Good morning guys!
How’s your week been? Mine has flown by thanks to Monday having been a holiday, and I know that the US celebrates Memorial Day this Monday (lucky!) so I hope those of you state-side have some fun things planned. I’ve been out on some epic, gorgeous runs along Vancouver’s Sea Wall lately and I’m planning to squeeze a couple more in, plus a hike and some relaxation time. If a run is on your agenda too, I think you’ll like today’s workout!
Work It Out
Think about the last 5 runs you’ve been on. They might have been on the treadmill or outside, morning or night, with a workout buddy or on your own. Do you remember what pace you ran at? I’m not necessarily talking about the exact pace that your watch recorded, but effort-wise, was it easy? Moderate? All-out crazy hard?
I don’t know about you, but before I started working with a coach and learning about how to train using heart rate zones, I almost always ran at one speed. It was a comfortably uncomfortable (more on the uncomfortable side) pace that I was too stubborn to try to train slower than. A knock-on effect was that when I needed to push hard, I wasn’t able to reach my full potential because my body was already tired. Long story short, I’ve learned the importance of contrasting intensities in order to get better results, and so far in my training, the results have been really positive. It’s just a matter of trusting the process.
Variation is really important when it comes to making progress in any sport, especially running. Steady-state runs ALL the time when done at the same speed aren’t going to get you very far, just like only doing hill repeats wouldn’t get you far. (It would however, get you really efficient at one part of the sport that many people loathe. And you’d have great glutes.) I’m always most tempted to run at the same old speed during longer runs, but if you (like me) get bored of doing the same old same, grab your iPod because we’re going to shake things up with a run matched to a killer playlist.
The Run To A Faster Beat Workout
While most of my outdoor runs are music-free, tunes are a super easy way to get me motivated to hit those higher intensities when the time comes. Whether you’re doing this workout indoors or out, the instructions for each song are really simple. For most, you’ll default to whatever speed feels like it’s around 6 out of 10 on a RPE (rate of perceived exertion) scale.
There are 4 blocks where you’ll hit some harder intervals and since they’re short (less than 1 minute each), make sure you give them the effort they deserve. When do you hit those intervals? Don’t worry – you don’t need to know the songs or watch a clock. I’ve chosen ones with distinct choruses that will make it very obvious when to pick up the pace. ALL of the hard work efforts happen during a chorus, and don’t you worry, we’ll get to the actual songs in a minute.
Need a Rate of Perceived Exertion chart? Here you go!
Turn It Up
Now about that playlist! Here it is:
As you can see, I’m mixing things up today with a Spotify playlist for you, one that I created for New Balance to celebrate the launch of the new Fresh Foam Zante, a road running shoe that I currently have 2 pairs of because I like them so much. In fact, the Fresh Foam Zante was recently awarded the title of 2015 Road Running Shoe of the Year by Competitor Magazine, as well as 2015 Best in Class by Triathlete magazine. That’s kind of a big deal!
Under all the flashy colour you see on the outside is an inner bootie that hugs your foot and keeps it feeling secure. If it could talk, it’d be like “I GOTchu!” The Fresh Foam Zante also has just the right amount of cushion and of springy-ness (I’m obviously all about the technical terms), and compared to other shoes with the same amount of support, it’s really lightweight.
What’s that? A contest!?
Yes my friends! New Balance is hosting a pretty epic contest that you definitely want to get in on! All you need to do is go over to freshfoamzante.ca and submit a Spotify playlist of 5 or more songs. If you win, they’ll hook you up with $1000 worth of New Balance gear (so you can #RunToAFasterBeat in style!), plus a trip for two to a North American music festival of your choice. The winner will be announced in July, so hop on over and get your tunes submitted!
So tell me…
- What music has been getting you super pumped up during your runs lately?
- Do you find yourself training in one gear all the time? Or, are you fairly good about constantly switching things up?