Top 5 Tips for Creative Run Workouts


Seek New Terrain

Jogging is a scenic activity. The sights, the sounds, the smells -- it's probably why you're taking to the streets instead of hoofing it on a treadmill. After months of traversing the same streets and the same neighborhoods, it might be a good idea to switch up the landscape. Jog in a different direction, jog a different route, or, instead of jogging in a loop, hop aboard a bus and then jog home.

Or better yet -- head for the hills. Running up hills makes for a completely different workout than running on flat surfaces, and it's also a great way to strengthen your knees against injury. It may be tricky to jog up inclines at first, so approach hill climbing in stages. At first, stop jogging and take the hill at a quick walk. As you improve, you'll gradually be able to do hills at a jog, and eventually, at your normal pace [source: Leigh].

To really treat yourself, take an evening to jog through a nearby park or nature preserve. Nature was where we were designed to run, and it's where you'll be able to squeeze the best performance out of your run. The air is fresher, the spaces are wider, and you won't have to worry about traffic or chatty neighbors. Navigating uneven forest trails or windy dirt tracks is a great way to break the monotony of a run, but be warned: All it takes is a stray root or a loose pebble to leave you with a sprained ankle [source: Silence].

The enjoyment of your workout can be affected not only by where you're running, but also what you're running on. Concrete or stone is extremely unforgiving, putting plenty of stress on your joints, knees and ankles. Spend too many years on the sidewalk, and you may start to experience injuries. Whenever you can, jog on asphalt or grass. Beach sand is also a good cushion -- and you're usually guaranteed a scenic waterfront view. However, running in sand requires twice as much energy as running on pavement, so make sure you're up for the challenge [source: Fishman].

Keep reading to find out how to take your workout under the sea.