In addition to keeping things interesting for your brain by changing locales, you also need to keep things challenging for your body by mixing up the types of running you do. Your muscle fibers react differently to a variety of stimuli, and you'll need to engage them all on race day, so mixing up your training will help turn you into a well-rounded running machine.
Consider a set of fartleks -- Swedish for "speed play" -- where you rev up your pace throughout your run for varying periods of time. While speed may be the most important component here, "play" shouldn't be forgotten, either. Below are some ways to incorporate fartleks into your training:
- Pick a landmark like a mailbox or tree, and race to it at top speed.
- Use one length of a square block to go all out.
- Find someone a good distance ahead of you on the running path and speed up until you catch up.
Mix it up and the benefits of your aerobic conditioning will be mighty.