At last, ladies and gentleman, Binghamton has sunlight! For those of you with similar weather conditions to upstate New York — AKA the depressing, cloud-covered land of rain, frizzy hair and Vitamin D deficiency — I hope the sun has reached you as well. Now that Spring is actually here – meaning we actually have, like, I don’t know, warmer temperatures and blue skies, you certainly won’t catch me indoors. So for those of us less fortunate than the lucky ladies down South or perhaps in California, taking advantage of the weather is a must, and also a perfect chance to take our workout outdoors.
While we can certainly take some of our favorite cardio routines outside, why not try something new and create your own interval workout? We already know the benefits of interval training and how awesome it is for burning fat and leaning out our muscles, but check out this ShapeU post for a quick reminder of just how amazing interval workouts really are.
If you have access to a track, intervals can be simple, running a straight-away and jogging a curve. But if you’re looking to run on a trail, at a park, or around your neighborhood, incorporating intervals can be a little tricky — this is why music is not just great to pump you up, but also to use as a tool in designing your workout. Most songs have different beats per minute, which translates into different speeds, so songs with lower beats per minute will be slower, and great for a warm up, cool down, or walking. By the same token, higher beats per minute will be faster, getting your heart rate up with fast running or all-out sprints. By putting together a playlist with songs that vary in beats per minute, you can create a workout for your favorite trail or route that can include easy intervals, making your workout more effective, and a lot less boring. With intervals and constantly changing music, you can keep the momentum of your run going strong, instead of getting bored and tired at a constant pace.
Wondering how exactly to create a playlist and plan your intervals to go with it? Well, here you go:
Step 1: Running Route Figure out your route: this includes distance and how much time you want your run to be. You can use Map My Run or download one of these awesome apps from Lifehacker’s Five Best Smartphone Running Apps.
Step 2: Music To pick out your music, use this simple guide to beats per minute (BPM).
Step 3: Intervals Once you see your options for music and know the route you want to take, you can start designing your interval workout! Think of what you want to include: Is it walking and jogging? Maybe jogging and sprinting? You can even include all three, in the form of a pyramid workout!
Step 5: Put it Together Consider the distance and duration you’re looking to achieve and add in songs that will bring you to the right timing: if you have a four mile route, and you want to walk and jog, you’ll be alternating between 125 and 150 BPM, meaning your speed will vary between 3.5 and 5.5 miles per hour, so you’ll come out somewhere between the two, finishing your route in a little under an hour.
Not sure what music to use? Check out this awesome website to get started!
And there you have it! It’s pretty simple really, but don’t be afraid to mix it up! Walk, jog, run, or sprint as often or as little as you want. Set up the songs and intervals that work best for your, and make sure the distance you’re running will work with your workout plan! Try it out and switch it up to keep things interesting. And of course, enjoy the sunshine!