Variety is the spice of life

My favourite running podcast, Marathon Talk, had a great initiative in the lead up to Christmas called Advent Your Run. The concept was basically one idea each day to add something different to training and keep some motivation and inspiration going in the lead up to the festive season.

Personally I found these tips really useful and loved the variety that it bought to my running. The tips were originally posted on the Marathon Talk facebook page with one post each day, however for the sake convenience I have compiled them in a list below. I hope you find them as enjoyable as I did!

73050_10152282323585652_2081576853_nAdventYourRun Day 1 – Dec 1st. Make the final 5minutes of your run the fastest 5 of the run. Regardless of your run duration ramp it up for the 5minutes at the end.

Adventyourrun Day 2 – Dec 2nd. Β On the hilliest run route you can find include 20minutes where you work hard up every hill you run.

AdventYourRun – Day 3 – December 3rd. Do you stretch? Complete 10minutes of focussed, purposeful, controlled stretching exercises. Warm muscles stretch best.

AdventYourRun – Day 4 – December 4th. Complete 5x1minute runs where you focus on form, posture, balance and rythym. Feel light, strong and fast. Take 2minutes walk/jog between each.

AdventYourRun – Day 5 – December 5. Complete your planned run (or 30minutes) at a pace much slower than you’d normally run. Be disciplined and controlled. Less can be more.

AdventYourRun – Day 6 – December 6th. Don’t be a one paced plodder. Include 3x5minute clear changes of pace in your run. The paces must be different.

AdventYourRun – Day 7 – December 7th. Give yourself the gift of a quiet 10minutes. Write down why you run. List your top 5 reasons in no particular order πŸ™‚ Run or rest today, reflection is great for improvement.

AdventYourRun – Day 8 – December 8th. Take your run by the scruff of the neck. Whether you’re doing a training session, a race, a parkrun or solo smash up, take a risk, hit it from the start and enjoy the outcome πŸ˜‰

AdventYourRun – Day 9 – December 9th. Run somewhere new. Go exploring and find a few miles that are new to you. Enjoy!

AdventYourRun – Day 10 – December 10th. Keep a food diary making a note of everything you eat and drink in a 24hr period.

AdventYourRun – Day 11. December 11th. Over a continuous 20minute period run every 4th – 5th minute faster. Increase the intensity of your effort to ‘controlled discomfort’ or 85% effort.

AdventYourRun – Day 12 – December 12th. Support someone else. Read and recommend a running blog.

AdventYourRun – Day 13 – December 13th. Be disciplined. On a run on December 13th include a 20minute section completed at ‘tempo’ pace. That is around 70-75% effort. Hold back now – it shouldn’t feel flat out but controlled concentration! Enjoy.

AdventYourRun – Day 14 – December 14th. Wow, just 10 days to go! Post 1 idea here for a Christmas present for the runner in your life. (It could be something you’d like!). The runners Christmas gift list…

AdventYourRun Day 15 – December 15th. End your run or race with a full on sprint finish. Whether it’s you versus your nemesis or you versus you, get yourself a smackdown!

AdventYourRun – Day 16 – December 16th. On your run smile to yourself and think of someone who has helped you in some way to achieve your running aspirations.

AdventYourRun Day 17 – December 17th. Mix it up. Include a 20minute fartlek. Vary your pace between super easy and super fast in an unstructured way for the 20mins. Have fun with your running πŸ™‚

AdventYourRun – Day 18 – December 18th. Dial in to your top end! This one’s for those of you who love a little ‘controlled discomfort’. Include 3x7minutes of threshold paced running (80% effort) with 3minutes walk/jog recovery between each. A real Advent Christmas cracker for you.

AdventYourRun Day 19 – December 19th. On your run give yourself clear time to think about 1 thing in your running that you did this year that was a mistake. What went wrong and why? Then commit to yourself that you’ll take positive steps to change this next year. Identify one thing you’ll do differently.

AdventYourRun – Day 20. December 20th. Do a run as far as you like, as fast as you like. Don’t think, plan or analyse. No watch, time or pace. Just run

AdventYourRun – Day 21 – December 21st. Everyone can do this for sure. Rest. For those training demons out there you might find this tricky but a total day off will leave you feeling more sparky for the weekend. Rest = no running, no cross training, no stretching, no, nothing!

AdventYourRun – Day 22 – December 22nd. Run like you stole something. At any point in your Saturday run pick the pace up until your shifting like you’ve robbed something for 10minutes. Smile when you’re done.

AdventYourRun – Day 23 – December 23rd. Add 1 extra mile at the end of your run. During that mile think of 1 person you have connected with through your running. When you get back send them a message / text / FB or even better call them and wish them a Happy Christmas.

While some of them are very Christmas specific I think they can be adapted easy enough to any time of the year.

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