5 Best Summer Running Workouts

{By Taylor Cartee}

Whether you have a summer full of 5K and 10K races or you’re trying to cultivate healthy habits, summer is the perfect time to take your workouts outdoors.

Here are five outdoor running workouts to kick your summer fitness into high gear. Don’t forget a water bottle! I hate wearing sunblock, so I always wear a lightweight visor and sunglasses to protect my face.

best summer running routines

Pyramid Scheme

This 20-minute workout is great for new and more experienced runners alike. Push hard during the running intervals and walk or jog for recovery. The shorter the running interval, the faster your pace should be.

Run Hard Walk/Jog
Interval 1 2:00 1:00
Interval 2 3:00 1:00
Interval 3 4:00 2:00
Interval 4 3:00 1:00
Interval 5 2:00 1:00

School’s Out

Many public schools have easily accessible stadiums, and bleachers are a great way to mix up your usual routine. You can run up every other step, or focus on quick feet and hit every step. To work on your lateral strength, turn sideways: with your right side towards the step, cross your left leg over and use it to power you up. Make sure you switch directions to work both sides evenly! For a plyometric workout, do single or double leg hops up the bleachers (be sure to land lightly and don’t let your knees cave in!) and jog down.

best summer running workouts

The Classic

Hit a the track at a local high school and try the tried and true speed workouts that runners have loved to hate!

A full track is 400m, and each side (or curve) is 100m. If you’re new to running, try the “Three by One”: Run 300m, walk or jog 100m If you want a crazy high intensity workout, try 10×100: sprint the straightaways at 100% effort, then walk or lightly jog the curves. Repeat for five laps of the track (ten 100m intervals). “400s” are another classic workout. Start with 4-5 intervals of 400m hard running followed by 1 minute of walking or light jogging. Challenge yourself and add an extra interval every week or two, depending on your fitness level.

Fartlek

Don’t mind the funny name, which is derived from a Swedish word meaning “speed play.” This classic running workout lets you play with speed, listen to your body, and have some fun with your surroundings. Fartlek runs are free-form and based on your surroundings. For example, you could warm up with a light jog for several minutes, then choose to pick up your pace until a certain mailbox in the distance. From there you might jog again, and then sprint the distance between two distinct trees that you see. This is great for both new and experienced runners, because it trains your body to perform at a variety of paces, keeps your mind engaged and more in tune with your body.

Hit the Court

Find an outdoor basketball or tennis court and use the line to run “suicides.” On a basketball court, start at the baseline (under the basket) sprint to the free throw line, back to the baseline, to the half court line, back to the baseline, to the far free throw line, back, etc. On a tennis court, just substitute the service line for the foul line. For an active recovery, add core workout like planks, side planks, or push-ups in between sprints.

What’s on your summer workout schedule? Share your thoughts by commenting below! 

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