Several Alternatives to Basic Running on Streets

If you as a runner complete all your workouts through basic running on streets, then your workouts may have become a bit stale or boring. There are several alternatives to basic running on streets that will add some variety to your workouts. Here are five of them.

Alternative # 1 – Run with a jump-rope on streets.

Jumping rope is a time-honored training technique used by boxers. Assuming that the streets on which you run are reliably free of debris, you may want to try moving down them by jumping rope. Just remember that you effectively make your "personal space" much bigger by swinging your jump rope. For example, watch out for overhanging branches that could get caught by your rope.

Alternative # 2 – Skip on streets.

Skipping on streets gives you several ways to bust the boredom from running on streets:

  • Skipping works muscles differently than does running.
  • Skipping can make others smile, which can make you smile.
  • Skipping can require more concentration than your running requires, especially if you rarely skip.
  • Skipping can remind you of when you were a child, which can trigger a flood of childhood memories that can certainly distract you from your workout.

Just be careful to wear good shoes and socks and to lace your shoes snugly against your feet (to help prevent blisters from the start-stop motion of skipping).

Alternative # 3 – Walk on streets.

Unless you are a slow runner and a fast walker, sometimes walking on the streets on which you usually run will give you more time to appreciate everything that those streets have to offer.

  • You will have more time to smell the roses and other flowers along the way.
  • You will have more time to notice beautiful landscaping.
  • You will have more time to chat with residents as you pass by them on residential streets.
  • You will have more time to listen to pedestrians on urban streets – such as in a downtown district.

Alternative # 4 – Carve on streets.

"Carving" is the name given to leaving left and right while holding onto the handlebars of, and thereby propelling forward, a three-wheeled vehicle that looks like a cross between a tricycle and a skateboard. Carving engages the entire body, is faster than running, and puts your head above where it is when you are standing or running.

Alternative # 5 – Constantly vary your stride as you run on streets.

Try changing your stride – the distance between when one shoe hits the street and the other shoe hits the street – to various strides that are different than your normal stride when you run on streets. For example, if your typical stride is three feet, then try changing it for one block to two feet, and then change it again – to, say, 3.5 feet – for the next block. This will force you to concentrate on your stride, which will reduce your boredom.

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