With only a few months left of bearable outdoor weather, don’t miss out on the chance to take your workout outside! Taking a long run outside is one of the best ways to clear the mind but the big question is “How do I get the best results out of my workout without all of the machines around?” If you have the same big question that I do then keep reading! Equinox RunCross Instructor Eric Pellini is sharing insight on this dilemma and offering his top tips on getting the most out of your outdoor running experience.
1) Set your Pace: Be sure to slow your pace and take smaller strides down hills and slopes. This will dramatically minimize risk and damage to your knees.
2) Breathe Slowly: Avoid hard outdoor circuits when the weather is cold. Many people mistake cold air with better air quality and it’s usually the opposite (gases such as carbon dioxide do not fully combust in cold air and sit lower to the ground).
3) Hydrate: Perspiration often evaporates faster outside, especially in dry warm regions, and can cause one to misjudge how much they’re sweating. Be sure to properly hydrate before, and if performing a long circuit, take water with you or plan your circuit around water sources.
4) Switch up your Routine: Using the environment around you can create an endless opportunity for fresh new challenges. You can go to the same park every time and never do the same workout. Creative thinking often produces great motivation.
5) Vary Terrain: Cement is the hardest surface on your body so it is important to not overuse sidewalks and cement paths. Even blacktop is softer. Finding great areas with some packed dirt, grass or a mondo (rubber) track is ideal.
6) Start Small: Outdoor circuit training can have many great obstacles, such as wind and uneven terrain that can make the workout seem very challenging. Start small, and build your way up to a faster pace or more complex strength training.
7) Corrective Conditioning: Circuit training causes fatigue of many of the important muscles for maintaining good running form. It is important to drive yourself to focus harder and put in a little more work to correct sloppy, fatigued running form. This conditions your body to be reactive.
8) Decelerate: Speeding up and slowing down are inherent in circuit cross training and running drills. Slow down safely by gradually beginning to take smaller strides, and always avoid jamming your feet into the ground as you slow down.
9) Rest: Circuit cross training also causes a chain reaction recruitment of muscles to help support each other and compensate for other muscles fatigue. This is truly a full body conditioning experience, and it’s very important to get proper rest and recovery. Either rest the next day or choose a workout that is lower impact and focus on keeping the body loose and fluid. Yoga, Rx Series (therapy ball rolling) or Pilates are all great choices.
If you feel that you lose motivation during your outdoor workouts when you are alone, then check for new running programs launching at Equinox this fall and join in on the fun!