Some people love running. Heck, I find myself in periods of running-loving myself. To all you haters out there, from a likeability standpoint, I find that when you are out of season with your practice, it typically takes about 3 weeks of consistent running to get back into your groove. The first week you feel like your appendages weigh 1000 pounds, you can hardly breathe, and the thought of stepping outside seems like a chore that you don’t wanna do [stomps feet]. The second week, it starts to make sense. You get the whole “running-thing” and its appeal. You start gaining some momentum, speed, and consistency, but it still feels like exercise. By the third week, you’re in a groove. You actually want to run, and not even just that, but it’s engrained in you. You can’t wait to lace up those sneakers and find yourself bounding along the pavement lost in your thoughts, admiring the beauty that surrounds you, and embracing the pumping of oxygen surging through your heart, lungs, and muscles.

Alright, enough of that. So why wouldn’t someone want to run on a regular basis (other than the trifle It’s hard excuse). Well as you may have noticed at some point in your life, running can be rough on the hips, knees, and ankles. It’s an extended period of impact on your joints, especially when running on pavement or a treadmill. To add to this conundrum, your body is bound to adapt to the impact for the time being. Many a runner can relate to the experience of feeling initial discomfort when starting out on a run, pushing through it, and then feeling the repercussions ten-fold afterward. This is because our body acts appropriately to produce endorphins masking this physical discomfort, but underlying all of this was the initial physical pain which you discredited. 

In addition to being rough on the joints, running causes an excess release of cortisol, our stress hormone, and also the hormone that is associated with fat storage, particularly around the mid-section. Essentially what you’re telling your body is, “We’re in danger! Run!” Our ancestors were not used to running miles at a time to run away from danger, and as a result your body enters an extended period of cortisol being released, with the added bonus of contributing to accelerated aging and hormonal imbalance. 

So what’s the alternative? Well there are lots, and mixing up your workout can be highly beneficial– mix in some yoga, weight lifting, boxing, jumping rope, body work, etc. But if you want to get your run-kick without the standard 2- 6 mile daily run, try doing some interval training. Not only is this better for your hormonal harmony and joints, but it also burns fat more rapidly, melting off fat even into the next day. This can look like the following:IMG_8469

  • 2 minutes Warm Up
  • 15 seconds: Sprint
  • 45 seconds: Slow jog (or walk)
  • 15 seconds: Sprint
  • 45 seconds: Slow jog (or walk)
  • … (Repeat Sprint/slow 10 times)
  • 10- 20 minutes Cool Down (Slow jog or walk)

I found a great app I wanted to share. It’s called IntervalTimer, and you can time out your workout so that it notifies you when to sprint, when to jog, and when to cool down, all while playing your music in the background. 

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

Do you do intervals currently?

What do your intervals look like?

Do you notice a difference in your body composition or lifestyle factors after incorporating intervals in place of, or in combination with running or walking?

Please share below!

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