Many people I talk to about running complain about how boring it is. Running on a treadmill is usually torture; especially with the clock staring you in the face. Running outside is better (in my opinion), but it still can get boring. Since my first half marathon, I stopped wearing headphones. Even when I trained for the marathon, I didn’t use headphones. Most people think this is crazy, but I absolutely love it. It lets me think about things I need to process and then it also allows me to totally turn my brain off and just go. It takes practice, but now I can’t imagine going back to headphones (I feel like my head will explode when I wear them running).
Still, sometimes I don’t feel like running and need something to occupy my time. I recently learned about the importance of taking the right number of steps per minute when you run – 180 steps per minute REGARDLESS of your pace. This is 90 steps per foot, so I usually just count one foot. This theory of taking so many steps per minute was confirmed by the UW Health Physical Therapist I saw who specialized in running (including working with UW athletes). Over the last year I occasionally count my steps when I run to make sure I am keeping cadence. This is one way to occupy your time when you run – it sounds silly, but the time actually goes by really fast.
With that, I created my own workout for sprints that doesn’t need a watch or planned route. It is the 100 workout and it uses the running cadence counting to occupy your time. It is a simple set of 10 repeats – 100 steps per foot sprinting and 100 steps walking. This ends up being just over a minute of sprinting, since you should be doing 90 steps per foot for a minute. I don’t know if it would work out this way for everyone, but my last route was about 3 minutes and it took me about 20-25 minutes (I didn’t have a watch so this is a guess based on the times when I left the house and was all done stretching). I was dying after 7 repeats so my pace definitely dropped for the last 3 repeats. Regardless, it was a good workout!
Warm-up: walk 10 minutes
Workout: 100 steps per foot sprint, 100 steps per foot walk – repeat 10 times
Cool-down: walk 5-10 minutes with stretching breaks