Saturday, 10 November 2007

Fartleks along your jogging route

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My two and one-quarter mile neighborhood jogging route is starting to get a little boring. The route isn't 'new' anymore, and my times are consistently the same. If you're in a jogging/running rut, check out this helpful article in Shape. Here are three drills to add to your jog/run -- you'll tone more muscle and increase your calorie burn.

Fartleks: This is not releasing a cloud of intestinal gas and scurrying away down the street! Fartlek is Swedish for "speed play" -- a method of varying your jogging/running speed. Warm-up, then run faster (not at maximum) to the stop sign a couple blocks ahead. Slow down for a bit, then pick out another target ahead and run fast toward it. The guidelines are all yours, just mix it up a bit. I will sprinkle a few fartleks into my jog this morning.

Stride Drills: Improve your power and stride efficiency by incorporating stride drills once a week. After warming up, run while lifting knees as high as possible for 30-60 seconds. Then exaggerate your running stride by bounding as far as possible with each stride (you'll go slower than usual). Finally, take tiny baby steps by placing one foot directly in front of the other. Repeat the series two or three times, then finish your route.

Long Runs: Enough of my two and one-quarter mile route, this article recommends we build endurance by jogging/running for 45 minutes to an hour once a week. You'll burn more calories and make the usual workout easier. How long is relative to your current workout. Take your longest run and add 5 minutes to it once each week.

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