Running is one of the best ways to get in shape and lose weight, but did you know that running ALONE won’t help you shed pounds? Your body needs a mix of cardio and resistance training in order to burn fat. If you want to make your training sessions more effective, here are a few ways to mix strength training into your daily runs:
Hit Your Core Every Mile
When you reach the 1-mile mark, drop and do one set of Planks, Crunches, or some other core-targeting exercise. Finish the set, get up, and resume your run. When you hit the 2-mile mark, repeat the core exercise, and again at the 3, 4, and 5-mile mark. You’ll give your legs a short break by doing this, but you’ll engage your core and strengthen it beautifully.
Don a Weight Vest
To really make the run a challenge, wear a weight vest, ankle weights, or some other weighted item of clothing. Adding the weights can help to push your legs much harder, and you can throw in a few upper and lower body training movements at every mile or every 5 minutes. You’ll feel like you’re running on a mountain no matter where you are!
Make it a Sprint Burpee Workout
Instead of going for a 4-mile jog, why not turn your workouts into a sprint training session? Divide your workout into sprints (either 50 meters, 100 meters, or 200 meters). At the end of every sprint, drop to the ground and perform a set of 10 burpees. You’ll feel the burn in no time, and you’ll hit every muscle in your body very effectively!
Run a Mountain
Instead of running that treadmill or the same park you’ve been running for the last months, why not challenge yourself and see how long it takes you to run a mountain trail? The incline will work your legs beautifully, and you can throw in a set of Push-Ups and Crunches every mile or two. It’s a killer combination definitely not for the faint of heart.
Pick Those Knees Up
When you run, focus on bringing your knees up to your chest with every step. You don’t have to push the pace, but bring those knees up. This will work your core and legs, and it will set your muscles on fire. Let’s see you run a 6-minute mile like this.
Mark the Minutes
Set your timer to beep every minute. Run a 100-meter sprint. If you complete it before the 60 seconds, take a break. Once the watch beeps, perform 60 squat jumps. If you can complete it before the 60 seconds, take a break. Once the watch beeps, sprint again. Repeat this 5-10 times, and you’ll give yourself a killer workout!
An Animal Style Run
Run at your normal pace for a mile, then drop and perform a set each of Bear Crawls, Leap Frogs, Crab Crawls, and Duck Walks. This combination of animal-style exercises will work your upper body, core, and lower body. You’ll feel the burn and be forced to push yourself harder to complete your next mile.
When you want to kick things up a notch, try this run! Run for half a mile, then stop and perform a set of Squat Jumps, Jumping Lunges, and Jumping Jacks. Pick up the run without stopping, and repeat it again at the 1-mile mark. Repeat the Plyo workout at every half mile, and see how far you can make it before running out of steam. Definitely a workout that will push you to your limits.