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.

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.


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!

How to Treat and Prevent Runner’s Knee

female runner suffering from knee pain

Runners knee can affect anyone, from beginner runners who are just starting out to elite athletes trying to achieve their next personal best.

If you’re looking for practical solutions for relieving and avoiding this common overuse running injury, then you’re in the right place.

Today I’m going to share with you a simple step-by-step runners knee injury treatment and prevention program that can help put a stop to the condition for good.

By the end of this post you will know all you need about:

  • The exact definition of runners knee and its symptoms, and causes,
  • The best treatment options for runner’s knee,
  • How to get back safely to running after runners knee, and
  • The right preventative measures you can take so you no longer have to endure another (or your first) runner’s knee nightmare.

So are you excited? Then let’s get the ball rolling

Runner’s Knee Explained

Standing for a number of conditions affecting the knee, such as Patellar Tendinitis, Chondromalacia Patella, and Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome, or PFPS for short, Runner’s knee is a general term that’s been used to describe pain and tenderness around and/or below the kneecap.

PFPS is the most Common

Patellofemoral pain syndrome (what a mouthful!), is the most common form of runner’s knee, accounting for about 20 percent of all running injuries, according to study.

Note: This whole post is mainly focused on patellofemoral pain syndrome.

In future posts, I’ll be dealing other conditions affecting the knee.

That’s why in this post, I’ll be using the terms PFPS and runner’s knee interchangeably, but please keep in mind that they are not the same thing.

Runners Knee Symptoms

The primary symptom is mild pain around, and below the top of the kneecap, typically toward the center of the back of the knee where the kneecap and thighbone meet.

The pain is, in most cases, mild at the first stages and may be only felt during running (or while doing other high impact exercises), but the pain becomes increasingly more intense not only during running but also after a workout.

Since the knee is a joint—Read: it moves around a lot—pinpointing the exact painful spot can prove difficult.

Nevertheless, by and large, Runner’s Knee is described as an aching pain behind and/or around the kneecap.

To make sure you actually have PFPS, you may need to visit a doctor to give you a thorough physical exam.

In some cases, X-rays and MRIs—Magnetic Resonance Imaging)—and other tests are needed for a complete assessment.

But in most cases, if you are a runner, and you started experiencing the above symptoms, rest assured that you have runner’s knee, and it’s time to step back from running and treat the condition before you do more damage to the cartilage.

You may also experience swelling and/or popping or cracking sensations in the knee.

Additional Resource – Can you run again after knee replacement

Runners Knee – The Injury Process

At the root level, runners knee develops when the patella (the kneecap) tracks incorrectly over the femoral groove, which a groove in the thighbone—as you use your knee.

Under normal conditions, the patella rests in the femoral groove and glides effortlessly up and down as you bend and straighten your knee.

But when the patella is misaligned—or tracking out of its normal range— it can irritate the nerves around the kneecap and damage the cartilage beneath the patella, leading to knee pain and eventually, runners knee.

Not Just Runners

As I have already stated, Runners’ Knee is the most common overuse injury among runners, but it can also strike any athlete in a variety of fields—especially sports that require plenty of cutting and sharp lateral movements, such as skiing, basketball, and tennis, or any type of sport that’s arduous activity on the legs.

Runners Knee Causes

Pinpointing a single cause of runner’s knee may prove elusive.

There are so many factors that can lead to the condition.

Here are some of the causes:

Overuse. This is the most common cause.

The repetitive high impact nature of running—and other high impact activities that are strenuous on the knees—can irritate the nerves around kneecap and damage the tendons.

Misalignment. When the patella—kneecap—is slightly out of its correct position—in other words it’s out of alignment—running and other high impact activities that require a lot knee bending and twisting can wear down the cartilage of the kneecap, leading to pain and damage to the joints.

Muscle weakness. Muscle imbalances in the legs can also lead to the condition.

Weak glutes, hip abductors, and quadriceps muscles can reduce support and stability around the knees, which forces the kneecap to track out of alignment.

Muscle tightness. Tight hamstrings and calf muscles can put pressure on the knee, resulting in misalignment of the kneecap, thus increasing kneecap friction and pain.

Add to this the repetitive high impact nature of running and you have a recipe for runners knee.

Foot problems. If you have flat feet—also known as fallen arches or overpronation—this anatomical condition can overstretch the muscles and tendons of your legs, resulting in knee pain and irritation.

An unusual foot position forces the foot to roll inwards which significantly changes the way the forces go through the knee

Direct trauma. This is when you receive a direct trauma to the knee, such like a blow or a fall.

The shock impact can dislocate the kneecap, or even move it out of place, forcing it to mal-track over the femoral groove.

How to Treat Runner’s Knee

If you have runners knee, then there is no perfect answer to when your knee will be healed.

Nevertheless, to speed up the healing process, do the following.

Stop Running

This is obvious.

Stop doing anything, including running and other high impact exercises, that leads to knee pain, but feel free to do as much exercise as you can do pain-free.

Take as many recovery days (or weeks) as you need.

If you don’t want to stop exercising, then opt for cross training activities with minimum impact on the knee.

Join a yoga class, strength train or join a aqua jogging class.

Just because you have runners knee don’t mean that you should fall off the training wagon, and turn into a couch potato.

Ice your Knee

Ice therapy can help you assuage pain and reduce the swelling.

Do it for 10 to 15 minutes three to four times per day until the pain is gone.

Use cold packs or ice wrapped in a towel.

Compress The Knee

Support the injured knee by using sleeves, straps or an elastic bandage to accelerate the healing process and reduce pain.

Elevate your Knee

Another measure you can take is to keep the knee raised up higher then you chest level by elevating it on a pillow when you are sitting or lying down.

Take Anti-inflammatory Pills

I will only recommend that you take pills if the pain was too much to bear.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication, like Aleve, Advil, or most commonly Ibuprofen, will help with the swelling and the pain—especially if you needed more pain relief.

Just be careful. These drugs—like any other drug—have a dark side.

They can boost the risk of bleeding and ulcers—only used when your doctor says so or in cases of severe pain.

See a Doctor

In case your knee did not get well with the above steps, and the pain persists, then you may need to see a physician and have a professional examine your knee for a thorough medical evaluation.

In most cases, runners knee can be easily treated provided that you spot it early on and take the necessary action steps on the spot.

Severe Runners Knee Cases

In some severe cases of runner’s knee, the above steps may not help as much.

So what to do then?

Well, severe cases of the runner may need immediate surgery to fix the damage.

A surgeon could take out the injured cartilage or mend the position of the patella.

Hopefully, you will never have to endure severe cases of runner’s knee.

This condition—and most other running injuries—can be easily treated—when spotted at the right time and before they get any worse—and with the implementation of the right preventative strategies.

Additional resource – Your guide to ITBS

How to Get Back Running after Runner’s Knee

Here are the three keys to return safely to running after runner’s knee

Take your Time

Returning back to running, of course, will depend on how severe you damaged your knee.

Thus, it’s hard to guess how much recovery time you will need, especially when you put into consideration the biomechanical causes of the condition.

You cannot fix your muscles imbalances or running mechanics overnight.

So this cannot be rushed up. No one can

For instance, you may only need a few days off if you spot runners’ knee early, but if you have been running through pain for a while, you may need a lot longer.

But as a general guideline, full recovery from runner’s knee can take from four to eight weeks (or even more in severe cases) of no irritating activities—including running and other activities that require a lot of knee bending and twisting.

To stay on the safe side, opt for cross-training activities that don’t aggravate the pain and require minimum knee twisting and effort.

Take up aqua jogging, swimming, and the like.

And if a cross-training activity leads to knee pain, you shouldn’t be doing it.

The same approach applies for other knee injuries such as ITBS and patellar tendonitis.

Restart Slowly

Depending on how long you were out of the running field, it will take you to get back to running the way you used to.

A loss of cardio base and stamina is expected after a moderate layoff—even for just a couple of weeks.

Restart your running engine carefully and slowly.

Don’t force it.

Adopt a beginner’s runner mindset.

Fix the Root-Cause

Whether the root cause of your injury was biomechanical or any other cause, you will need to continue on working on it until it poses no future threats.

So please keep in mind that if you don’t strive to gradually fix the root-cause, it won’t just repair itself.

That was my mistake.

And please don’t repeat my mistake.

Additional Resource – Overpronation vs Underpronation



How to Increase Running Speed: 10 Effective Strategies

runner trying to Increase Running Speed

Ready to unlock the secrets of becoming a faster runner? You’re in for a treat because this is the ultimate guide to boosting your running speed.

Whether you’re a newbie getting ready for your first 5K or a seasoned marathoner looking to shave precious seconds off your time, improving your speed should be right at the top of your priority list. Believe me, I’ve been there.

I used to think that running more and more miles was the key to becoming faster. So, I hit the pavement, pounding out mile after mile, expecting my speed to magically skyrocket. But let me tell you, frustration quickly set in when I realized I wasn’t getting any faster.

But here’s the exciting part. Once I discovered some game-changing strategies that I’m about to share with you, my running speed took off like a rocket. And it happened in a matter of months! It’s incredible how a simple shift in your training approach can make all the difference in the world.

So, get ready to lace up those running shoes and prepare for a training revolution.

Today, I’m going to spill the beans on some creative and effective training techniques that will help you unleash your inner speed demon without having to log endless miles.

Are you ready to leave your old pace in the dust and cross the finish line with lightning speed? Let’s do this!

Increase Running Speed Strategy 1- Strength Training

Let’s talk about the secret weapon that will take your running to the next level: strength training. When done right, pumping some iron can be a game-changer for faster, injury-free running.

Imagine your muscles as the mighty engines propelling you forward. The stronger they are, the more force they can generate and absorb, turning you into a running powerhouse.

But it’s not just about the legs. Oh no! Runners also need a strong upper body to maintain proper form and mechanics. Think of it as having a sturdy frame that keeps you balanced and in control as you conquer the miles.

Now, let’s get to the juicy part. I’m going to share some of the best exercises that you should add to your training arsenal. Get ready to feel the burn!

  • Squats: These bad boys are the kings of leg workouts. They engage your quads, hamstrings, and glutes, turning your lower body into a powerhouse. Check out this video tutorial to nail your squat form.
  • Planks: Ah, the humble plank. It may look easy, but don’t be fooled. This exercise is a core-strengthening beast that will give you stability and help maintain that perfect running posture. Watch this video to master the art of planking.
  • Pistols: No, I’m not talking about shooting range skills here. I’m talking about a challenging single-leg squat that will light up your quads and improve your balance and stability. Check out this video to see how it’s done.
  • Russian twists: Say hello to killer obliques and a rock-solid core. This exercise targets those abdominal muscles that are crucial for maintaining proper running form. Get ready to twist and torch those calories! Watch this video to learn the Russian twist technique.

Increase Running Speed Strategy 2 – Interval Training

So, what’s the deal with interval training? Well, picture this: You’re on a rollercoaster ride, zooming up and down, experiencing exhilarating highs and brief moments of respite. That’s exactly what interval training is like for your running journey.

It’s all about alternating between bursts of high-intensity effort and recovery periods to build both speed and endurance.

But here’s the best part: Interval training is like a turbocharger for calorie burning. It’s a time-efficient powerhouse that torches those extra calories in less time. Talk about a win-win!

Now, let’s break it down. The magic happens with a 2:1 ratio. You sprint for 30 meters, feeling the wind in your hair and the fire in your muscles. Then, you ease into a 60-meter jog to catch your breath and prepare for the next exhilarating burst. Sprint 30, jog 60, repeat. You get the idea.

During those intense work intervals, give it your all. Feel your heart pounding, your lungs gasping for air. That’s the sweet spot. It’s called the anaerobic zone, where the real magic happens.

But hold on, we’re not done yet. After each heart-pounding sprint, it’s time for a little recovery. Slow your pace, let your heart rate come down, and allow your muscles to cool down. It’s like catching your breath before diving back into the action.

Now, here’s a pro tip for you: Before diving headfirst into interval training, make sure to warm up with a dynamic warm-up routine. Trust me, it’s essential to prevent injuries and get your body primed for the intense bursts of speed.

Okay, time to level up your interval game. Start with a classic 100-meter sprint at your maximum speed. Feel the rush as you unleash your inner cheetah. Then, gracefully transition into a 200-meter jog, catching your breath and preparing for the next round.

Start with six or eight repeats, allowing yourself a recovery period in between each one. As you gain strength and stamina, challenge yourself to push further. Add more reps to your training regimen, and watch your speed soar to new heights.

One important thing to remember: You’ll need a trusty stopwatch to keep track of time during your interval sessions. It’s your best buddy for monitoring those precious seconds and ensuring you stay on top of your game.

Increase Running Speed Strategy 3- Drill Training

If you’re looking to leave your old running time in the dust, these drills are your secret weapon. I’m talking about form, coordination, and a speed boost that will have you tapping into that top speed.

Let’s describe some of these speed drills and explore some of my personal favorites. These drills are like little turbocharges for your running performance, so buckle up!

First up, we have the Acceleration Strides. Imagine this: You start off with a slow jog, feeling the ground beneath your feet. Then, like a rocket launching into space, you gradually pick up speed until you’re sprinting like lightning. These strides are all about unleashing your inner speed demon and teaching your body to transition smoothly from slow to fast. Check out the link for a visual guide on how to master the art of acceleration.

Next on our list are the High Knees. Picture this drill as a chorus line of rocket-powered dancers. Lift those knees up high, as if you’re trying to touch the sky. Not only does this drill improve your running form, but it also strengthens your hip flexors and boosts your coordination. Get those knees pumping and watch your speed skyrocket!

But wait, there’s more. Ever thought about running backward? Yep, you heard me right. It’s time to put a new twist on your running routine with Backward Running. This drill might seem a bit unconventional, but trust me, it’s a game-changer. Not only does it challenge your coordination and balance, but it also strengthens muscles that are often neglected.

Now, remember, these drills are just the tip of the iceberg. There’s a whole world of speed-enhancing exercises out there waiting for you to explore. Mix and match, get creative, and find the ones that work best for you. The key is to target form, coordination, and running cadence—those vital elements that will take your speed to new heights

Increase Running Speed Strategy 4 – Hill Training

Ready to kick your interval training up a notch and conquer new heights? Enter hill training.

When you tackle those inclines, you’re not just building leg strength, you’re forging a path to greatness. Picture this: with each stride up the hill, your quads, hamstrings, and calves are sculpting themselves into powerhouses of endurance. The result? You’ll be able to conquer those smooth, flat surfaces with newfound speed and ease.

So, what makes hill training so effective? It’s all about the perfect balance of intensity and impact. Unlike pounding on flat terrain, hill training delivers a punch of intensity while being gentler on your precious joints. It’s like finding that sweet spot where challenge meets safety, allowing you to push your limits without sacrificing your body’s well-being.

Now, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of your next hill workout. First, scout for a hill that’s just right—not too steep, not too flat—around 50 to 100 meters in length. It should be challenging enough to make you break a sweat, but not so steep that you start questioning your life choices.

Before you conquer the hill, warm up thoroughly on a flat surface. Get those muscles firing and your heart pumping. Once you’re all warmed up and ready to go, it’s time to charge up that hill. Give it everything you’ve got, sprinting up as fast as your legs can carry you. Feel the burn, embrace the challenge, and then jog back down, catching your breath as you prepare for the next round.

Repeat this ascent and descent several times, adjusting the number of repetitions based on your current fitness level and goals. If you’re just starting out, aim for around six rounds to get those hill-conquering muscles activated. Seasoned runners looking for an extra challenge can push it to a dozen or more.

But here’s the secret: pace yourself wisely. As you tackle each hill, find a rhythm that allows you to conquer the summit without gasping for air or collapsing from fatigue. It’s all about finding your sweet spot, that pace where you feel the burn but maintain control. Running up a hill is not just about raw power—it’s a delicate dance of strength and finesse.

Increase Running Speed Strategy 5 – Plyometric Training

Imagine running as the art of jumping from one foot to the other, propelling yourself forward with each powerful leap. It’s a beautiful dance between your body and the ground beneath you.

But did you know there’s a secret training program that takes this concept and turns it into a supercharged powerhouse? Welcome to the world of plyometric training, my fellow runners. Get ready to take your performance to new heights!

Plyometrics, also known as explosive training, is the secret ingredient that can take your running game to the next level. It’s time to unleash the power within you and incorporate this exhilarating form of exercise into your routine. Trust me, the results will leave you in awe.

Research has shown that plyometric exercises are a game-changer when it comes to increasing endurance, agility, and speed. They have the potential to transform you into a lean, mean running machine. Imagine being able to go the distance with ease, effortlessly maneuvering through any obstacles in your path. The studies speak for themselves—explosive power movements can be a game-changer for runners like us.

The beauty of plyo training lies in its efficiency. You don’t need to dedicate hours upon hours to reap the benefits. A few targeted plyometric moves after an easy run or a quick 10 to 15-minute session of jump exercises during your regular strength workouts can work wonders. It’s all about finding what fits your schedule and preferences. The power is in your hands.

Now, let’s dive into the heart of plyometric training—the exercises that will unlock your hidden potential. These are the five plyometric exercises that I highly recommend for maximum impact:

  • Box Jumps: Feel the thrill as you explode off the ground and land gracefully on a sturdy jump box. It’s like conquering mountains with each leap, building explosive power and boosting your lower body strength. Check out this video tutorial for some serious box jump inspiration.
  • Hopping: Embrace your inner bunny and hop your way to greatness. This exercise targets your calves, quads, and overall explosive power. With each bound, you’ll be unleashing the force within you and refining your coordination. Discover the joy of hopping with this helpful video guide.
  • Squat Jumps: Prepare to defy gravity as you launch yourself skyward with a mighty squat jump. This move not only strengthens your legs but also engages your core, helping you maintain stability and control. Get ready to take flight with this tutorial on perfecting your squat jumps.
  • Plyo Push-ups: It’s time to level up your push-up game. Plyo push-ups add an explosive twist to the classic exercise, challenging your upper body and core while enhancing your power and speed. Prepare to push yourself to new heights with this tutorial on mastering plyo push-ups.

One important note: As you embark on your plyometric journey, ensure you have the right gear and equipment. Investing in a reliable and steady jump box is crucial for your safety and optimal performance. Take the time to find the perfect fit for your needs, and let the jumps begin!

Increase Running Speed Strategy 6 – Running Cadence

Imagine yourself in the company of the fastest runners in the world, my fellow speed enthusiasts. They are like finely tuned machines, training relentlessly and possessing a physique that exudes power and strength. But there’s something else they all have in common—a secret weapon that sets them apart from the average, slow runner.

Stride turnover, also known as running cadence, is the holy grail for increasing speed and improving running technique. It refers to the number of steps you take in a minute. Picture it as the rhythm of your feet hitting the ground, propelling you forward with each swift and efficient stride. And guess what? Research has shown that the fastest and most efficient runners in the world maintain a cadence of approximately 180 steps per minute. That’s the magic number that can elevate your running game to new heights.

But how can you achieve this optimal cadence? The key lies in emulating the habits of the running elites. They keep their feet close to the ground, gracefully floating above the surface with short, light, and lightning-fast steps. It’s like a beautiful dance, a symphony of motion that allows them to maintain speed and efficiency effortlessly.

To determine your current cadence, embark on a little experiment. Run for one minute while focusing on your right foot. Count the number of times it strikes the ground and multiply it by two. Voilà, you have your current cadence measurement. Now, let’s work on cranking up that tempo.

To increase your stride turnover, it’s all about embracing the notion of fast, short, and light steps. Imagine yourself tiptoeing across hot coals, the ground beneath you sizzling with energy. Each step should be swift and purposeful, as if you’re playing a game of hot potato with your feet. Embrace the rhythm, feel the flow, and let your inner speed demon guide you.

As you embark on this journey of improving your stride turnover, keep in mind that it’s not just about numbers and metrics. It’s about finding your own rhythm, your own sweet spot where your body feels in sync and your strides become effortless. Play with different tempos, experiment with your cadence, and find what works best for you.

Increase Running Speed Strategy 7 – Jump Rope

I’ve got some exciting news for you. When it comes to improving your running speed, not all steps involve running. Yes, you heard it right. Your cross-training program, those non-running workouts you’ve been neglecting, can make a significant impact too. And one of the best options you got as a runner is the mighty jump rope.

Jumping rope isn’t just child’s play—it’s a challenging and effective way to boost your running speed while giving your main running muscles a serious workout. Picture yourself gracefully leaping over the twirling rope, feeling the burn as it targets your quads, glutes, and calves—those powerhouses that propel you forward with each stride. But that’s not all.

As you jump, your chest, back, triceps, and shoulders also come into play, assisting in the continuous rotation of the rope. It’s like a synchronized dance between your upper and lower body, working in harmony to unleash your running potential.

But here’s the best part: Jumping rope offers all these benefits without wreaking havoc on your precious joints. That means you can strengthen those running muscles and increase your speed without the pounding impact that comes with running alone. It’s like giving your body a much-needed break while still reaping the rewards of an intense workout.

And the benefits don’t stop there. Jumping rope is a true multitasker. Not only does it improve your overall endurance and breathing technique, but it also hones your focus and coordination. It’s a symphony of mind and body working together, sharpening your skills both on and off the track.

To truly unlock the potential of this classic workout, it’s time to up the ante. Increase the duration and intensity of your jump rope sessions, gradually building up to a heart-pumping 20 to 30 minutes. Challenge yourself to explore new footwork patterns—alternate those feet, try jumping on one foot, or even take it up a notch by bouncing on your heels. Let your creativity flow and make it a fun and exhilarating experience.

Increase Running Speed Strategy 7 – Get The Right Form

Want to unlock the secret to running faster? Well, here’s a valuable key that applies to runners of any pace or speed: running more efficiently. When you run with efficiency, you’ll be amazed at how effortlessly you cover more ground and maintain your energy levels, all while leaving fatigue in the dust. So, how can you achieve this running nirvana? The answer lies in mastering proper running form.

Let’s dive into some fascinating research that supports the significance of running with the right technique. Numerous studies have highlighted the impact of proper form on running performance.

One study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that runners who focused on running tall and maintaining a relaxed upper body experienced reduced energy expenditure and improved running economy. This means they were able to maintain their pace while using less energy—an invaluable advantage in any race or training session.

To incorporate this knowledge into your running, here are a few powerful cues to keep in mind:

  • Stand tall: Imagine a string pulling you up, making you six inches taller as you pick up the pace. By maintaining an upright and relaxed upper body, you’ll optimize your stride and reduce unnecessary tension.
  • Find your sweet spot: Aim to land your feet directly beneath your center of gravity. When your foot strikes the ground, ensure the middle of your foot aligns with your hip. This alignment minimizes the risk of overstriding and promotes a more efficient transfer of force.
  • Relax those shoulders: Let your shoulders loosen up and allow your arms to swing naturally back and forth, forming low 90-degree angles. This relaxed arm movement not only aids in balance but also conserves energy that would otherwise be wasted on unnecessary tension.
  • Gentle grip: Imagine holding a delicate butterfly in your palms. Keep your hands lightly clenched, avoiding excess tension. This subtle adjustment helps you maintain a relaxed upper body and prevents energy from seeping away.
  • Look ahead: Maintain an upright posture with a straight back and head held high. Picture your chin parallel to the ground, allowing you to breathe freely and ensuring optimal oxygen intake for your muscles.
  • Focus on forward motion: Minimize side-to-side movement and focus all your energy on propelling yourself forward. This laser-like focus on forward momentum eliminates any wasteful effort and maximizes your speed.

For those eager to take their running form to the next level, consider exploring the Pose Method. It’s an approach that emphasizes proper body alignment and efficient movement.

A recommended resource for delving into the Pose Method is “The Running Revolution” by Nicholas Romanov—a comprehensive book that serves as an invaluable guide on this subject.

Increase Running Speed Strategy 9 – Lose Weight

Here’s some exciting news for all you runners out there: shedding those extra pounds of fat (not muscle) can actually have a significant impact on your running performance. According to research published by the esteemed American College of Sports Medicine, for every pound lost, you can expect to shave off approximately two seconds from your mile time. So, imagine the possibilities if you were to drop a substantial amount of weight.

Let’s put this into perspective with an example. Say you manage to lose 15 pounds. That’s no easy feat, but it’s worth it! This weight loss could potentially translate into a remarkable improvement of 80 to 90 seconds off your 5K race time. Just think about that for a moment—nearly a minute and a half of precious time savings.

Now, you might be wondering why losing weight has such a profound impact on your running performance. Well, let me break it down for you. The more weight you carry, the more effort and energy you need to exert to cover the same distance from point A to point B. It’s like trying to sprint with a 25-pound backpack strapped to your back. Go ahead, give it a try. You’ll quickly realize just how challenging it becomes to maintain any semblance of speed or endurance.

When you shed those extra pounds, it’s as if you’re unburdening yourself from that heavy backpack. Suddenly, running becomes easier, more fluid, and dare I say, more enjoyable. You’ll have more power at your disposal, ready to be harnessed for greater speed and improved performance.

But remember, we’re talking about losing fat, not muscle. It’s essential to maintain a balanced approach that includes a healthy diet, proper nutrition, and strength training exercises to preserve your valuable muscle mass while shedding unwanted fat.

Increase Running Speed Strategy 10 – Be Consistent

Let me tell you a little secret: achieving a boost in running speed is all about practice and consistency. There’s no magic potion or instant shortcut to becoming faster. It’s a journey that requires dedication, perseverance, and a whole lot of pounding the pavement.

Picture this: you lace up your running shoes and head out for a run, and then you do it again the next day, and the day after that, and the day after that. You keep going, week after week, month after month. It’s through this relentless commitment that you accumulate the endurance, stamina, and strength needed to propel yourself to new levels of speed and performance.

In the real world, there are no silver bullets—no quick fixes that magically transform you into a speed demon overnight. It’s a gradual process that requires patience and a willingness to put in the work. But here’s the thing: if you keep pushing forward, if you stay consistent and persevere, you’ll eventually reach your goals—provided they’re realistic and aligned with your capabilities, of course.

As a general rule of thumb, aim for three to four running sessions per week. This frequency allows for ample training stimulus without overloading your body. But remember, it’s not just about running more—it’s about running smarter. As you start incorporating additional runs into your weekly plan, do so gradually. Focus on building your endurance first, as speed naturally follows when your body becomes accustomed to the demands of consistent running.

Now, let’s talk about the cornerstone of your weekly running plan—the long run. This is the session where you push yourself to cover more miles than any other run that week. It’s a chance to challenge your limits, both physically and mentally. By gradually increasing the distance of your long run, you’re not only building endurance but also training your body to sustain a faster pace for longer periods.

To give you a glimpse of a typical weekly running plan designed to increase speed, here’s a breakdown:


Interval Run –  8 X 4oom at 80 to 90 percent of maximum speed.


 Upper Body Strength Workout


30-Minute Uphill Workout


Lower Body Strength Routine


4 X 800m at 90 percent of maximum speed


Long Run


Rest Day or Cross-train

Increase Running Speed – The Conclusion

By doing interval workouts, increasing cadence, working on technique, losing weight, running hills, and incorporating consistency, you’ll be able to take your running speed to an entirely new level.

Now the ball is in your court. Do you have any other tips to share? If so, then feel free to do so in the comments section below.

I hope my guidelines for increasing running speed will help you become faster than you ever thought possible.

In the meantime, thank you for dropping by.

Keep running strong.

David D.

6 Yoga Poses to Ease Post-Run Muscle Soreness

Yoga Poses to Ease Post-Run Muscle Soreness

Post-workout soreness after running or any other exercise, often referred to as delayed onset muscle soreness, better known as DOMS, is common among runners—whether you are a beginner just starting out, or an intermediate runner after dramatically increasing the duration or intensity of your runs.

Good or Bad?

Don’ get me wrong.

Post-workout muscle soreness is a good sign.

It says that you are pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone, and that’s where real change happens.

And the good news is that the more you run, the less your muscles will be sore in the weeks and months to come.

In other words, if you feel sore after a run, then good job buddy!

But this soreness can also be a bad thing, especially if it’s interfering with your everyday activities.

Post-run soreness can also be an unpleasant experience—even painful at times, and may interfere with your daily activity and how ready you can be—physically and mentally—for your next workout.

Therefore, today I’m sharing with you one of my favorite cross-training activities you can do to speed up recovery: yoga.

women performing Yoga Poses to Ease Post-Run Muscle Soreness

The Power Of Yoga

Yoga can help you alleviate a lot of post-workout pains and it’s more efficient than, say, the traditional stretching technique you learned in high school.

Truth be told, a regular yoga practice can help you rehab tired muscles, prevent injuries and get your body ready for your next run.

Therefore, here are some of my favorite yoga poses that will work to alleviate post-run pains and aches while increasing your flexibility and mobility in key running muscles such the glutes, hamstrings, quads, and calves.

I recommend that you use this routine as means for speeding up recovery after a hard run—mainly a long run or an interval session.

Hold each for 30 to 45 seconds, and breathe deeply to release any tension or tightness you might experience.

Keep in mind that this simple 20-minute sequence is an easy and gentle sequence.

So no need to push yourself here.

Just do it gently and slowly and remember to breathe deeply.

So don’t try to win the world’s most flexible human contest in one session.

Here’s the full guide to yoga for runners.

1. Standing Forward Bend


This is a must pose for calming the mind while also stretching and relieving the muscles of the spine and the hamstrings.

Proper Form

Begin by standing with your feet together, toes parallel, core engaged, with hands on your hips.

This is your starting position, or what’s known as the Mountain Pose, Tadasana.

Next, while allowing for a slight bend in the knees, fold over at your hips, and roll your spine down as you reach towards the floor, lengthening the front of your torso in the process.

Make sure to let your neck relax once you reach the bottom part of the pose, once you reach your max flexibility point.

Then, let the crown of your head hang loose and place your fingertips on your knees, shins or the floor beside your feet if your flexibility allows it.

Make sure to fold forward with a straight back, releasing slowly and gradually into the full pose.

Then, straighten your legs as much as possible while shifting your weight forward into your toes.

Hold the pose for one to two minutes, being mindful of your spine and legs the entire time.

2. Wide Legged Forward Bend Twist


Also known as Prasarita Padottanasana , this asana stretches and strengthens the inner back legs and spine while penning the hips and improving the trunks rotation ability.

Proper Form

From mountain pose, widen your feet and place them three to four feet apart, with toes slightly turned slightly out, then hinge your torso forward at the hips.

Next, roll your spine downward and place your hands on your ground or on a yoga block, letting your neck and head relax.

Then, while breathing deep and being mindful of your spine, lift your right arm and reach it toward the ceiling, feeling your spine twist and open.

Hold the pose for 30 to 45 seconds, then slowly bring your hand down and switch sides.

3. Lunge with Side Stretch


An awesome pose for releasing and opening the adductors, the abductors, and the glutes.

Proper Form

Assume Tadasana pose, then widen your stance with toes pointing 45 degrees outward.

Next, lunge to the right side, bending your right knee to a 90-degree angle and straightening the left leg to point upward with heel on the floor.

You can place your hands on the right thigh, or on the floor, depending on how flexible you are.

Hold the stretch for 30 45 seconds, then change sides.

Please, keep your back straight and core engaged during the stretch.

4. Star Pose


This pose can help you open up and release tension in the hips, lower back, shoulders, and neck.

Proper Form

Sit down on the floor with the sole of the feet together, knees bent in a kite shape, creating a diamond shape with your legs.

Next, lengthen your spine, grasp your shins or feet, then slowly let your back round and roll your body forward drawing your forehead towards your heels, then breathe deep and look within.

Relax into this pose for at least one to two minutes.

5. Legs Up the Wall


This is in my experience one of the best relaxing and restorative inversions in the yoga world.

This post speeds up recovery by draining tension from the legs while stretching the lower back, legs, and hamstrings.

Proper Form

Sit on the floor with a wall next to right side.

For more support, you can use a long firm pillow by bolstering against the wall.

Then, raise your legs up into the air then rest them on the wall.

Make sure your lower is resting against the support pillow, if you are using one.

Next, relax your body and put your hands on your belly, rest head and shoulders on the ground, and start taking deep breaths to release any tension or stress in your body, starting from your toes and down through your ankles, knees, thighs, glutes, lower back and the rest of your body.

Stay in this pose as long as you can—nothing short from 5 minutes.

6. Lying-down Body Twist


Also known as Natrajasana, this asana can help you release tension in the lower body—especially the lower back and glutes.

Proper Form

Start by lying down on your back with both feet on the floor at hip width and knees bent, then extend your arms out at your sides.

Next, bend your knees, and bring them toward your chest as close as possible, then slowly lower your bent knees to the left side while turning your head and looking over to your right side.

Next, reach your arms out to the left side then lower both legs to the left side while keeping your right shoulder in contact with the floor.

Hold the pose for 30 to 45 seconds and feel the stretch in your back, stomach, neck, shoulders, groin and thighs, then slowly return to the center and switch sides.

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Circuit Training For Runners – The 30-Minute Indoor Workout

female doing ndoor Circuit Workout

If it’s not possible for you to go for an outdoor run, and you don’t want to jump on the treadmill for the hundredth time this month, then here is an indoor workout you can do at home for free.

No need for special equipment.

No need for hefty gym fees.

Oh! I forgot, it will also get you sweating like crazy and push your conditionning level to the max.

So are you excited? Then here we go…

Circuit Training For Runners – The 30-Minute Indoor Workout

If you are currently stuck inside, due to the weather, a baby, safety concerns, monetary reasons, you name it, the circuit I’m sharing with you today is the perfect solution.

In fact, this indoor workout routine is ideal for the cold winter month and perfect if time crunched fitness nuts.

Most of the exercises below require minimum equipment and can be done almost anywhere, as long as you have enough space.

These exercises will boost your heart rate, sculpt your body and get you out of running rut and help you smash through a training plateau.

For more challenge, use heavier dumbbells, medicine balls and push as hard as you can, or shoot for more rounds.

runner doing ndoor Circuit Workout

The Warm-Up

Warm up right by jogging in place at a comfortable pace for five minutes.

Make sure to land on the balls of your feet.

Exercise one: Jog in Place

Once you are warmed up, pick up the pace and jog in place as fast as you can by driving your arms back and forth and lifting your knees to waist level.

Make sure to run in place as fast as you can while pumping your arms back and forth, engaging the upper body as well.

Alternate between jogging at high intensity for 30 seconds, then slow it down and recovery for another 30 seconds, bringing your heart rate up in the process.

Exercise Two: High Knee Sprints

While jogging, pick up the start performing high knee sprints by bringing your knees up high toward your chest as fast as you can while engaging the glutes and keeping your torso upright.

Make sure to focus on high speed and knee lift while swinging your arms back and forth to generate momentum.

Sprint in place for one full minute to complete one set.

Exercise Three: High Lunges

Stand tall with back straight and core engaged, then step your left foot forward as far as possible so you are in a wide lunge position.

Next, while keeping your torso upright and gazing straight ahead, push through your left heel and drive your right knee forward and up toward your chest, then return it to starting position and repeat as fast as you can.

Do 10 to reps on each side to complete one set.

Exercise Four: Burpees

From a standing position, lower down and place your hands on the floor on either side of the feet.

Next, kick your feet back so you are now in a plank position, then immediately bring the feet back to between your hands and explosively jump up into the air, clapping your hands mid-air.

Make sure to land softly on the floor, then repeat as fast as possible while keeping good form throughout the exercise.

Exercise Five: Squat Jumps

Stand with feet hip-width apart with arms crossed over your chest.

Next, while keeping your head up and core engaged, squat down until your upper thighs are parallel to the ground, then, while pressing mainly with the balls of your feet, and using the thighs like springs, jump straight up in the air as high as you can.

Last up, land softly on the floor, bend your knees and sink back into the squat position and immediately jump again.

Please make sure to land with control and be extra caution if you have any knee or back injuries.

Repeat for 12 to 16 to complete one set.

Exercise Six: Butt Kicks

Begin by standing with your legs shoulder width apart, with the arms bent at your sides.

Next, while keeping your back straight and core engaged, run in place by kicking your heels up toward your butt, pumping your arms back and forth with elbows bent at a 90-degree angle as quickly as you can.

Make sure that your thighs do not move much as you lift and kick one heel at a time to your butt.

Lift your heels as close as you can to your butt, using a quick leg movement on the balls of your feet.

To do this circuit right, make sure to take minimum recovery between each exercise.

Your heart rate should remain high throughout the entire circuit.

Exercise Seven: Ski Abs

Assume a straight arm plank position, with back flat, head in neutral position and feet together.

Next, while engaging your core, hop both of your feet up to the left side, aiming to bring your knees to the outside of your left elbow, then quickly hop back into starting position, and change sides to complete one rep.

Repeat the exercise for one full minute to complete one set.

Circuit Training For Runners – The Conclusion

There you have it! If you’re looking for a cross training workout for runners, then this post is perfect for you. The rest is just details.

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

In the meantime thank for dropping by.

David D.

The 101 Best Weight Loss Tips of All Time

Weight Loss woman

If you’re looking to lose weight—whether it’s 5 pounds, 10 pounds, 20 pounds or more —then you’ve come to the right place.

This article will take you through just about every aspect of weight loss possible, from exercise to diet, motivation to lifestyle, and everything in between.

Without further ado, here are 101 ways to lose the extra pounds for good. I hope you find my tips and strategies helpful.

Note:  This is a super-long article (14000+ words). Don’t sit down to read it until you have enough time to dig into it. To make sure you don’t forget, bookmark this post and read it later, when you have time.In addition to the content I’ve written, I’ve also provided links to over 70 scientific studies related to weight loss and exercise.  They’re worthwhile reading as well, so click through on the links for even more helpful information and detail.

  1. Find Your Big Why

 In my experience, the first step toward achieving anything in life—let alone losing weight—is having the right motivation.

Without a “Big Why,” you’ll have no (or too little) motivation — especially when you come across roadblocks. When you’re motivated enough, you’re in a good place. I can guarantee that you ’ll lose weight and keep it off for good once you know your Big Why.

So, What’s YOUR WHY?

Why do you want to lose weight?

Why do you want to start exercising?

Why do you want to live a healthy lifestyle?


Is it because you’re ashamed of your body?

Is it because losing weight is a matter of life or death?

Whatever your real reason is, after you’ve figured out your big WHY (or WHYs), write it down and keep it somewhere that you’ll see it on a daily basis. This will serve as a constant reminder when the going gets tough.

Diet Tips

  1. Eat More Vegetables

There is no such thing as healthy eating without vegetables.

Why? Well for starters, vegetables score high in fiber and are low in calories— both key nutritional elements for successful weight loss. They’re also chock-full of minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and plenty of other valuable nutrients.

Do your best to eat as much as green stuff as possible. Some of the best options include broccoli, watercress, kale, cabbage, lettuce, cucumber, cauliflower, Swiss chard, and Brussels sprouts.

3. Eat Protein At Every Meal

Protein is your friend, whether you’re trying to increase muscle mass or lose weight.

Good protein can help keep you feeling full longer and controls your blood sugar levels, both of which can cut cravings for sugary, high-calorie, high-fat foods. Protein is also critical for muscle recovery and fat burning.

There is plenty of research to back these claims up.  According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people who eat protein at each meal lost more weight than those who didn’t have the nutrient at certain meals.

Another study conducted at the University of Missouri found that people who had protein with each meal reported the most weight loss benefits.

Some of the best animal-based sources of lean protein include lean meat, seafood, and egg whites, and the best plant-based are nuts and beans.

Limit processed meats like ham, sausage, and bacon, or better yet avoid them entirely. These foods contain a lot of saturated fats and a plethora of chemicals and harmful ingredients.

Additional Resource: What is in a dairy-free Protein Powder?

  1. Plan Your Foods

“If you fail to plan, then you’re planning to fail.” This maxim holds true whether you are the CEO of a 500-Fortune company or just a regular Joe (or Jane) trying to build healthy eating habits.

Planning your meals can help you take the guesswork out of the equation, and this, in turn, increases your chances of success.

The best way to plan your food intake is to spend at least an hour every Saturday or Sunday evening thoroughly planning your meals for the upcoming week. Then all you have to do the rest of the week is stick to the plan.

Try to prepare at least 10 to 12 meals and put them in Tupperware bowls, so you have them ready for the week ahead.

  1. Eat More Fiber

Fiber is a type of carbohydrate found in plant foods like vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. According to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition, increasing fiber intake by 8 grams for every 1,000 calories you take in can promote weight loss and prevent weight gain.


Fiber, unlike other carbs, does not get easily absorbed by your body. This means that it helps you feel full for longer. Increasing your intake of fiber can also lower your cholesterol, and may even prevent colon cancer and other health ailments.

Shoot for at least 30 to 40 grams of fiber a day. Some of the best sources of fiber include beans, broccoli, asparagus, oats, Brussels sprouts, apples, and flax seeds, to name just a few.

woman trying to lose weight

  1. Cut the Bad Carbs

Not all carbs are created equal. If you want to lose weight, eat the good carbs and avoid bad ones.

Good carbs are also known as complex carbs. They take longer to digest and can help you feel full longer. Some of the best sources of good carbs include vegetables, fruits, sweet potatoes, beans, brown rice, and other whole grain products.

Bad carbs are also known as simple carbs. They are digested quickly by the body, and this can lead to blood sugar spikes, cravings, and a host of health troubles.

Classic examples of simple carbs include bread, pasta, bagels, candy, muffins, donuts, French fries, sugary cereals, white rice, and any sugary or highly processed food.

Additional resource – A 7-day keto meal plan

  1. Eat Low GI Foods

Established about 30 years ago, the glycemic index is a scale that ranks foods from 0 to 100 based on the impact they have on blood sugar levels. According to studies, subjects who followed a low-GI diet have reported losing double their fat as compared to a high GI group.

Check the following list.

glycemic food index

Many thanks to for this awesome list.

  1. Don’t Fear Fats

Fats get a bad rap in the health community, but if you avoid them entirely, you’re doing yourself a great disservice.

Here’s the truth. Fats — the healthy kind — are an integral part of a healthy diet. Research shows that eating the right kinds of fats can help you lose weight and increase your overall health and well-being level.

So, which fats are good ones?

Good fats are monounsaturated fats, AKA MUFAs. They increase good HDL cholesterol while reducing bad LDL cholesterol.

Research shows that good fats can protect against the buildup of artery plaque, preventing heart disease and other health troubles. They can also suppress your appetite, reducing the number of calories you eat in a day while boosting your metabolism.

Some of the best sources of MUFAs include olive oil, coconut oil, canola oil, avocados, almonds, peanuts, and sesame seeds.

You don’t need too much good fat to get its benefits. Research suggests that two to three tablespoons of olive oil per day are enough to do the trick.

  1. Consume Water-Rich Foods

According to a study conducted at the Pennsylvania State University, eating water-rich foods cuts overall calorie consumption, as many of these foods are low in calories but high in fiber.

Here is a list of some of the best water-rich foods:

  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Iceberg lettuce
  • Zucchini
  • Green peppers
  • Celery
  • Cantaloupe
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries
  • Radishes
  • Grapefruits
  • Watermelon
  • Cauliflower
  1. Keep a Food Journal

According to a six-month study published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, people who kept tabs on their daily eating habits for six days a week reported losing about twice as many pounds as those who didn’t keep written records.

By monitoring your daily eating habits, you give yourself a better idea of what’s going into your mouth, This can help you better assess your daily eating choices and habits.

Here’s what you need to do. Get yourself a diet journal and start tracking the amount of food you consume throughout the day, including snacks and treats.

  1. Take Pictures of Your Food

Photographing your meals and snacks is another helpful way to keep tabs on your daily eating habits.

Doing so can also help you examine the quantity and quality of the meals you’re eating, as well as holding you accountable for every bite you eat.

Research backs this up.

According to a study conducted at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, taking pictures of every meal and snack you eat can encourage you to change your diet.

  1. Eat Five Times a Day

Although there are no conclusive studies that prove that eating 4 to 5 mini meals a day can help you shed weight, many people say that eating small healthy meals multiple times a day has helped them lose weight.

As long as you’re eating the right foods, eating small meals throughout the day can help you win the battle of the bulge.

Try eating four to five 350 to 500-calorie meals every three to four hours. These small meals should include breakfast, a mid-morning snack, a small early lunch, a mid-afternoon snack, a finally a small, light dinner.

Here is a sample schedule:

  • 7:30 am—Breakfast
  • 10:00 am—Mid-morning snack
  • 1:00 pm—Lunch
  • 4:00 pm—Evening snack
  • 7:00 pm—Dinner
  1. Try Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is the artful form of skipping meals without hurting your weight loss efforts.

Intermittent fasting, or IF, involves regular, short-term fasts. According to research, fasting during short, specific windows during the day can help you consume fewer calories. It also optimizes some hormones linked to weight control.

There are several methods of intermittent fasting. One of the most popular is the 16/8 method in which you skip breakfast and eat during a limited 8-hour feeding period.

During the 16/8, you fast for 16 hours (including sleep time). For example, fasting from 9 p.m. to 1 p.m. adds up to 16 hours of fasting.

This method only requires that you trade your regular breakfast for a cup of coffee or some other non-caloric fluid. Then you can have lunch at 1:00 as your first meal of the day. This method only requires that you trade your regular breakfast for a cup of coffee, MUD\WTR, or some other non-caloric fluid

The 16/8 Method is convenient and simple, and does not require counting calories. You can do the 16/8 fast twice a week, on weekends, or every single day.

Additional resource – Here’s how long does it take to lose 100 pounds.

  1. Fill Your Plate with Veggies First

As you may already know, eating more vegetables has been proven one of the most significant predictors of weight loss and ideal health.

But how do you ensure you’re getting enough veggies?

It’s simple. Fill up half of your plate with vegetables, then divide the other half into two equal-sized areas. Fill one with good carbs like sweet potatoes, brown rice or a slice of whole-grain bread. Fill the other with lean protein such as skinless poultry, fish, lean beef or beans.

With this simple trick you won’t even need to count your calories or worry about portion size.

  1. Spice it Up

Spicy items like hot sauce, chopped jalapeno, and Cajun seasonings add a lot of flavor to meals with few calories. But that’s not the whole story.

According to research, most spicy foods contain a compound called capsaicin, which is the source from which chilies get their heat. According to research, this compound can tame your appetite and increase your metabolism.

Not only that, but capsaicin also may have a thermogenic effect, boosting body temperature after consumption. This may lead to a higher calorie burn for 20 to 30 minutes after you’re finished eating.

Additional resource – The best running songs

  1. Cook with Coconut Oil

Two tablespoons per day of coconut oil can help you reduce your waist circumference by an average of 1.1 inches over the course of a month, according to a study.

Coconut oil scores high on the healthy medium chain saturated fatty acids fats (known as Medium Chain Triglycerides, or MCTs) that increase metabolism for immediate energy and decrease appetite.

To get the most benefit from this, use virgin coconut oil. It’s usually made with no chemicals, while refined or RBD oil is usually chemically treated.

  1. Have Breakfast

A study conducted at Harvard revealed that obesity rates are roughly 40 to 50 percent lower in people who have breakfast on a consistent basis, compared with those who skip breakfast.

A healthy breakfast will make you less likely to be hungry later, which often leads to overeating over the remainder of the day.

Unless you’re doing intermittent fasting, you should never skip breakfast. As a rule, have up to 500 calories each day at breakfast, depending of course on your weight loss goals, age, fitness level, and exercise goals.

A healthy breakfast should consist of a serving of protein, a serving of whole grain carbs, and a serving of fruit—especially after a morning workout.

  1. Eat Eggs for Breakfast

Eggs should be a staple of your daily eating plan, and research shows that the best way to get the most out of eggs is to start your day off with them.

A study found that obese subjects lost more weight and had a higher reduction in waist circumference when they ate a breakfast of two eggs instead of bagels, even though each group’s breakfast contained the same amount of calories.

Why? Eggs are rich in protein (one egg contains about six grams of protein) and other valuable nutrients, helping you feel full longer.

  1. Have Barley for Breakfast

If you don’t like eggs for breakfast, then another healthy choice is barley.

Barley is one of the best foods you can eat.

According to Swedish researchers, having barley for breakfast can help you keep your blood sugar levels under control. Barley scores low on the GI index, meaning it raises your blood sugar level more slowly than high carbs foods like bagels and donuts.

As a rule, buy minimally processed hull barley, and avoid processed forms such as pearl barley.

  1. Watch the Salad Dressing

Salads should be a big part of your eating plan. They’re one of the best ways to ensure you’re eating enough veggies.

But, if you don’t keep an eye on the goodies you put into your salad, they can end up more calorie-laden than pizza or bagel.

Many salad dressings are chock-full of preservatives, trans fats and artificial flavor, which can spell disaster for an otherwise healthy and green dish.

For more flavor, opt for low-calorie, healthier alternatives.  Try avocado oil, refined olive oil, homemade Paleo mayonnaise, a squeeze of lemon juice, tomato juice, macadamia, balsamic vinegar or even some homemade salsa.

  1. Eat Light at Night

By eating lightly during the late evening, you’ll not only prevent weight gain, you’ll also sleep much better and have a better appetite for a healthy breakfast in the morning.

Here’s how to make it happen:

Aim to consume at least three-quarters of your calories before dinner, then make sure to leave at least a gap of two to three hours between your last meal of the day and bedtime. This will help give your body enough time to digest your food before you sleep.

If you feel super famished just before going to bed, then opt for a small serving of protein such as a piece of cheese or a hard-boiled egg.

  1. Eat More Slowly

It takes roughly 20 minutes for leptin, the body’s satiety hormone, to kick in. Once it does, your brain gets the signal of “fullness” from your stomach. In other words, your brain doesn’t register when your stomach is full right away.

As a result, give yourself at least 20 minutes to eat, and then wait after you’re done. If 20 minutes go by and you’re still hungry, go back and have a healthy snack. To help you eat slowly try using a set of chopsticks, or eat your meal with your less dominant hand.

  1. Chew Your Food

Eating your meals more slowly and mindfully can drastically help you decrease the amount of calories you consume during a meal, according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Chewing and eating your food slowly helps you feel full faster, and it’s when you feel full that you should stop eating.

Next time you sit down to a meal, make sure to take your time to chew your food rather than gulping it down as fast as you can.

  1. Sit Down to Eat

If you’re in the habit of eating on the go, you may be heading in the wrong direction.

Research published in the Journal of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that taking a seat at the table while eating can help you eat at a slower pace, and the slower you eat, the better.

As a rule, eat your food while sitting down, preferably from a plate.

  1. Mind your Portion Sizes

According to a study, subjects who practiced portion control for two years lost 5 percent more weight than those who didn’t.

Here’s more good news. Portion control is not rocket science. To master it, you simply need to learn how to measure portion size correctly. Doing so will help you know for sure the amount of calories you’re taking in and how they’re affecting your weight loss efforts.

Here’s a simple infographic to help you understand portion sizes.

  1. Use Smaller Plates

A simple change from a 12-inch plate to a 10-inch plate can cut your food consumption by up to 20 percent, according to the Cornell and Brand Lab’s Small Plate Movement.

Make sure to serve yourself on a smaller plate that’s roughly the size of your grandmother’s china instead of one of the larger, more modern ones.

Photo courtesy of

serving size

  1. Change Your Plate Color

According to a study conducted at Cornell University, you can cut your serving size by 20 percent when opting for a contrasting plate color instead of for a plate whose colors blend in with your meal’s color.

Next time you sit down to a meal, make sure that your food color and plate color are different from one another. Many experts recommend using blue plates, but at the very least make sure your plate doesn’t match the color of your meal.

  1. Turn Off the TV

According to a study from the University of Massachusetts, eating in front of the TV leads to consuming more than 300 extra calories. That’s because if you’re busy watching TV, you’re more likely to be so distracted that you devour an entire plate quickly without thinking about whether you’re satiated or not.

Create a distraction-free eating environment. Turn off the TV, put away your phone, shut down Facebook and enjoy your meal.

  1. Find a Healthy Meal You Love and Eat it Over and Over Again

Come up with a list of low-calorie foods that you love and which satisfy your daily energy needs, then mix and match them, so you’re eating the same meals over and over again.

By planning your healthy meals this way, you’ll be less likely to make unhealthy last-minute food choices. This method will also help you spend less time fretting about the foods you need to eat.

  1. Never Shop Hungry

According to a study conducted at Cornell University, eating something healthy before going to the grocery store makes shoppers less prone to buy junk food.

How come this trick works is no mystery. Shopping while feeling full strengthens your willpower and makes you immune to junk food temptations.

As a rule, never go shopping when you’re hungry. Instead, eat a filling meal, some produce or a healthy snack before you hit the grocery aisle.

  1. Read the Labels

Not only will learning this skill give you a better idea of the number of calories you’re consuming, but it will also help you be more aware of food’s nutritional value. Take the time to read the labels, making sure you know how to interpret what you read.

Here is an infographic to provide you with a quick and easy guide.

Photo courtesy of UC Davis and

  1. Make a Weekly Grocery List

To make sure you’re putting the right kind of foods in your shopping cart, write a detailed and thorough grocery list. Doing so not only help you get in and out of the store as quickly as possible, but it can also help you decrease impulse purchases and stick to your healthy eating plan.

Use this simple list to stock your kitchen up with healthy food all week (or month) long.

Here’s an infographic to help.

Infographic courtesy of Greatist.

food list for weight loss

  1. Banish Emotional Eating

If you’re more likely to eat when you’re feeling depressed, anxious or lonely, you might be prone to emotional eating. According to research, emotional eating is one of the leading causes of bad food choices.

Emotional eating can compromise your weight loss efforts, especially since the food we crave at those times tend to be sweet, high-calorie, and fatty.

Reevaluate your relationship with the food you eat and learn how to differentiate between real hunger (physical hunger) and fake hunger (head hunger).

  1. Say No to the Bread Basket

Research has found a direct link between regular consumption of white bread and being prone to weight gain.

White bread is bad for you for a slew of reasons. It adds a lot of empty calories to your meals, and it doesn’t keep you feeling full.

Bread is also high in carbs. Eating it in bulk will prevent stored body fat from being used as fuel, hindering your fat-burning process.

The real bad news is that white bread is a staple in most pantries.

So what should you do here?

It’s simple: Replace your white bread with whole grain or whole wheat bread whenever you can.

  1. Banish Junk Food

To set yourself up for total weight loss success, declare your house a junk-food-free zone.

If you have no unhealthy food laying around, you’ll be more likely to stick to your healthy eating plan. In other words, practice the mantra “out of sight, out of mind.”

Purge your kitchen of as cookies, cakes, pies, candy, sugary drinks, biscuits, crisp pretzels pastries, and other sugar-filled, highly processed junk foods.

  1. Stock Up on Healthy Foods

Instead of letting junk food into your home, fill your kitchen cupboards with healthier foods and snacks so when hunger pangs strike, you’ll reach for something that’s good for you.

Here are a few food items you should stock up on:

  • Fruits
  • Unsweetened or unsalted popcorn
  • Baby carrots
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  1. Stop Drinking Soda

Research has linked soda to a host of health troubles, including obesity, diabetes, and a plethora of other troubles. And if you believe diet soda is a good alternative, you’re WRONG.

Diet soda is just as bad as regular soda. A study conducted by the University of Texas Health Science Center showed that subjects who drank two cans of diet soda are more likely to gain weight compared to those who didn’t drink the stuff. That’s right – they gained weight instead of losing it.

Don’t drink your calories. Doing so is even worse than eating junk food. Have water instead of soda, and you’ll be thinner and far healthier for it.

Additional resource – How to measure body fat percentage

  1. Reduce Your Alcohol Intake

A study published in Current Obesity Reports found that alcohol intake increases the risk of weight gain, especially for heavy drinkers.

And according to a UK survey, drinking alcohol weakens willpower and inhibits healthy eating decisions, making you more likely to indulge in high-fat high-calorie foods such as pizza, burgers, and chips.

If alcohol is your diet downfall, then you need to cut it out, or at least, have control over your drinking.

woman trying to lose weight

  1. Drink More Water

Your body uses water to metabolize fat stores, and relies on it for every other process as well.

Water has no calories at all and can help you feel full, making it less likely that you’ll fill yourself up with more food.

Instead of drinking juices and soft drinks, I urge you to start drinking more water.

Shoot for at least 10 to 12 cups of water per day. Drink plenty of water before your workouts, during your workouts, and immediately afterward too.

Make sure your body is well hydrated throughout the day. You’ll feel fitter and healthier when you do so, and dampen any penchant for gorging at the same time.

  1. Drink Water Before a Meal

Chugging a glass of water before a meal will help regulate your appetite, as the water will take up room in your stomach.

Research shows you can lose up to 30 percent more weight simply by having two cups of water before each meal.

Another study from the University of Birmingham in the U.K. found that drinking roughly 16 ounces of H2O 30 minutes before a meal promotes weight loss, without making any other dietary changes.

  1. Drink Green Tea

I believe that green tea is the healthiest drink on the planet, right after water.


This remarkable beverage is rich in antioxidants, fights cancer and contains brain-healthy compounds and a host of other health-promoting and vital nutrients.

Not only that, according to a study published in the Journal of Nurse Practitioners, green tea can help you reduce your appetite and increase your metabolism, both of which are essential for weight loss.

Add green tea to your diet plan. Stick to two to three cups a day and opt for brewing your own instead of choosing bottled versions to avoid added calories and artificial chemicals and sweeteners.

Remember, adding sugar and cream to your tea will wipe out any weight loss benefits, so get used to drinking your tea with no sweeteners or adornment.

  1. Snack Smart

Dumb snacking— and especially snacking on high-sugar, highly processed foods with little or no nutritional value — can compromise your weight loss goals.

Smart snacking between meals can tame hunger and control appetite, helping you prevent overeating and keep you from making bad food choices when meal time rolls around.

If you snack often, do it the smart way. Healthy ideas include hard-boiled eggs, apples, or a handful of nuts, seeds or dried fruits.

  1. Don’t be a Perfectionist

Practice the 90/10 rule. What’s that?

As a rule of thumb, 90 percent of your diet should focus on healthy food (vegetables, lean protein, and healthy fats) while the remaining 10 percent can be devoted to “cheat meals.”

By adhering to this simple rule, you’ll indulge your sweet tooth and satisfy your cravings without throwing your whole intake out of balance.

Cheat meals are vital for a healthy diet, as long as you are doing them right.

Feel free to cheat every now and then. That’s how you’ll stay sane for the long haul.  Just keep it to one meal, not every meal throughout the entire day.

Exercise Tips

  1. Start Slowly

Whether you’re thinking about starting a running program, hitting the weight room, hiring a personal trainer, or joining a CrossFit class, starting slow is the way to go.

Once you decide on a workout program, start slow and stay within your fitness level at all times.

If you’re a beginner with little exercise experience, start with two to three workouts per week that last at least 30 minutes per session. As you get fitter, you can slowly and gradually ramp it up until you reach your challenge point.

  1. Start Running

Running is one of the best exercises you can do to lose weight and get fit for good. This sport is convenient and sheds mad calories. All you need is a pair of good running shoes, and you’re ready to go.

This whole blog is about running and the many ways you can incorporate it into your life, so why wait?

Here are the resources you need to get started without risking injury or burnout.

  1. Lift Weights

Weightlifting is an INTEGRAL part of any weight loss program. If you’re skipping the strength room, you’re missing out.

Strength training builds muscles, and the more muscles you have, the higher your resting metabolic rate will be. This means you’ll burn more calories, even when you’re not working out. Isn’t that a good thing?

Add at least two strength workouts to your training program.

For the highest calorie burn, train your entire body in each workout. Focus on total-body exercises that challenge the large muscle groups, like pushups, squats, deadlifts, planks, lunges, and pull-ups.

Additional link – Slow running vs fast running for weight loss

  1. Go Swimming

Swimming is a great low-impact option that burns mad calories without putting a lot of pressure on your body.

A 160-pound person can burn up to 520 calories by swimming laps for an hour. The exact number of calories burned depends on a wide range of factors, including weight, age, fitness level, and training intensity.

Swimming uses all of the body’s muscles, so with each kick, push, and stroke you’re performing a mini strength workout for your entire body, especially your glutes, core, hips, arms, and shoulders.

  1. Do Yoga Two Times Per Week

Yoga is another low-impact exercise that can help you melt fat without breaking a sweat. According to research, overweight subjects who rolled out their yoga mat at least once a week for four years lost more weight than those who didn’t take the time to practice.

Yoga can also help you become more flexible, reduces stress and promotes a general sense of health and well-being. I could go and on about its benefits.

Add at least a couple of yoga sessions into your training program, either by following a yoga DVD program or enrolling in a class — make sure to do it with good form. You’re always better off doing yoga with the guidance of a certified professional. Once you nail the form, you can practice it in the comfort of your home.

Additional resource – Guide to running terms

  1. Shoot for 10,000+ Steps Every Day

According to research conducted at Arizona State University, people leading an active lifestyle typically take over 10,000 steps per day.

This is very helpful if you can’t afford going to a gym, or if you’re looking for more ways to be active that don’t involve intense exercise.

10,000 steps a day might seem like too much walking, but it’s not. There are always opportunities to squeeze in more walks during everyday situations.

You’ve got plenty of options.  Meet up with a friend and walk around the neighborhood or park. Go to a museum. Take a walk during your lunch break. If it’s possible, walk to work instead of taking a car or public transportation.

To make sure you’re on the right path, use a pedometer or fitness tracker to keep tabs on your daily steps.

Additional resource – How to reduce sugar intake

  1. Challenge Yourself

Real growth happens when you step outside of your comfort zone. If you stick to the same exercise routine—whether it’s weightlifting, running, swimming, or anything else —you’ll invite boredom and training plateaus.

On the other hand, constant challenges lead to improvement.

I encourage you to challenge yourself to lift more weight, to run farther in the same amount of time, to make even the tiniest and smallest improvement. It all counts.

  1. HIIT it Hard

High-intensity interval training is, by far, the ideal training method to help you burn calories and improve your fitness level. Countless studies have shown HIIT to be effective for weight loss as well as for improving fitness level. It’s like nothing else.

HIIT is all about mixing high-intensity exercise with low-to-moderate intensity exercises.

I have used it. I have done it. And I love it. I bet you will love it too once you get used to it and learn how to do it right.

Here’s your complete guide to the HIIT method.

  1. Sprint It Out

Sprints are the ultimate form of high-intensity interval training. They’re simple, intense, and scalable, so you can always readjust them to fit your needs and training goals.

During sprint intervals, you alternate between running as fast as possible for a set distance and brief periods of slow jogging for recovery.

Here’s how to proceed with a sprint session.

After a thorough warm-up of 10 minutes, perform eight to ten 30-second, full effort sprints at your maximum speed.

Take one minute of recovery between each sprint, then finish your session with a 5-minute cooldown.

  1. Run Some Hills

Hill reps are the next level of track sprints. They’re one of the best resistance exercises for the lower body, helping build strength and speed in your glutes, hamstrings, quads, and calves.

Hill sprints are also safer on your legs and take less time to perform than sprints.

Here’s how to proceed:

Find a steep hill that takes you 20 to 30 seconds to run to the top. Sprint up it as fast as you can, then slowly jog back down to recover.

Perform enough reps of this exercise for the session to last between 20 and 25 minutes, then end your workout with a 5-minute cooldown jog.

Here are five more hill workouts to try.

  1. Rope Training

Rope training is one of the most under-utilized yet most effective training tools for increasing cardiovascular fitness. It speeds up weight loss and improves muscle endurance.

This training system is a fat burning machine. According to a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, battling the ropes for one minute can burn up to 10.3 calories per minute. That translates to 400 to 500 calories in a 30-minute workout.

Battling ropes exercises target almost every muscle in the body, especially the core, the glutes, lower obliques, and abs.

Here’s a battle rope workout routine to try out.

  1. Use Kettlebells

Kettlebells are cannonball-like weights with a handle. They are one of the best training tools you can add to your workouts if you want to get a leaner, stronger body without spending endless hours in the gym.

According to research conducted at the University of Wisconsin, kettlebell training burns as many calories per minute as running a 6-minute mile, amounting to 400 to 500 calories for a 30-minute workout.

Other research has found that kettlebell training can lessen shoulder, neck and back pain by strengthening upper body and core muscles.

Here’s a simple workout routine to try:

After a thorough 10-minute warm-up, do 12 reps of kettlebell squat thrusts immediately followed by 16 reps of kettlebell swings. Then do 12 kettlebell snatches, rest for one to two minutes, then repeat the whole circuit three to four times.

Here’s another kettlebell workout to try.

  1. Stop Doing Crunches

Crunches, sit-ups, and other traditional ab exercises are a waste of time and energy.

Sit-Ups and crunches can lead to lower back pain and may even cause herniated discs. They’re boring and not that effective, especially when performed using bad form.

Instead, do planks (with all of its variations) or total-body exercises such as deadlifts, squats, or floor wipes.

Additional resource – How to rotate running shoes

  1. Do Tempo Runs on the Treadmill

Also known as lactate threshold (LT) or threshold runs, this is a faster-paced workout that’s vital for improving metabolic fitness and maximizing the number of calories burned on the treadmill.

Here’s how to proceed:

First step: Warm up with five minutes of easy jogging,

Second step: Run a mile at 20 to 30 seconds slower than your half-marathon pace. It’s a pace that feels comfortably easy.

Third step: Pick up the pace every mile by 5 to 10 seconds until you’re running the final mile 20 seconds faster than your half marathon pace.

Fourth step: Finish the workout with a slow five-minute jog and some light stretching.

  1. Hill Treadmill Intervals

The second treadmill workout is a hill interval routine.

Performing indoor hill intervals can help you get more out of your treadmill workout by simulating outside hill running. This is vital for increasing endurance and building killer lower-body strength.

Here’s a hill treadmill workout to try out:

First step: Warm-up.

Second step: Raise the incline to three or five percent, and run for 90-seconds at a pace that’s 15 seconds slower than your 10K pace. The pace should feel mildly challenging.

Third step: Recover by jogging slowly for one full minute with no incline.

Fourth step: Raise the incline to five or seven percent and run for another 90-seconds at 15 seconds slower than your 10K pace. Recover for one minute.

Fifth step: Repeat the fourth step three to six times, depending on your fitness level and goals. You could also opt for a steeper incline.

Sixth step: Cooldown.

  1. Embrace Free Weights

According to a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, exercising with free weights instead of machines leads to greater muscle activation.

With free weights, you can target every muscle group in your body without wasting precious time moving from machine to machine or going back and forth between different pieces of equipment.

Also, free weights can help you achieve better symmetry between both sides of your body by forcing the weak side to work unaided by the dominant side. They’re also convenient, scalable and easy to learn.

I could go on and on about the effectiveness of free weights, but you get the big picture.

  1. Start CrossFit

I love CrossFit, and I believe it’s one of the best workout programs out there for helping you to push yourself and keep improving.

There are nine basic exercises in most CF training routines. These include the deadlift; sumo deadlift high pull; shoulder press; push press; air squat (without the weights); front squat; overhead squat; and medicine ball clean.

As you get stronger, you’ll be doing other exercises such as sprints, pull-ups, burpees, sit-ups, box jumps, rowing, gymnastics ring work, and other exercises.

  1. The Tabata Protocol

Dubbed “the fat burning miracle training routine,” the Tabata protocol is a form of high-intensity training scientifically proven to improve aerobic and anaerobic threshold as well as calorie burn.

Studies show that the typical Tabata workout routine can burn 12 to 15 calories per minute.

Here’s a sample workout:

Perform the following exercises for as many reps as possible in 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds before moving to the next exercise and doing it as fast as possible for 20 seconds. Shoot for six to eight total rounds, resting one minute between each round.

  • 20 seconds of squat jumps, 10 seconds of rest
  • 20 seconds of burpees, 10 seconds of rest
  • 20 seconds of jumping lunges, 10 seconds of rest
  • 20 seconds of push-ups, 10 seconds of rest
  • 20 seconds of kettlebell swings, 10 seconds of rest

Here’s another Tabata workout routine to try.

  1. Medicine Ball Training

Medicine balls are powerful and can be a great addition to your training arsenal.

What I love about medicine ball exercises is that they’re some of the best and most challenging core exercises you can ever do, building both muscular power and endurance while pushing your cardiovascular system to its breaking point.

Here’s a medicine ball workout to try.

  • Squat to chest pass
  • Suitcase crunch
  • Diagonal chop
  • Russian twist
  • Lunge to rotation

Here’s another medicine ball workout to try.

  1. Add Short Cardio After Each Weight Workout

Engaging in intense exercise after 45 minutes-to-an-hour of weight training guarantees that the activity right after will immediately use up fat as the primary source of energy.

In other words, the window right after your weight workout session is prime fat-burning time. Make the most of it!

Here are three workout finishers to try:

Workout Finisher One

Do three rounds of:

  • Plate push for 30 seconds
  • Kettlebell swings, 15 reps
  • Med-ball thrusters, 15 reps

Workout Finisher Two

Do three sets of:

  • Lunge jumps, 20 reps
  • Burpee, 15 reps
  • Jump rope for one full minute

Workout Finisher Three

300-yard shuttle sprints.

Place two cones or water bottles roughly 25 yards apart, then run as fast as you can back and forth between the cones eight to ten times. Aim to touch the cones each time.

women on treadmill trying to lose weight

  1. Try a Group Fitness Class

If you’re more of an extrovert and enjoy the company of others, consider joining a group fitness class.

These classes are a great way to stay on track, up the ante with your workouts, and meet active and like-minded people. As an added benefit, peer pressure can do wonders for your weight loss journey.

The good news is that there are a wide range of classes available, and you’re sure to find something that fits your budget, fitness level, and training goals.

Different classes offer different exercises and workout routines geared around building strength, endurance, and flexibility.

Try CrossFit, join an MMA class, try a spinning class, or enroll in a boot camp class.  Just find a class you like and attend it consistently.

  1. Try an Outdoor Activity

Working out outdoors not only helps you lose weight, it also provides a lot of health benefits.

Studies show that exercising outdoors boosts vitality, self-esteem, and enthusiasm and lowers levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Braving the outdoors can help you reduce tension, fatigue, and depression.

Here’s a list of outdoor activities and sports that will put your gym workouts to shame:

  • Biking
  • Kayaking
  • Stand-up paddleboarding
  • Skating
  • Frisbee
  • Surfing
  • Rowing
  • Bouldering
  • Hiking
  • Trekking
  • Beach volleyball
  • Rock climbing
  • Badminton
  1. Follow a Workout Plan

If you have a good plan, or even a mediocre plan, you’re more likely to lose weight and achieve your fitness goals than those who don’t have a plan at all.

The best workout plans involve working out three to four times per week, depending on your current fitness level and training goals.

Start your workouts with a proper warm-up, do the workout, then finish with a cool-down and a few stretches.

Never been to a gym? Ask a trainer for some advice, or hire them if you have a budget. It’s important that you start off on the right foot and build up the right way. If you’re unsure where to start or want to find a qualified personal trainer in your area, you can compare personal trainers near you using a comprehensive directory. A directory allows you to compare trainers based on their qualifications, experience, and client reviews, helping you make an informed decision about hiring a trainer that’s right for you.

  1. Start a Workout Journal

In addition to regular fitness tests, one of the best ways I know of measuring your fitness progress (or lack thereof) is keeping track of your training routines and cycles in a workout journal.

I’d go so far as to say that keeping a workout journal is as important as training itself, especially if you’re serious about reaching your full potential.

Get yourself a workout diary and keep tabs of all your activities: training sessions, workout routines, daily miles, weights used, reps performed, number of sets, energy levels, performance numbers, and everything else.

  1. Schedule Your Workout

To ensure training consistency, schedule your workouts the same way you schedule your important work meetings or family events.

By giving your training routine the same level of importance that you give your school deadlines, work meetings, and unpaid taxes, you’ll increase your odds of following through and staying consistent with it—especially if you lead a hectic life.

Spend at least 10 minutes every Sunday night planning your workouts for the week, the same way you would with other obligations.

Choose at least two workouts and schedule them the way you would an appointment that you don’t want to miss. These will be the most important workouts of the week, and should preferably include a total-body strength workout and an intense cardio session.

Jot down the exact time you are going to exercise on your daily calendar, then treat your workouts like an unbreakable commitment.

  1. Exercise First Thing in the Morning

Research shows that people who work out first thing in the morning are more likely to stay consistent with their training programs than those who skip morning workouts.

When you exercise first thing in the morning, you’re done – you don’t have to worry about doing it later in the day. You also get the mental boost of knowing that you’ve accomplished what you need to do for the day while the rest of the world is still asleep.

Exercising in the morning is a great way to help you wake up, boost your energy levels and increase your brainpower and productivity for the rest of the day.

Go to bed 60 to 90 minutes earlier than usual so that you have enough time and have rested enough for a workout first thing in the morning.

  1. Pair Up with a Training Buddy

According to research conducted at the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Medicine, working out with a partner speeds up weight loss results.

The more you rub shoulders with people who support your goals and your vision, the more likely you are to succeed.

Chances are you be more consistent with your workouts when you have a training buddy to motivate you who will hold you accountable for your action.

Whether you’re trying to get into better shape or just want to shed a few extra pounds, be sure to schedule your workouts (or at least some of them) with a workout partner.

  1. Hire a Personal Trainer

If you’re looking to get the most out of every hour you spend working out, hire a personal trainer. They can help you learn proper form, hold you accountable to your goals, devise a smart workout strategy, overcome physical and emotional obstacles, and teach you how to safely adjust your workouts so you can keep on getting real results without hurting yourself.

Once you find a trainer you like, ask them to take you through a fitness assessment to identify your weaknesses and muscular imbalances.  Doing this will help them come up with a well-rounded workout routine that fits your current fitness needs and future goals.

  1. Do What You Love

In my opinion, the best exercise program in the world is the activity you already love doing.

When you choose to do an exercise you love, you’ll have more fun doing it and be more likely to keep doing it over the long haul, so if you like running, then run.

If you like swimming, then swim.

If you like skating, then skate.

If you like boxing, then box.

If you prefer lifting weights, then pump it hard.

If you like them all, then alternate between them as often as you like, for at least 30 to 40 minutes a day.

Do whatever you want. You’re the boss. You’re in charge.

The list of possible workout options available to you is long and varied; you have to find something you love doing.

  1. Practice Proper Recovery

Spending endless hours working out eventually leads to diminishing returns. If your current workout routine doesn’t allow for proper rest, you’re flirting with disaster.

Inadequate recovery hinders your ability to train, and might set the stage for injury, burnout, and serious trouble. Becoming a workout addict will only get you in trouble, so you need to make sure to build good recovery habits.

For starters, space out your hard workouts, especially interval and intense strength sessions, with at least two days of rest. Take as many recovery days as you need, especially when experiencing symptoms of overtraining such as elevated heart rate or chronic soreness and fatigue.

Sleep is also essential for proper recovery.  Aim for at least eight hours of high quality and uninterrupted sleep per night. You can also plan for a recovery week by decreasing your training volume 50 to 60 percent for every four to five weeks of training.

Motivation Tips

  1. Manufacture Motivation

Motivation is of paramount importance, and maybe the most important thing on this list. On your weight loss journey, you’ll need lots of inspiration to help keep your inner fires burning.

What are some ways to keep motivation going strong?

You’ve got plenty of options. Read real-life success stories. Read fitness blogs and magazines and books. Use the reward system and the buddy system. Take before and after pictures. Set weight loss goals and make them public, Use mantras and motivational quotes.

Just be open and try them all.

Here’s a lit of my favorite fitness quotes.

  1. Set S.M.A.R.T Goals

This is a good checklist to consider when you’re about to set goals for yourself.

S.M.A.R.T. stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-focused and Time-bound. SMART goals are the right way to go about setting weight loss goals.

Setting smart goals can be the difference between success and failure. They will help keep you focused and motivated.

Here’s what you need to do. Come up with one weight loss goal and one performance goal, and keep these two goals somewhere visible, so you’re reminded of them every day.

For example, your goals might be “Lose 15 pounds in three months” and “Run three times per week for the next three months.”

Over the long term, the best weight loss goal is to lose one to two pounds a week. That may not seem like much, but if you keep doing it consistently, it adds up.

Do it for a month, and you’d shed 4 to 8 pounds.

Do it for three months, and you’d shed 12 to 20 pounds.

You get the picture. It might not be as fast as you’d like it to be, but slow and steady is what will help you win the flab race.

If you’re looking for more tips on how to set fitness goals, check this post.

  1. Go Public With Your Goals

Research shows that if you make your goals public, you’ll be more likely to stick with your healthy lifestyle plan. It keeps you accountable for your behavior and your habits.

Your social circle can encourage you and push you to do your best and never give up.

I encourage you to make your weight loss goals public and commit to giving regular updates to your family members, friends or social circle every week or month.

Also share them on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms.

  1. Enlist Your Friends and Family For Support

The weight loss journey is not a smooth ride, so you’re going to need all the support you can get.

A strong support system can be the difference between success and failure. A study revealed that people who had the support of their social circle lost more weight than those who didn’t.

Let your family and friends keep you motivated and hold you accountable for your actions, making sure you never deviate from your weight loss journey.

At the same time, you need to banish negative people from your life.  They’ll only bring you down and hamper your progress. You’re better off restricting yourself to spending time with people who believe in you and support your goals.

  1. Get Your Partner on Board

When you go on a weight loss journey, your entire life has to change to make the changes you need. If you’re married or live with a partner, your decision will affect them too, so they need to be on board and provide their support.

Your partner’s heartfelt support can make the difference between reverting back to old, damaging ways and accomplishing the fitness goals you’ve set for yourself.

Where appropriate, consider starting a weight loss journey together: it’s a great way to keep each other on track.

One way or another, start preparing healthier dishes together. Eat at home more. Keep each other accountable. Go running together. Join a gym class. Build a home gym.

  1. Use Online Support Networks

A study conducted by Britain’s Medical Research Council (MRC) found that people who joined a weight loss support group lost more weight than those who hadn’t.

A support group can help you talk through your troubles, provide you with practical solutions to your problems, and most importantly remind you that you’re not alone. Look for these online message boards, join one, then open up and talk about your struggles and victories.

Here’s a list of websites to check out:

Spark People


Peer Trainer

Weight Loss Buddy

Weight Loss Wars

  1. Weigh Yourself Once a Week

Keeping track of your weight is a good strategy, but obsessing over it is counterproductive. Your weight isn’t everything, and it doesn’t tell your whole story.

Stepping on the scale every day can have a negative impact on you. Your weight will fluctuate from day to day, and if you weight yourself daily, you’ll find yourself in a constant battle of ups and downs.

Most experts recommend that you weigh yourself once a week under the same conditions—preferably at the same time and on the same weekday. The best time is in the morning, shortly after finishing your morning ritual and just before you’ve eaten.

man losing weight

  1. Take Progress Pictures

As I’ve already said, the scale only tells one side of the story. To get a full picture of your progress, you need to start taking pictures of your fitness and weight loss journey on a weekly basis.

Taking before and after pictures is not only perfect for keeping track of your progress, the “before” pictures can also be a huge wake-up call and provide the exact motivation kick you need to make your weight loss vision a concrete reality.

Here’s a short video to show you how to take your progress pictures the right way:

  1. Track Other Body Stats

Weekly weigh-ins and photo shoots are often enough, but if you want a clearer picture of your weight loss journey, start tracking some other important body stats.

Here are the main ones to take and write down:

  • Weekly measurements of your hips, chest, waist, upper arms, thighs
  • Body fat percentage should be checked on a monthly basis using a body fat caliper

Additionally, use fewer objective measures of your progress. Ask another person — preferably a trusted friend or family member —for honest feedback, and check how your clothes fit. Are they looser than before?

  1. Reward Yourself

Rewarding yourself for progress can help reinforce your new habits and provide you with the motivation you need to continue with your journey, so after reaching a performance or weight loss goal, treat yourself to something nice.

Some of the best things you can do to reward yourself include shopping for smaller sized clothes, going to the movies, taking a surfing lesson, taking a vacation to your dream destination, spending a weekend at the spa, reading a book, binge-watching your favorite show, or just sleeping in. It doesn’t matter whether it’s expensive or free, far-flung or in your home, as long as it is something that gives you pleasure and is not about food.

  1. Sign Up for a Race

To keep yourself exercising regularly, consider signing up for a 5K race. This is a perfect distance for beginner runners who are looking to build cardio power and fitness the right way.

You can find plenty of 5K races in your city or cities near you by checking websites like Runners World or Running in the USA for local races and dates.

After signing up for a 5K race, find a training program to help get you ready and fit enough to cross the finish line.

As a general guideline, most 5K training plans last 8 to 12 weeks, so you signing up for one will give you a plan within a reasonable amount of time to get you in shape.

Lifestyle and Mindset Tips

  1. Take Responsibility for Unhealthy Habits

You’re the one in charge.

You choose the script by which you live your life, and you’re the king or queen of your actions. No one is responsible for them but you.

Bad habits or not, they’re yours. You’re the one responsible for changing it. No one else.

You’ve built your habits through repetition, and through repetition, you can break them too.

Take conscious responsibility for your everyday actions—the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Doing so is empowering because it lets you realize that you’re the master of your destiny.

  1. Get Enough Sleep

Lack of sleep will not only make your life miserable, it’ll also make your waistline bigger.

Research study after research study has revealed that sleep-deprived individuals are more likely to be overweight and to suffer from a plethora of health troubles.

Sleep deprivation can boost hunger, muscle loss, and unwanted weight gain, so log at least 8 hours of high quality, uninterrupted slumber each night.

  1. Relax

According to research, stress is a primary cause of weight gain, while relaxation and calm can facilitate healthy weight loss.

When we’re stressed, we seek comfort and emotional release in food, usually by reaching for high-calorie, unhealthy foods.

Stress also increases the release of the hormone cortisol, known as a key culprit behind stubborn belly fat.

To tame stress, try meditating, taking long walks in nature, talking out your problems with a friend, getting enough sleep, getting rid of friction in your life, doing yoga, look into anti-stress supplements or therapy.

The bottom line is don’t ignore your stress. As long as you’re dealing with your it in a positive and constructive manner, you’re in the right place.

  1. Try Meditation

Sitting blissfully on a cushion for endless hours does not burn a lot of calories, but research shows that mindfulness—one of the many benefits brought about by meditation—is key for weight loss and overall health and well-being levels.

Studies show that people who practice meditation on a regular basis are less likely to give in to emotional eating or unhealthy bingeing.

Meditation practice can also help lower high blood pressure levels and helps to manage stress, one of the primary causes of overeating and making bad food choices.

So what you are waiting for? The science backing up meditation is IRREFUTABLE.

Start with short meditation sessions lasting no more than 10 minutes. Sit comfortably, close your eyes, and focus on your breathing. Whenever your mind wanders—and it will have the tendency to do so— bring it back and keep focusing on each exhalation and inhalation.

  1. Brush Your Teeth More Often

If you brush and floss your teeth right after dinner, you’ll find yourself less likely to crave snacks or sweet desserts late at night. This sets you up right for avoiding late night snacking.

It also helps keep your gums healthy and your teeth clean.

Additionally, if you follow this train of thought and brush your teeth after every meal, it will make you less likely to snack between meals.

  1. Check Your Hormones With a Blood Panel

By learning more about your hormonal situation, you give yourself a better idea of the nutritional and lifestyle changes you need to speed up your weight loss and increase your energy and health.

A blood panel can help you assess your levels of the stress hormone cortisol, whether your adrenals are insufficient, whether you’re low in vitamin D3, or whether your cholesterol and blood sugar levels are within the normal healthy range.

  1. Embrace the Cold

Spending time in relatively chilly temperatures can help you burn more calories, even if you’re just sitting around doing nothing. This may sound crazy, but research backs it up.

According to a study published in the journal Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism, cooler temperatures can increase calorie burn by up to 30 percent, while another study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigations found that people who spend a couple of hours a day in mild cold—approximately 63 degrees F—for a period of six weeks burned more energy than those who spent the same amount of time in warmer temperatures.

Next time you’re thinking about skipping an outdoor workout because it’s too cold, remember that the cold is your weight loss friend.

  1. Handle Social Festivities the Right Way

Studies show that most people gain two to ten pounds during the winter months, and one of the main reasons for this weight gain is the eating festivities during the holidays.

The best thing you can do to counter this effect is to eat before you go to a party. It will help curb your hunger and take the edge off your appetite.

If you want to go all out, you can also bring your healthy foods to make sure you have an alternative to the high calorie, fat-laden dishes your host or hostess is serving.

  1. Watch Your Weekends

It’s totally doable to stick with a healthy diet and exercise plan during the week, but once the freedom of the weekend arrives, a lot of people take a break from their weight-loss resolution. This is a mistake.  Doing so will only set you back and undo all your efforts from the week before.

You need to be conscientious when you’re attending that happy hour after work on Friday, the restaurant dinner on Saturday, and the home-cooked meal on Sunday. Otherwise, your weekends will turn into diet landmines that undo each week’s worth of healthy dieting and exercise.

Eating poorly and skipping workouts from Friday to Sunday add up to a whopping 12 days off a month. Not a good idea.

  1. Be Patient

Patience is a virtue. It helps you reduce stress, control cravings, set the right goals, and most importantly it will keep you consistent, especially when all the odds are stacked against you.

Patience allows you to see beyond the current (unpleasant) moment to a future in which you’ve already achieved what you’re after.

Said in a different way, the more patient you are, the more likely you are to succeed.

Take the time you need to learn about what type of exercise works best for you, as well as about the various foods that offer the best nutrition.

  1. Take Action

“Nothing happens until something moves.”—Albert Einstein.

Every minute you’re sitting around thinking about losing weight, surfing the net for magical diets, or checking Facebook, you’re not doing what’s needed to achieve your weight loss goals.

Regardless of how much you want to do to change your life or lead a healthier lifestyle, nothing will happen until you actually DO something. You can talk about starting a workout program and developing healthier eating habits as much as you want, but nothing will change until you start taking action.

This means you need to get moving NOW.

Here’s what you need to do: make a list of the lifestyle changes you want to see happen, then give yourself time to make each one a part of your life.

  1. Practice Kaizen

The philosophy of Kaizen is all about going after small, continuous improvement. It builds up over time — over weeks, months and years of regular practice.

This approach is the best way to banish short-term and silver bullet thinking.

Achieving a healthy lifestyle is a marathon rather than a sprint. Slow, and steady will win the race.

Embrace the philosophy of small, continuous improvement and aim to get 1 percent better each day. Begin every morning by asking yourself what the one thing is that you can do today to improve your fitness and health? Start super small and go about achieving it.

There are hundreds of these little things, and if you keep adding one a day, they will quickly build up.

  1. After you Lose the Weight, Stick to Your New Lifestyle

Research shows that most people gain back most of the weight they lose less than two years after losing it. This is atrocious.

Losing weight is hard enough. Gaining it back sucks.

Once you reach your target weight, keep in mind that you’ve only won half of the battle. You need to do your best not to revert to your old ways.

I hate to sound like a broken record, but the real secret to reaching your ideal weight and staying at that weight for life is to make a lifelong commitment to the all the diet, lifestyle and exercise habits listed above.

The moment you go back to your old ways is the moment when the pounds start creeping back.

If you’re serious about losing weight and never gaining it back again, you need to understand that your weight and health consciousness doesn’t ever stop.

All of it. The healthy eating. The sleeping. The running. It doesn’t stop.

You need to keep things going, prevent slip-ups and come up with creative ways to spice up your workouts and cope with whatever life throws at you.

  1. Remember: It’s all About Creating a Calorie Deficit

Weight loss is all about creating a calorie deficit.

At this point you surely know that weight loss is a numbers game. Nothing more and nothing less.

If you eat more calories than you burn, you’ll gain weight.

If you burn more calories than you eat, you’ll lose weight.

A healthy weight loss goal is to aim for a 500 calorie deficit per day, and the best way to accomplish that goal is to do a mix of healthy eating and smart exercise.

That’s it. Weight loss, in its basic form, is a numbers game

  1. Find What Works Best For You

Please keep in mind that the subject of weight loss—whether it’s diet, exercise or lifestyle-related—is one of the most controversial topics out there. Most of the tips and strategies I’m sharing with you are based on my own experience and research.

There are some contradictory tips—for instance, intermittent fasting versus eating breakfast—but there are some great ones here too.

What’s important to remember is that nothing is written in stone. Take all the tips with a grain of salt and remember that everyone is different and responds differently to different diet and exercise methods. Just because a weight loss tactic works for someone else, doesn’t necessarily mean that it will work for you.

Feel free to experiment to find what works the best for you.

Bonus Tip: Never Give up

This is where the rubber meets the road when it comes to losing weight and keeping if off for good.

Weight loss resolutions fail because people give up way too often and way too early in their journey.

Whatever you do, please don’t give up.

Don’t give up.

Don’t ever give up.

You’re going to have bad days, weeks, maybe even bac months. But don’t give up.

Shit happens. It’s part of life.

If you fail one day, the next day is a new start. Get up and go after it again.  Change your approach, find a way to do things differently to make it work for you.

Please, please, please don’t let your past mistakes or past failures define who you are. You are much more than your past.

Welcome failure and let it shape your approach and course of action.


Boy, that was a long post! If you’ve made it this far, I applaud you for your commitment. You’re the best.

You rock for taking the time to invest in yourself.

Now go take action on what you’ve just learned, and thank you for reading my post.

Feel free to leave your questions and comments below.

David D.

Please share this post on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, StumbleUpon, and other social media websites. Help me spread the word.

Featured Image Credit – Byong Wook via Flickr

Rev Up Your Run: How to Optimize Your Performance with Effective Warm-Ups

dynamic warm up exercises

Are you ready to take your running to the next level and prevent injury? Look no further because today I’m sharing a dynamic running warm-up routine that will leave you feeling limber and ready to hit the pavement.

Whether you are a seasoned runner or just starting out, warm-up exercises are crucial to your performance and overall health.

Not only will they help prevent injury, but they will also improve your flexibility and mobility.

In fact, research has shown that a proper warm-up can enhance running performance and reduce the risk of injury.

So, let’s dive in and get started on this dynamic warm-up routine that will prepare your muscles and joints for whatever lies ahead.

So what’s a dynamic running warm-up ?

A dynamic warm-up is a series of movements that challenge your stability, strength, flexibility, and mobility all at once. Unlike static stretching, which involves holding a stretch for a prolonged period, dynamic warm-ups involve active movements that mimic the biomechanics of running.

The warm-up consists of two phases: general and specific. The general phase raises your body temperature, heart rate,  and circulation to the muscles. This prepares your body for the more intense specific phase, which activates your nervous system and focuses on the muscles and joints used in running.

Benefits Of Dynamic Running Warm-ups

Picture this: you’re about to start a run, your heart is pounding with excitement, and you’re ready to hit the pavement. But before you start pounding the pavement, it’s important to get your body ready for the run ahead. That’s where dynamic running warm-ups come in!

One of the key benefits of a dynamic running warm-up is that it gets your heart rate up and increases blood flow throughout your body. This helps to prevent premature fatigue and injury by warming up your muscles and increasing circulation to the working muscles. A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that dynamic warm-ups can also help to improve running economy, which is the amount of oxygen your body uses while running at a given pace. By increasing running economy, you’ll be able to run farther and faster with less effort.

But the benefits don’t stop there. Dynamic running warm-ups also help to coordinate all of your moving parts. By challenging your stability, strength, flexibility, and mobility all at once, you’ll be able to move more efficiently and with better form. This can help to reduce the risk of injury and improve your overall running performance.

And let’s not forget about the joints. Dynamic running warm-ups can help to open up your joints and get them well lubricated, especially those in your ankles, feet, hips, and spine. This can improve your range of motion and, yet again, reduce the risk of injury.

How to Warm up For Running – Directions & Tips

The length and intensity of your running warm-up depends on a few factors, such as your fitness level, workout intensity, and the temperature outside. But, overall, the more intense the workout, the longer it should take to get warmed up.

Think of your body as a car on a cold winter morning. You wouldn’t just start it up and peel out of the driveway without giving it time to warm up, right? The same goes for your body. By taking the time to warm up properly, you can help prevent injury and premature fatigue while increasing your performance and overall enjoyment.

The Running Warm-up Breakdown

So, what should your warm-up routine look like? I’m glad you asked. Here’s the exact recipe I follow for my own warm-up routine, whether I’m training alone or with a partner.

First, spend five minutes engaging in some light aerobic movement, such as jogging in place or doing jumping jacks. This helps get your heart rate up and your blood flowing.

Next, spend five minutes doing dynamic exercises, which challenge your stability, strength, flexibility, and mobility all at once. These exercises can include lunges, high knees, leg swings, and more.

In total, a good dynamic warm-up should take about 10 minutes. Of course, depending on the workout you have planned, you may need to spend more time warming up. But trust me; it’s worth it—especially before any intense, vigorous running training. So take the time to properly warm up your body and set yourself up for success.

Top 6 Dynamic Running Warm-Up Exercises

Here are six dynamic running warm-up exercises that you can do to get your body ready for your run.

Running Warm-up Exercise – 1. Toy Soldier


This exercise increases body temperature and heart rate, preparing your whole body for the task ahead.

It’s also key for warming up the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes—key running muscles.

This move also stretches the back of your upper legs and fires up the core.

Proper Form

While keeping your back flat, knees straight, and core engaged, step forward, and kick your right leg straight out in front of your body up to waist level, flexing your toes the entire time.

Extend your left arm at the same time as if you are reaching out to touch your right foot.

Release and change sides.

Do 12 reps on each leg.

Running Warm-up Exercise – 2. Side Step/Shuffle


This is a lateral move that warms up the calves, hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes and hips flexors—most of the key running muscles.

Not only that, if you perform this move as fast as you can, then it will also help you boost agility and coordination, helping you run faster as well.

Proper Form

Begin by standing as tall as you can with legs straight and arms hanging by your sides.

Next, step to the side by performing quick side shuffles for 10 to 15 meters to the right.

On the last shuffle, land on your right foot, pause for a moment, then shuffle back to starting position.

Make sure to raise your knees as high as you can.

Additional reading – How to Prevent Overuse Injury

Running Warm-up Exercise – 3. Side to side leg swings


This is one of my favorite warm-up moves because the swings focus on the hip joints and hamstrings.

Loose hips and hammies are vital if you are serious about running efficiently and pain-free.

Proper Form

Start by holding onto a sturdy chair, or a wall, then swing your right leg to your side and then back and across your torso (see the video).

Perform the move 12 to 16 times on each side.

Running Warm-up Exercise – 4. Lateral Lunge


This move engages the glutes and adductor muscles and fires up the cardiovascular system.

Proper Form

Assume an athletic position with back straight, feet hip-width apart.

Next, step to your right side, then shift your weight toward your right foot, bending your right knee and pushing your hips back to lower into a lunge.

For more, reach out with your left hand and tap your right foot.

To come out of this, extend your hips and push off with your right foot and return to starting position, then switch sides.

Do 12 reps on each side.

Additional resource –How to warm up for a race

Running Warm-up Exercise – 5. Walking Lunges


This move is vital for warming up most of your running muscles as well as increasing core body temperature.

In addition, walking lunges can also increase your range of motion in your lower body.

They are also necessary for improving balance and coordination.

Proper Form

Stand upright with your feet together, then step forward with your right foot, taking a long stride and lowering your left leg towards the ground.

Make sure to keep your right knee over your ankles, toes pointing straight ahead.

Do this in a slow and flowing motion.

Next, push off with your left foot, raise up and bring it forward to your right foot, then step forward with your left foot to complete one rep.

Complete two sets of 12 lunges on each side.

Running Warm-up Exercise – 6. Butt Kicks

This is a key move for warming your leg muscles in a running-specific way. Not only that, doing butt kicks on a regular basis also help you improve your running form and stride, too.

Proper Form

While keeping your core engaged and back flat, lean forward slightly so your chest is over the toes, then start jogging forward by bringing your heels to touch your hamstrings, in a butt kicking motion.

Make sure to keep your elbows close to your sides and ankles dorsiflexed the entire time.

Keep alternating kicking your butt with your right and left leg for at least one minute.

I’d also recommend these agility ladder drills.

Dynamic Warm-up For Runners  – The Conclusion

Now that you’ve learned about the top six dynamic running warm-up exercises, it’s time to put them into action. Remember, your speed of implementation is crucial to your success as a runner. So, lace up your running shoes and give these exercises a try.

And don’t forget to listen to your body! Everyone’s body is different, so adjust the intensity of the warm-up exercises based on your comfort level. You might even come up with your own unique warm-up routine that works best for you.

So, get out there, warm up properly, and crush your running goals! And if you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below.

David D, signing off.

Leg Power: A Runner’s Guide to Effective Leg Workouts

runner doing Legs Strength Exercises

Looking to take your running game to the next level? Well, you’ve stumbled upon a goldmine of lower body exercises that will give your legs the strength they need to conquer any challenge.

But before we dive into the nitty-gritty, let’s address the elephant on the track—why should you even bother with strength training?

Listen up, because I’m about to drop some truth bombs. Strength training is not just an option for runners; it’s an absolute necessity.

If you want to keep those pesky injuries at bay and unlock your full running potential, hitting the gym is non-negotiable. We’re talking about serious gains here, people. If

you dream of shaving seconds off your race times and reaching your peak performance, I’m going to say it again for the folks in the back: you need to strength train.

Strength training will not only bulletproof your lower body against common running injuries like runner’s knee and stress fractures but also supercharge your running efficiency.

No more excuses, no more coconuts. It’s time to get down to business with a short, yet mighty leg strength workout designed specifically for runners like you.

In just 30 minutes, you’ll be putting those muscles to work and laying the foundation for your strongest, most resilient legs yet.

Get ready to tackle these eight runner-friendly exercises that will transform your lower body into a force to be reckoned with. From explosive plyometrics to targeted strength moves, we’ve got you covered. So, lace up those shoes, grab your water bottle, and let’s dive into this leg-sculpting adventure that will leave you feeling invincible on the track.

Let’s go!

Leg Exercise for Runners 1 – Lunges

Targeted Muscles: Glutes, quads, calves.

Begin by standing with your feet shoulder’s width apart while resting a bar on the back of your shoulders, or holding dumbbells at the side.

That’s your starting position.

Next, take a giant step forward with your right foot, keeping your left foot planted on the ground.

Bend your right knee at a 90-degree angle, while simultaneously lowering your left leg toward the floor.

To complete one rep, push back up to the starting position and switch sides.

Do 10 to 12 reps on each side to complete one set.

Aim for five sets.

Leg Exercise for Runners 2 – Calf Raises

Targeted Muscles: The calves.

Begin by standing with your heels hanging off the edge of a step or a sturdy box, holding two dumbbells by the side.

Make sure to stand as tall as you can with the back straight the entire time.

Next, drive the balls of your feet into the step, then raise your heels as high as you can, pause for a count of three, then slowly lower the heels down to the starting position.

Aim for five sets of 12 to 16 reps to complete one set.

Feel free to up the ante by increasing weight and number of reps if the exercise is not challenging enough.

Additional resource – Maintaining muscle during marathon training

Leg Exercise for Runners 3 – Squats

Targeted Muscles: Quads, glutes, calves and core.

Assume an athletic position with feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointing slightly outward, and back straight.

Next, place a barbell across the back of your shoulders and traps, then squat down, bending the knees, until your thighs are parallel to the ground, pause for a moment, then push back up through your heels to return to starting position.

That’s one rep.

Make sure to keep your knees tracking over your toes through the squat motion.

Do 10 to 12 reps to complete one set.

Aim for five sets.

Additional reading – How to Prevent Overuse Injury

Leg Exercise for Runners 4 – Sumo Squats

Targeted Muscles: Inner thighs, and quads.

Assume a wider stand with the feet pointing further out than they would with the classic squat.

Make sure to load a barbell of a challenging weight and place it across the back of your shoulders and traps.

That’s the starting position.

Perform the sumo squat by sitting back until your thighs are parallel to the ground, then slowly come up to starting position.

Make sure to keep your back straight and knees tracking over the toes the entire movement.

You should feel your inner thighs on fire during this exercise; otherwise, you are not doing it right or are not using enough weight.

Do five sets in the 10 to 12 rep range.

Leg Exercise for Runners – 5 – Leg Presses

Targeted Muscles: Quads, glutes, calves, hamstrings.

Climb into a leg press machine, and place your feet hip-width apart on the platform.

Make sure that your heels are flat with the toes facing a bit outward.

To perform the move, slowly lower the platform until your knees are bent at a 90-degree angle, then press the platform back up until your legs are nearly straight.

Please don’t allow for a full locking in the knees.

Do five sets of 12 reps each.

Leg Exercise for Runners 6 – Single-leg Deadlifts

Targeted Muscles: Hamstrings, glutes.

Stands tall with feet hip-width apart and hold a pair of light dumbbells in each hand.

That’s the starting position.

Next, bend at the hips and raise your right leg behind while engaging your core muscles, then hinge forward and gradually lower your torso down as far as possible, pause for a second, then return to starting position.

Shoot for 8 deadlifts on each side to complete one set.

Aim for 5 sets.

Leg Exercise for Runners 7 – Lunges With Rotations

Targeted Muscles: Quads, glutes, calves and core.

Stand with feet wide and parallel, grab two light dumbbells with arms straight out sideways, then step forward into a lunge.

Next, lower your body into the lunge and rotate your torso 90 degrees to the right, then another 90 degrees to the left.

Next, take another step forward and repeat the motion.

Aim for 10-12 reps on each side to complete one set.

Do 5 sets.

Leg Exercise for Runners 8 – The Cable Knee Drive

Targeted Muscles: Hip flexors and glutes.

Begin this exercise by securing a strap around your right ankle then attaching it to the low cable pulley.

Next, while standing 1 to 2 feet away from the stack on one leg, drive your right knee explosively up in front your chest.

Do 10 to 12 reps on each side to complete one set.

Aim for five sets.

Additional resource – Clamshells for runners

The Best Leg Workout for Runners  – Conclusion

Here you have it! This is an amazing leg workout for runners you can do a few times a week reap huge gains.

This is a really powerful leg workout for runners. But you need to put it into action ASAP. The speed of implementation is what matters most.

In the meantime thank you for reading my blog.

David D.