How to refresh your run and keep training interesting

With the routes you can run limited to those on your doorstep, it can be easy to let your running stagnate during lockdown. If your motivation’s wavering, try these running goals to keep things interesting.

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Find a new street to run down each day

With lockdown making it tough to run further afield, we’re all getting sick of pounding the same old streets. But you can still go exploring from your own doorstep. Just turning left instead of right and running your usual route backwards will mix things up.

It’s a good time to find all those hidden treasures in your neighbourhood, too. Check out Google maps, pick a street you’ve never run down before or a park you’ve never visited and go off on an adventure. Even if all you discover is another street that looks just like yours, the change of scenery will keep things interesting.

If lockdown goes on long enough, maybe you could tick off every road in your town.

Race yourself

Missing parkrun? You don’t need an official , you can use NURVV to help you beat your run faster.

Just open the Pace Coach feature and find a past run covering the distance you want to tackle. Now move the slider to set your goal finish time. As you run, Pace Coach provides live audio and visual cues, giving you guidance on your cadence – how many times your feet hit the ground each minute – and step length to help you match your target pace and reach your goal time. Check out our guide to using Pace Coach to run faster here.

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Improve your Running Health score

How’s your Running Health looking?

NURVV’s unique feature crunches the data on your running habits, including your training load and key areas of technique such as pronation and cadence, to give you a benchmark score. Along with an easy to understand graph, your score lets you know how sustainable your running is and helps you monitor your progress over time.

Set yourself a target of boosting your score by one or two points each week. Any areas for improvement are highlighted in the app with tips, guidance and drills to help you progress. Reckon you can hit the perfect 100 by Christmas?

Set yourself a distance goal

Having something to aim at can help keep us motivated, so set yourself a mini distance goal in lieu of races. Maybe you want to hit 20 miles in a week, perhaps your goal is to cover 200km in a month, or you might want to add a mile to last week’s total.

Whatever you choose, make your goal SMART to help you achieve it. If you pick a goal that’s too vague, or you have no plan on how you’re going to get there, you’re setting yourself up for failure.

A favourite with running coaches, the SMART method stands for:

  • Specific – rather than saying something hazy like I want to run more, pick a specific distance
  • Measurable – track your progress using NURVV
  • Achievable – don’t pick a goal that’s too ambitious. You’re more likely to fail and could increase your injury risk. NURVV’s Training Load feature will help you choose an appropriate distance based on your running history.
  • Relevant – make your goal relevant to you, choose your own distance rather than doing what everyone else’s doing
  • Time based – set a deadline to meet your target. Whether it’s a week, month or a specific date, having a sense of urgency can be motivating
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Throw in a new session once a week

Mix things up and help boost your strength and speed with a different session once a week. Try some of these for size:

Track workouts – you don’t need a track to do a track workout, just find a stretch of quiet road, maybe a path in the park, that you can measure the distance of, and get to work. Track sessions help boost your speed and mental strength, preparing you to keep running when things get tough.

Hill workouts – most runners have a love/hate relationship with hills – the love bit is usually on the descent. Hill sessions are great for building strength and making running on the flat seem much easier, though.

For a really simple hill session, jog to a hill, run up hard for two minutes, jog down to recover, repeat 5-10 times.

Fartlek – Swedish for speed play, fartlek sessions let you mix up high and low intensity running. You can work to set times, say two minutes fast, one minute easy, or you can make it up as you go along.

For a bit of fartlek fun, when you’re running with music, speed up during the chorus and recover with a slower pace during the verse. If you listen to running podcasts, throw in a 10 second sprint every time they say ‘run’, it’s like a drinking game but without the hangover.

Check out more workouts designed to improve your speed and endurance here.

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