Outdoor Intervals

You guys know I’m quite a fan of interval workouts at the gym. The mixing of fast and slower recovery paces helps me fight boredom and totally kicks my booty at the same time.

But what if you want to do running intervals and you hate the treadmill? What if you don’t have a gym membership or are traveling and don’t have access to cardio equipment?

That’s when it’s time to hit the pavement for outdoor intervals!

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Today the thought of completing a cardio workout inside sounded completely dull. I wanted to take Sadie running outside, but also had the desire to change things up a bit.

Thought we completed our usual five mile loop, we spent the last two miles doing interval work.

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To do this, we ran at our normal pace and then when the chorus of a song began blasting on my iPod, we’d run at a much faster pace before returning to our normal pace once the chorus was over. It was tough!

This interval work could easily be altered into a less-intense workout by walking the verses of a song and then jogging or speed walking the chorus of the song if you’re just breaking into interval or running workouts. Or you could walk the verses and then sprint the choruses! There are clearly lots of different ways to do outdoor intervals.

Breakfast

When I arrived home from my run, I was hungry but didn’t want to make breakfast until Ryan got home from the gym.

About two weeks ago, I  received a package in the mail from Gatorade with samples from their G Series FIT line of lower-calorie products developed specifically for fitness-minded people to help them fuel before, during and after workouts.

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Even though I just finished a run, I wanted to try the 01 Prime Energy Bites, intended to be taken before a workout. I figured a quality combination of protein and carbs is always good, even after a workout, so I popped in a cranberry pistachio-flavored bite!

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Though it was a little dry, the flavor was good. I think these bites would be a great option for people who want to eat something before a workout, but don’t want to take a lot of time to prep or plan a meal.

The pop ‘n’ go style of the bites is very convenient! At only 50 calories a bite, I like how you can eat one or four, controlling your portion size. I tend to cramp up before a workout if I eat a ton, so limiting myself to one or two of these seems like a great way to get some energy without overloading my stomach.

Once Ryan came home, we took Sadie on a one-mile walk around our neighborhood before making his and hers strawberry banana smoothies.

nike pink running shorts 009Special thanks to Alyssa for this adorable glass! 

In the mix (for one smoothie):

  • 1 c. milk
  • 1 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1 c. strawberry banana Chobani Greek yogurt

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Oh gosh, this was so creamy!

Now that I have some food in my belly, Ryan and I are off to run some errands and sort through some stuff in preparation for our big move in a month an a half. We’re trying to get an early start on boxing up our belongings and cleaning so we’re not in a mad dash to do everything at the last minute. Hopefully being proactive will pay off!

Comments

  1. says

    Ohh I like this method of intervals! I never thought to use songs as an interval setter! That Smoothie looks super creamy even without the xantham gum- After the tshirts, I think a Smoothie bar is what you should get your hands into next:)

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  2. says

    I love completing running intervals in the way you describe. I’ll pick some intense songs that I know will kick my booty, and I’ll sprint during the chorus. It always gets my heart rate up, and it’s never boring!

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  3. Erin says

    Great advice on the outdoor intervals! That smoothie sounds perfect right now… It’s just been too hot! Starting to pack early really does help. Moving at the last minute is always way mote stressful!

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  4. Niki (Life's a Payne) says

    I always use songs for timing intervals on a spin bike… sometimes I will sprint through the course and relax on the verse for instance! I will have to try it for my outdoor runs!

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  5. ellalinea says

    I love love love this idea julie! I was recently thinking about doing some interval workouts outside but didn’t quite know how to because you can’t follow the treadmill schedule.. This is a great alternative and a fun way to keep workouts interesting! :)

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  6. caroline says

    Julie, I have to tell you that you have recently inspired me to introduce interval workouts into my routine. Right now I’ve been doing one 1x a week, and really enjoying it. I tried your 40 min interval workout on the treadmill that you recently posted, and omg, my legs were so sore the next day, but in a good way!

    thanks!

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  7. Holly @ pink runner says

    Intervals are always so tough but so good for you. I need to force myself to do them more often! I like the verse/chorus idea!

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  8. says

    My hubby and I had that same room…I HATED it because I’m not a pack rat! I had a hard time getting him to let some stuff go so I let it alone. Then we had two kiddos so he was able to then. No more room of crap lol. Thank goodness!

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  9. says

    I do that same thing — run faster for the song’s chorus, and at a normal pace for the rest of the song. Totally helps break it up!

    BTW– i saw the limbo post where you said you were moving… but where are y’all moving to?!?! Did i miss that announcement?!?!

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  10. Yolie @ Practising Wellness says

    Dude, that is such a great idea to do the outdoor intervals, it’s so nice to get outside when it is summery and enjoy the outdoors while working out! Two of my favourite things!

    Sadie must be so good and well-behaved to be able to run with her – that’s really rad! I tried running with my Westie Lily once and she was so perplexed and confused, and kept running under my feet…silly little polar bear ;-)

    Love that idea of incorporating intervals with music – it’s a really good idea and I am definitely going to give it a go next time I run. You’re right, intervals are wicked cool, boredom-busting, and they certainly DO kick you booty, lol! :-)

    Thank you for inspiring me so much to incorporate them into my workouts, I’ve been doing them so much more since reading your blog <3 xyx

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  11. Yolie @ Practising Wellness says

    PS: It was so sweet that you wrote “we” went for a run etc – i thought you meant me and ryan, but then realised it was me and sadie, lol! :-) xyx

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  12. says

    i love doing IPod driven intervals!

    I have a playlist in which I run during the songs, and during the 45-55 seconds of Dave Matthews Band instrumental, I walk/slow down. It is intense!

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  13. Stephanie says

    That`s a great way to do intervals outside! I didn`t even think of that. But in my non-creativity, I found that there are some great interval timer apps that you can get for itouches and iphones. The timer runs behind whatever music you`ve chosen and gives off alarm bells for high, low, medium and rest intervals. If you`re looking for more structured intervals, that`s a great way to go!

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