6 Interval Running Workouts For When You Just Don’t Feel Like It

Fartlek, sprints, pick ups, push paces, intervals, death. Whatever you call them it’s not secret how much I love running intervals and how important I think they are for your cardio, running, and overall health. But, sometimes, you just don’t want to run fast. After all, why pick up the pace when you could just lope along comfortably for the duration of your run?

Running Running

Well, when you have an interval workout scheduled, and are just not getting the motivation to make it happen, there are a few quick runs you can complete to still get all the benefits of fast running (or walking!).

These interval runs appeal to me because 1) the pick ups are short duration, 2) they take little thought, and 3) they still kick my butt!

Aim for 12-18 minutes of fast running for each interval workout if you’re focused on a 5k. It’s enough time and distance to get your body used to fast running, but not so much that you’re going to fatigue your muscles.

Please make sure you warm up by lightly jogging, or fast walking, for 5-10 minutes and then stretching any tight areas before starting the sprints. 

1. 4 Tabatas. Complete one, full 4-minute tabata, pushing the pace on the 20 seconds “on”. Move at an easy pace for 2-3 minutes and then complete another full, 4-minute tabata. Repeat this pattern for a total of 4, full tabatas. 20 seconds may not sound like much, but they will get you!

Tabata Run

2. 10 x 60 Second Push Paces. Whatever your distance for the day is (2+ miles), pick up the pace for 60 seconds as you feel like it. Go back to your easy pace for at least 30 seconds between each push.

3. Increasing Seconds Interval Workout. This one starts you out with a short interval and slowly builds you up mentally and physically. The minute push pace doesn’t seem too bad when you finally get to it.

Increasing Seconds Interval Workout

4. Short Focus Interval Workout. The minute push will feel a bit long, but after a few, you will hardly notice it.

Short Focus Interval Workout

5. Short Interval Workout for that Finishing Kick. Another workout that starts you off short and builds you up. Once you hit that second 2 minute push pace though, you’re home free!

Short Interval Workout for that Finishing Kick

6. 10-20 x 30 second Push Paces. This is one of my favorites for when I really can’t get motivated and muster up a full 12-18 minutes of fast work. It’s quick, and I can do anything for 30 seconds. Move at an easy pace for 60 seconds between each one.

RQ: What is your favorite type of interval workout – format or distance?


Tall Tales Tuesday: Conquering the Descent in Black Canyon of the Gunnison

A couple years before Rob and I moved to Vietnam, we took a road trip through Colorado and Utah to explore. We spent three weeks on the road, living out of my Ford Explorer and tents, showering when we could, and hiking every trail we could find.

One of those trails happened to be in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. A National Park known for it’s steep, severe, black walls that appear forbodding and unwelcoming.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison

While there is a rim trail you can follow, we were after river access. Not to swim or anything, but just to get to the river and look up at the massive walls that make the canyon so spectacular. While there are a few different routes to get to the river, we opted for the Gunnison Route since we were staying on the South Rim and it was closest to our campsite.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison River Hike

Here is how the trail is described:

Gunnison Route Description

Now, let’s review. The description is recommending 2 hours for a 1 mile walk. Two hours for what a normal trail would take 20-30ish minutes for most people. In addition, it claims a 1,800 foot drop in elevation in the course of 1 mile. That is no joke.

Rob Descending the Gunnison Route

What this description fails to mention is that the trail is mostly just sand over rock. No footholds, no handholds. Or, that the bottom half of the trail is minimally maintained so you’re bushwhacking at overgrown foliage and guessing at direction.

To this day, every steep trail Rob and I tackle, we compare to the Gunnison.

The trail in which we hung onto roots, trunks, and low branches to try and control ourselves while descending, and then to find something solid to help pull ourselves back up. The trail in which another pair of hikers came flying around a corner saying they saw a bear cub two steps off the trail: a sure sign that mama bear was lurking somewhere nearby. There was no where to go if we made her mad. The trail in which a young group of Mennonites went speeding passed me in no-track Keds. The trail in which I had to sit down for a full 10 minutes and wipe away tears until my uncontrollable shaking subsided.

Descending the Gunnison

The trail we would definitely attempt again if given the chance because the view from the bottom is so, completely worth it.

Bottom of the Gunnison

RQ: Steep trails: yay or nay?

9 Questions to Ask to Stop Being So Tough On Yourself and Start Embracing How Far You’ve Come

We live in a world of instants. Instant communication, instant coffee, instant results. In fact, much of the fitness industry is built on “instants”. Lose 10 pounds in 2 days, 24-hour detox, 6-pack in 6 minutes a day. All these thing promise quick results with little work.

Instant Fixes

As a trainer and health coach, these “instants” are extremely frustrating for both my clients and I. For my clients, because they expect to see instant changes in their physique, behavior, and attitude. For me, because I have to teach patience, process, and hard work.

On top of the frustration with not getting instant results, comes the feeling of failure. The feeling of, “Well, I put in a little work, but I’m not seeing the results right now, so I must be a horrible, terrible, no good, very bad person who can never achieve what I want.”

This is the mentality that spurred me to become a health coach in the first place. This is the reason I focus on women’s health and fitness. This is (one of) the reason I write this blog.

Instead of getting so, incredibly negative about yourself – about those 3 pounds you lost and then put back on, about that too-much coffee habit you kicked and then relapsed with, about the increase in calories you achieved and then restricted again – ask yourself the following questions.

Spend time with each of them. Mull them over. Be honest with yourself. And then embrace how far you have come on this health journey and how strong, inspiring, and incredible you truly are.

1,000 Step Cave

The questions are listed here, but I highly recommend using this printable to work through them. It will help you work at your own pace, allow you to actually write down your answers, and be a reference for you as you continue moving towards your goals.

9 Questions to Ask to Stop Being So Touch On Yourself and Start Embracing How Far You've Come

1. What have you already changed, or created a healthier habit around, that you are proud of? Why are you proud of this?

2. In what ways do you feel empowered when you hit a health milestone?

3. What are your strengths when it comes to creating a healthier lifestyle for yourself?

4. What are you not willing to change yet? Why? What does this thing/behavior mean to you? What can you do in the meantime while you wait to be ready?

5. How are you getting in your own way? How can you step aside and stop sabotaging yourself?

6. In what ways are you too tough on yourself? How can you be more gentle?

7. What opportunities do you have in your life to make a change?

8. What is one, small thing you can do today to get you closer to your goal?

9. What encouraging words do you have for someone else on a healthier lifestyle journey? What encouraging words do you have for yourself?

You can find the printable with all these questions here.

If you would like to have a sounding board as you answer these questions, please feel free to email me at wreckingroutine@gmail.com. I would love to help you accept how far you’ve come and empower you to continue!

RQ: What behavior have you felt like a “failure” at recently? Which question stands out to you as the most pointed one in your life right now?