Do you run? Or do you aspire to run? Or have you tried running for exercise in the past and long ago decided that it’s not for you? Today, June 7th, is National Running Day, and it’s a great opportunity to either revamp your passion for running, or to pledge to give it a (or, another) try.
Even though running is a very different type of exercise than the HIIT we do in the studio, we do recognize running as being a great endurance-builder, stress-buster, and a super healthy way to get your fill of sunshine and a workout all at once. And in the spirit of this day, we’d like to offer our top five ways to celebrate National Running Day 2017.
- Practice your sprints. When you’re in a race, it feels awesome to be able to turn on the jets mid-run and zoom ahead of the few people in front of you and get an edge in place rank and time. It so happens that HIIT, with its explosive and powerful moves, primes you to do just that. Also, since your body is used to doing HIIT moves, you’re less likely to get injured when kicking it into high gear during your run.
- And then test your stamina. Not to brag or anything, but HIIT rocks for this reason, too. As you’ve been powering through HIIT classes, your cardiovascular has gotten much more efficient at pumping oxygenated blood through your body, making you more able to handle prolonged aerobic exercise with greater ease. Not only that, but HIIT is making you more coordinated and is helping your muscles to be more elastic, too.
- Set yourself a goal. Signing up for a 5k, 10k, or half marathon race can jumpstart your training like nothing else. Because pride is a powerful thing. And, honestly, you don’t want to get shown up by 10 year olds the day of the race.
- Check your kicks. Sure, your running shoes might still look pretty, but is it time to change them out for some new ones? If you’re trusty shoes have seen you through at least 300 miles, it’s time for an upgrade. Other hints include: if your soles are worn unevenly along the bottom or the treads are worn out, if you suddenly start to feel pain in your knees or quads when running or the next day, or if your shoe’s mid-soles are compressed.
- Unplug – just once in a while. Honestly, we love fitness trackers, smartphones, workout tunes, and distance- and speed-tracking devices as much as anyone. However, when was the last time you used your run as a time to clear your head, quiet your mind, and truly enjoy the nature around you? Or offered a few moments of gratitude that your body is able to run and work in this magnificent way? Nature can be seriously therapeutic if we allow ourselves to take in the sights, sounds, and smells it has to offer. And if you’re not obsessively tracking steps, calories burned, and distance, you may find that you actually like running . . . just for the sake of running.