are best performed off the platform of a chair or a bench.

Here are some common mistakes to watch out for:

  • Not going low enough or going too low
  • Moving too fast
  • Flaring the elbows to the side
  • Not engaging the core
  • Gazing at the ceiling
  • Butt tilting

Proper Form

Start facing away from a chair or bench, then the front of the platform with both hands shoulder-width distance apart, extending your legs out in front of you.

Engage your core and flex at the elbows to slowly lower your body until your arm at the forearm forms a 90-degree angle. Pause at the bottom for a moment, then lift yourself powerfully using your triceps. That’s one rep.

Once you can breeze through 12 to 16 reps, move on to a more advanced move, like a close grip push-up.

Bench Dips Variations: band-assisted dips, dip to leg raise, assisted dip machine, weighted dips, jumping dips with negatives, etc.

Bodyweight Exercise For Runners – 5. Pull-ups

Pull-ups are maybe the best back exercise and are better done with a pull-up bar. It’s also one of the hardest, so take your time and start with easier variations.

Here are some common pull-up mistakes:

  • Not getting the chin above the bar
  • Gripping too wide
  • Staying straight as an arrow
  • Not using the full range of motion
  • Letting the elbow flare
  • Not keeping the back flat
  • Not keeping the shoulders back
  • Not going to “dead hang.”

Proper Form

Grab a horizontal bar with both hands, palm facing away from you and hands at shoulder-width apart.

Next, while flexing your traps and shifting your shoulders up and back, pull your body up toward the bar, then slowly lower down to complete one rep.

Pull-ups variations: chair-assisted pull-ups, close grip pull-ups, wide grip pulls, butterfly pull-ups, kipping pull-ups, etc.

Bodyweight Exercise For Runners – 6. The Bridge

Also known as the hip raise, the bridge is a fantastic pose for increasing strength in the hamstrings, back, and glutes.

When performed incorrectly, the bridge can lead to neck, lower, back, or knee issues.

Here are some of the common blunders:

  • Lengthening the muscles within the quads
  • Having the feet too close to the butt.
  • Lifting the heels off the ground
  • Not keeping the toes in line with the knees
  • Put too much force on the head and neck

Proper Form

Begin by lying down flat on your back. Pull your shoulders back and down.

Place your arms alongside your body, then bend your knees and place your feet on the ground, a hip-width distance apart.

Walk your feet back towards your butt, then, on the inhale, press into your arms and feet to lift your hips towards the ceiling. Squeeze your glutes as you rise to create a straight line from your knees to your shoulders.

While keeping your knees, hips, and chest aligned, hold the top of the movement for three to ten seconds. Do not let your hips sag or drop.

Slowly lower down and repeat.

Bridge variations: single leg bridge, bridge with a squeeze, weighed bridge, pulsating bridge, etc.

Bodyweight Exercise For Runners – 7. Lunges

Another fantastic lower body exercise for building up the glutes and the quads.

Lunges also help improve coordination and balance, and they’re great for improving proprioception.

But they are also extremely and commonly easy to get wrong. Bad technique doesn’t just look sloppy; it could also cause injury.

Avoid these common pitfalls:

  • Bending the torso forward
  • Leaning forward or back
  • Turning the foot inward
  • Externally rotating the back knee
  • Lowering the rear knee too fast
  • Not maintaining a straight-back
  • Losing balance
  • Taking very short strides forward or backward
  • Extending the knee past the toes on the lunge
  • Shifting the weight from the heel to the toes—or riding the toes.
  • Pushing the hips forward

Proper Form

Assume an athletic position, with the feet hip-width apart, back flat, and core engaged.

Take a slow, controlled step forward with your right leg as far as possible. Your front heel is roughly two feet in front of your rear knee as it bends toward the ground.

While keeping the weight in the heels and spine flat, lower your body until both of your knees are bent at a 90-degree angle. Avoid leaning back or forward throughout the movement.

Hold for a moment, then take a big step forward with your left leg. Keep alternating the legs to move forward across the floor. Avoid bouncing or using too much momentum.

Lunge variations: jumping lunges, static lunges, isometric lunges, reverse lunges, step-ups, reverse lunges, rear foot elevated lunges, lung with reach, weighted lunges, etc.

Hardest Bodyweight Exercises For Runners

Once you master the basic bodyweight movements, make your workouts more challenging by adding the following exercises.

Bodyweight Exercise For Runners – 8. Spiderman Plank Crunch

Benefits

This awesome exercise will not only raise your heart rate through the roof, but it will also test your core strength and balance to the breaking point.

Proper Form

To do them right, start in a standard plank position with your body perfectly straight from head to toe, forearms firmly resting on a mat.

Make sure to keep your back straight and core engaged the entire time.

Next, lift your right foot off the floor, then bring your right knee forward towards your right elbow, pause, and slowly return to the starting position.

Repeat on the other side to complete one rep.

Alternate sides for a total of 12 reps to complete one set.

Aim for three sets.

Bodyweight Exercise For Runners – 9. Dive Bomber Pushups

Benefits

These are my favorite types of a push-up. Also known as the Hindu push-ups, this exercise can help you tone up almost every muscle in your body while providing you with a killer cardiovascular workout

Proper Form

This will push your heart rate to the max.

So, make sure to pace yourself here.

Begin in a downward dog position with your butt elevated in the air and feet spread roughly shoulder width.

Make sure your body is forming an inverted “V’ shape with your head down.

Next, lower your chest to the floor by bending your elbows toward the floor until your chest almost touches it, then push forward into a dip motion to an upward dog position.

Pause for a moment, then return back to the standing position to complete one rep.

Do ten reps to complete one set, aiming to perform three total sets.

Bodyweight Exercise For Runners – 10. Side plank crunch

Benefits

Planks are some of the best bodyweight exercises, so make sure to do a lot of them.

However, the variations I’m sharing with you today will not only test your core mettle, but they will also drive your heart rate through the roof.

Side plank crunches strengthen the obliques and the deep ab muscles, and they are an awesome cardiovascular exercise.

Proper Form

Begin in a standard plank position with legs together, back straight, and core engaged.

Then, lean to your left side while lifting your right arm up toward the ceiling, bend your right elbow, and place your right hand behind your head.

Next, while keeping your right shoulder tracking over your right hand and hip raised the entire time, bend your right knee and bring it in to touch your top elbow, and start performing crunches.

Do eight reps on each side to complete one set.

Aim for three sets.

Bodyweight Exercise For Runners – 11. Pike Jumps

Benefits

This is another awesome core exercise that will help you develop core strength and stability while hitting your hips and quads hard and pushing your cardiovascular endurance to the limit.

Proper Form

Begin in a standard plank position with palms on the ground, core engaged, back perfectly straight, and hands directly beneath your shoulders.

Make sure to form a straight line from your head to your heels.

Next, while engaging your core, jump your feet together and forward and assume a pike position with your butt raised in the air, pause for a moment, then jump back to the plank position while making sure to keep the hands firmly placed on the ground.

That’s one rep.

Do 16 reps to complete one set.

Aim for three sets.

Bodyweight Exercise For Runners – 12. Jump Squats

Benefits

Jump squats are some of the best plyometric exercises you can do to develop explosive power, which is key to building your muscles’ ability to generate force more quickly.

This exercise mainly works the calves, quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes—vital running muscles.

Proper Form

Stand as straight as possible with the feet spread shoulder-width apart, arms hanging at the sides, and core engaged.

Next, while keeping your chest up and back straight, squat down by bending your knees until your thighs are parallel to the ground.

Be sure to keep your back straight, and knee is tracking over your toes.

Then, while pressing mainly with the ball of your feet, jump up explosively in the air as high as you can, using the thighs like springs.

As soon as you land on the floor, go straight away to the next squat and jump again.

Do 20 reps to complete one set.

Aim for three sets.

Bodyweight Exercise For Runners – 13. Windshield Wipers

Benefits

This awesome core exercise is ideal for targeting the rectus abdominis and obliques muscles to activate and strengthen your core stabilizing muscles, which are crucial for keeping your trunk steady and good posture while you are running.

Proper Form

Start out by lying down on your back, then raise your legs to a 90-degree angle.

For more support, feel free to spread your arms straight out to your sides.

Next, to perform this exercise, rotate your legs to your right side, stopping short of touching the floor, pause for a moment, press back up, then turn to the left side, and press back to the starting position to complete one rep.

Make sure your legs are moving from side to side in a “windshield wiper” motion.

As you get stronger, make it more challenging by bringing your arms closer to your sides so they offer less support.

Do ten slow reps to complete one set.

Aim for three sets.

Bodyweight Exercise For Runners – 14. Single Leg Elevated Glute Bridge

Benefits

As you may already know, glutes are the source of power when it comes to running.

The good news is the single-leg elevated glute bridge exercise is one of the best exercises that target these large and powerful muscles.

Strong glutes can help you run faster and longer while preventing common injury.

Plus, it also builds balance and coordination.

Proper Form

Lie down on your back with your feet flat, and knees bent, and ankles hip-distance apart, then raise your right leg off the floor, pulling the knee to your chest.

This is the starting position.

Make sure to extend your right leg as straight as possible toward the ceiling.

Next, to perform this exercise, raise your glutes off the floor by driving through the heels and extending your hip upward.

Be sure to extend your right leg as far as you can, hold it for 30 seconds to one full minute, then slowly lower your leg down and switch sides to complete one set.

Aim for three sets.

Bodyweight Exercise For Runners – 15. Side Lunges

This is a unique variation of the standard lunge that builds strength in the hamstring, abductors, quadriceps, and glutes. This lateral exercise is also great for coordination.

When side lunges are performed incorrectly, they can result in pain or injury to the lower back, hips, and knees.

Here are some of the common form errors:

  • Not keeping the torso upright and engaged core
  • Extending the knees out too far
  • Stepping too wide while performing the side lunge movement
  • Not keeping the weight distributed evenly
  • Not keeping the toes in line with the lunging knee.

Proper Form

Assume an athletic position with your feet together, knees and hips slightly bent, and head and chest up.

On the inhale, take a slow, lateral step to the right side, then bend into the right knee and sit your hips back as you’re going to sit in a chair.

Stay low while keeping the weight on your heel and bending your knee to a 90-degree angle, with the with the knee staying in line with the toes.

Exhale and press through the right heel to straighten the leg and step back to the starting position.

Switch sides and repeat.

Side Lunge variations: Plyo side lunge, dumbbell lateral lunge, reverse side lunge, curtsey lunge with a kick, single-leg deadlift to reverse lunge.

Bodyweight Exercise For Runners – 16. Burpees

Benefits

This compound movement will blast your heart and increase your stamina like nothing else.

Burpees target virtually every major muscle group in the body while helping you become functionally fit in the shortest time possible.

It’s no wonder that the burpees are the bread and butter of most CrossFit workouts and military training programs.

Here are a few of the sad burpees errors that bring tears to my eyes:

  • Going too fast while ignoring proper
  • Not properly stabilizing the core.
  • Allowing for the back to sag when doing the push-up.
  • Holding the breath.
  • Sacrificing reps for form.

Proper form

Start by standing with feet shoulder-width apart.

Squat down by bending your knees, then lower your body toward the floor by putting your hands on the floor in front of you.

Thrust your feet back, and lower yourself into the bottom portion pushup position so your legs are fully extended, abdominals tights, and arms straight.

Then, in one swift and smooth motion, jump your feet back into the squat position and leap up as high as possible from the squat position.

That’s one rep.

Repeat as fast as possible.

Burpee variations: push-up burpee, superman burpee, side burpee, start jump burpee, mountain climber tuck jump burpee, dive bomber burpee, etc.

The Bodyweight Strength Routine For Running 

We’ve all heard the saying, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.”

You need a concrete plan if you want to reach your fitness goals. Not only does it improve your training consistency, but it also allows you to monitor your progress and see where you need more work.

The following plan has been designed to increase endurance and build strength while burning some mad calories in the process.

Perform the exercises in order, two to three times a week, with at least one day of full recovery between each go. Take 30 to 60 seconds to rest after each round. Repeat five times.

Whatever you do, make sure to start in line with your current fitness skill, training goals, schedule, and personal preferences. Give it a few months, and you’ll be a leaner, stronger athlete for it.

To get you started, try the following 3-day program.

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday: Full-body circuit

  • Ten push-ups
  • 30 squats
  • 20 sit-ups
  • Ten chair dips
  • Five pull-ups

Repeat the entire circuit 5 times.

More Bodyweight Exercises

As you get fitter, feel free to add in more bodyweight exercises of various intensities and reps. Some of these include:

Bodyweight Y Squats
X Pushup
Bodyweight Single-Leg Deadlift
Bodyweight Lateral Squat
Mountain Climbers
Bodyweight Shoulder Taps
Calf raises
Dead Bug
Bird Dog with Rotation
Bodyweight Bird Dog
Double Lunge with Reach
Back Extensions
Hand Curls
Chin-ups
Leg raises
Sit-ups
Scissors
Cross-Body Mountain Climbers
Squat Thrusts
Reverse Lunge and Hop
Cross-Body Extension
Elbow to Knee
Wall Slides
Side Plank with Rotation
Dive Bomber Push-Ups
Side Plank with Extension
Jump Squats
Plank to Push Up
Single-Leg Up and Down Dogs
Figure 4 Mountain Climbers
T Push-Ups
Jumping Lunges
Single-Leg Burpee
Scissors
High Knees
Cross Overs
And so much, so much, more.