Running outdoors can be far more enjoyable and challenging than running on a treadmill. On a treadmill, you can simply lock your pace in, and run at a rhythm, thereby negating the challenge of managing your pace. Furthermore, the “terrain” will remain the same. The unevenness of running outdoors will expend more energy, more calories, and force you to work more of your core. In fact, the rule of thumb is typically that a 1.0 incline on a treadmill, most closely reflects the difficulty of running outdoors. The treadmill can be a fantastic tool for interval training, but if your goal is to improve your endurance, then you should aim to get outdoors and hit the road.
Please see below for 8 great ways to improve your outdoor running:
1. Plan your route beforehand
Before your run, spend some time planning your route. Do you want a scenic run? Do you mind pedestrians and busy roads? Do you have a certain distance you want to cover? Having a plan will mean a far more enjoyable run and less time wasted during your workout trying to figure out where to go next.
2. Pre-workout Drink
Try a black coffee beforehand. Caffeine will serve as a great morning pick-me-up, helping to provide that extra energy to increase your stamina. Furthermore, it is proven that it can also increase fat-loss, which is especially great if that is your main fitness goal.
3. Consider running first-thing in the morning
The routes will be more deserted, motivation is normally higher, plus your metabolism is increased for the remainder of the day. Furthermore physiologically, the feel-good factor of an early morning workout will leave you less inclined to reach for those unhealthy, junk food snacks in the day.
4. Think through your musical playlist
Organise a great playlist. It is proven that music can improve your fitness endurance and enhance your workouts. You should time your favourite, energy boosting songs towards the end of your run, when you need that extra kick more!
5. Track your distance and times
Consider using apps such as MapMyRun which not only track the distance of your jog, but also update you on your time at every kilometre, and the pace of each split, so you can easily track your speed and your distance throughout. The added-benefit here is that, you can play your music while you have this app running.
6. Add variety to your Running Routes
There are multiple running trails outside of London that offer some the most stunning, panoramic views of the countryside, so there is no excuse to stick to the same track. Adding variety will curb boredom and enliven your jogs, to push you to better times and distances.
7. Attire is key
Running shoes are important –they can reduce the risk of injury and they will improve your running technique. If you are an avid runner, you should invest time and money in the right pair of running trainers for you. Stores such as Runners Need will analyse your style of running, and the shape of your feet, to help you to find the most suitable pair.
8. Warm down
Factor in additional time at the end of every run for your cooldown. We advise that you slow down to a walk for around 5 minutes, to bring your heart rate down slowly, before going through a set of stretching exercises. This alleviates the risk of injury, and improves your flexibility, which in turn, will keep you limber for your next run!