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Mixing up your run routine

Published 29 April 2020. Written by Chris Worfolk.

Woman running up stone stairs

As triathletes and endurance runners, we often run on a staple of long runs, tempo runs and recovery runs. Which is usually fine. But during all of this social distancing, the same few runs can get boring.

If you are struggling for motivation, here are some ideas for mixing up your routine.

Virtual races

Many events organisers are putting together virtual races: Ironman, Even Splits and It's Grim Up North Running to name a few. Some even involve a medal and a t-shirt, too. Signing up to a virtual event can give you some purpose and structure to your training.

If nothing takes your fancy, you could even organise something yourself. Personally, I'm planning a full distance triathlon that I'm provisionally calling Covidman.

Hill repeats

Many runners do hill repeats, but they can often get forgotten about if your A race is flat. The process is simple: find some hills, run hard on the way up and use the downhill as a recovery.

Strength runs

Think of this as a combination of an interval run and an obstacle course for your abs. Do a 10km run, and every kilometre stop to do 10 press-ups, crunches or maybe even a plank.

Intervals and fartleks

These two may already be part of your training programme, but if not, well worth considering. Intervals consist of specific periods of going hard and going easy, where fartleks involve mixing up the pace in a looser arrangement.

Stair climbs

If you live in a tower block, you can do this workout without even having to go outside. Start at the bottom and head up the stairs as fast as you can. The first five flights are easy: then it gets harder from there.

Strava art

If you fancy yourself as an artist, you could have a go at creating some Strava art. This requires quite a lot of planning, and a street layout or open countryside that allows you the right degree of freedom. But if you have a talent for drawing and running, this could kill a few days.


Sprints can be a lot of food. Sure, it's not clear what a triathlete needs with all of that anaerobic power. But with most races cancelled, now might be the time to do something totally unproductive but fun and challenging. It gets the body going while only having to work for 20 seconds at a time.