» Blog
» Three Ways to Revamp Your Running Routine
Three Ways to Revamp Your Running Routine

All too often we have clients at Elite Sports Medicine & Physical Therapy with the goal of beginning a running routine. However, many times those people talk about how boring running can be, so they have a hard time sticking to it.

Today we want to share with you three ways you can change up your running routine to not only enjoy it more, but improve your endurance without even thinking about it.

1. Find A Running Buddy

Often times individuals step into a new running routine solo, which is great! However, sometimes we as humans struggle to stick to a new habit by ourselves because we do not have outside accountability. Finding a friend or family member to join you on your runs is a great idea.

Having someone alongside you will not only get you to show up when you’d otherwise find an excuse to skip your run, but it will also keep your mind from focusing on how far you have left to go once you are running! In fact, we have people tell us that once they find a person to exercise with, they end up enjoying it more and going longer and harder than anticipated.

Before you know it you and your running buddy will surpass goals you had for your runs, whether they were time specific, or distance.

2. Running At A Local Park

You may be surprised at how fast time flies when you are running in a new, scenic area…
While it is sometimes the most convenient to hop on a treadmill at the gym, run around a local track, or around your own neighborhood it can get rather redundant. Switching up your location, especially when it is somewhere as peaceful as a park, can hit the “refresh” button on your running routines.
Here are a few of our favorite running spots in the Kansas City/Johnson County area...

  • Loose Park
  • WWI Memorial
  • Antioch Park
  • Shawnee Mission Park
  • Tomahawk Trail in Tomahawk Park in Leawood

Next time you try out a new running spot, be sure to compare your times with those done at the gym or in your neighborhood. You may be surprised at your improvements!

3. Try A Run/Walk Combo

Implementing a Walk/Run combination into your typical running routine can bring a few benefits…

Have you ever been on a run and while your body felt fine, you simply didn’t feel like running anymore so you walked? Or maybe the incline got steeper so you chose to walk instead of push yourself to get up it. We are all guilty of it…

However, when we define times in our running routine that we walk rather than run, we begin to view walking as something that is apart of our training, rather than a crutch. We also improve our running mindset because we have a reward waiting for us at the end of our effort. Suddenly, we are pushing ourselves past what we previously thought we were capable of, which leads us to the next benefit…

We can increase our endurance. When we push ourselves out of comfort zones, we grow. And when we push our physical health out of our comfort zones, we get faster, better, and stronger. When we are commit to running for a period of time, we end up pushing ourselves in moments we may not otherwise. Additionally, the bit of recovery our body receives during walking intervals allows us to push harder once our next round of running begins!

So what’s the best Run/Walk Ratio?

There is no one-size-fits all, and if you do the same one every run your mind and body will begin to get use to it.

Good news! You can create your own ratio, but we encourage you to push yourself! So if you are an advanced runner, don’t simply do a 1:1 minute ratio for running-to-walking.

Here are a few that you can try...
5:1 Ratio: Start with a 5-10 minute jog or brisk walk, then...

  1. Run for 5 minutes
  2. Walk for 1 minute
  3. Repeat for time goal

When you are completing an interval run/walk combo such as the one listed above, your goal should be to make each 5 minute run a little faster and tougher than the 5 minutes you previously ran.

Once you have completed your goal, be sure to finish with a light jog, or walk to cool-down. This should last at least 5 minutes, but can be as long as 10 minutes.

Pyramid Climb Run: Begin with a 5-10 minute jog or brisk walk, then…

  1. Run for 5 minutes
  2. Walk for 2 minutes
  3. Run for 7 minutes
  4. Walk for 2 minutes
  5. Run for 9 minutes
  6. Slow down to a jog or brisk walk to cool down for 10 minutes

With Pyramid Runs you can make it your own. For example, maybe you try running for 4 minutes, then 8 minutes, and then 12 minutes. Or you can add another 2 minute walk, and increased timed run. So for the Ladder Climb we gave as an example, you could run for 11 minutes to finish.
Another option would be to not only "climb up the pyramid” but to “climb down” once you reach the peak. For example you can Climb Up & Down The Pyramid

  1. Run for 4 minutes
  2. Walk for 2 minutes
  3. Run for 6 minutes
  4. Walk for 2 minutes
  5. Run for 8 minutes
  6. Walk for 2 minutes
  7. Run for 6 minutes
  8. Walk for 2 minutes
  9. Run for 4 minutes

Finish by spending 5-10 minutes cooling your body down by walking or jogging lightly. 

We hope you enjoy switching up your running routine with these three tactics. We would love to hear your feedback of the improvements and increased enjoyment you experience as a result. Send us a message on social media to let us know!