With the latest thaw it’s easier to get moving outdoors, now you just have to keep
it up! Here are a few tips to beat the boredom from our fitness experts David Hare (Strength and
Conditioning Coach) and Peter Mathews (Multiple Cross Country Champion of Ireland).
“So you’ve started running or walking. Here are a few simple techniques to keep your walking or
running program interesting that will also increase fitness, improve muscle tone and aid fat loss.
Option 1: Find a Hill and Use It.
To break up your usual run/walk, find a decent hill, and run/walk up the hill at speed for 30 seconds,
before jogging/walking slowly back to where you started. Repeat this 6-8 times depending on your
fitness. This is a great way to increase speed (running) and fitness as well as leg strength. Also,
you’re more likely to use your bum and hip muscles in this way, so you’ll improve muscle tone.
Option 2: Up the Pace.
A Tempo run/walk means you’re moving faster than your normal pace, but not sprinting (if you’re
running) as you should be able to hold ‘tempo pace’ for up to 5 minutes.
Try this program in the middle of your run or walk: After 10 minutes of easy work (normal pace),
increase your pace to tempo pace for 5 minutes and then reduce your pace back down to easy levels
for 2 minutes. Repeat this 4 times. You should have done 4x5minutes of tempo.
Listen to your body and don’t overdo it at the start.
Option 3: Intervals.
When fitness levels start to improve, challenge yourself with intervals. You should warm up for 10
minutes (at easy pace) just to prepare the body beforehand.
Go flat out (sprint) for 10 seconds, then slow right down for 30 or 40 seconds (depending on your
fitness levels) to recover. Repeat this 8 times. Remember it should be difficult, but not impossible,
so listen to your body.
The basic interval ratio should be one part work to three parts rest i.e. 1:3. As you get fitter, that
will come down to 1:2. It’s hard work BUT it’s far more efficient at burning fat and improving overall
fitness. Interval Training is shorter, sharper and smarter.