The great thing about running is that just about anyone, anywhere can do it. As the temperatures heat up across the U.S., now is as good of a time as any to lace up and get out there. But, if you want to make progress and still keep it fun, variety is going to be crucial to keep things fun and challenging. Many of the workouts require a set distance, but you don’t need access to a track make it easy to map distance so you can do these workouts anywhere. With these run workouts, you’ll be ready to toe the starting line in no time-or, you can use them to just get outside and run.
1. Explosive hill sprints
Why it works: Hill workouts help develop power by working your “alactic” energy system—your source of quick sprinting energy, Bradshaw says. They’re meant to be an all-out effort. “Form is crucial; you should be thinking about hands pumping cheek to cheek, and your knees driving up,” Bradshaw says. “Your arms set the pace. If you can’t move your arms, you’ll slow down significantly.”
How to do a hill workout: Sprint for 10-20 seconds up an incline outdoors or on a treadmill grade that’s comfortable but challenging, Bradshaw says. You don’t need to find the steepest hill around—it can be a gradual incline. Then, as you get stronger and more able to truck through these, you can increase the incline. Considering how intense this (and other hill sprint workouts like it) is, only do one or two of these sessions per week. Beginners start with just one.
Beginner: Complete 3-5 reps. “Remember, this is pure explosiveness, so it should be difficult,” Bradshaw says. You can always increase the time for fewer reps, too. Completely recover between reps. Take about 3-5 minutes in between.
Advanced: Complete 5-6 reps, taking 3-5 minutes rest in between each rep.