Whenever I go for a run, I can’t help but think of how much I hated running as a kid. I mean, remember when we all used to pretend we were sick in middle school just to get out of running the mile in gym class? Now, I love to run. My friends love to run. We actually PAY to run. We’ve learned that it’s easy to energize your running routines with the top 3 running programs below FOR FUN. Oh, how things have changed…
Nowadays, I get upset when I can’t run. This past year, for example, I hurt my knees and wasn’t able to run nearly as far or often as I was able to prior to my injury. It took a bit of a toll on both my mind and body because the form of exercise has really found a place in my heart.
I love listening to the beat of my footsteps, and sometimes even feel like they’re in sync with my heart beats (both pretty fast). It’s cool to see how open-minded I am while my feet and heart are sort of dancing with one another. I love the after feeling–you know, the feeling when you reached your goal and know that you pushed yourself to your full potential. It may sound crazy, but I even love the burn I feel in my legs when my feet start feeling like they turned into bricks. That’s what gets me to that after feeling–that post-run “high”.
With that being said, you can probably guess how upset I was when running was causing me loads of knee pain, both during and after my runs. Thankfully, my knees are feeling better and I’m getting back into the sport of running in all different ways.
I used to get so bored of running on the treadmill when I first started running years ago. It just seemed so monotonous and so…well, boring. It was the same thing every time I stepped on the treadmill: run 3 miles at the same speed, or run 5 miles at the same speed, or run 7 miles at the same speed. You get the picture. It was boring.
It wasn’t until these top 3 running programs that I started to fall in love with the heart-healthy form of cardio. That and the knowledge about running I obtained. I had no idea how beneficial running was to my health. I had no idea that it was such a great stress-reliever, an efficient way to fight off sickness, or so good for bone and joint health. And those are just some of the benefits. If you want to find out more, you should check out our 10 Reasons Running Is Good For You!
If I wasn’t able to convince you to lace up those running shoes of yours, grab a pair of headphones, put on some great tunes from our Ultimate Running Playlist, and either hit the trails, street, or treadmill, then that article on reasons running is beneficial to your health sure will! Once you’re ready to put in the work and make yourself healthier, you’re ready for these amazing running workout programs.
1. 21-Day Run/Walk Program for Fat Loss
This program is great for people like me who are getting back into running, or even people who are relatively new to running. As the title suggests, this program is 21 days long and is made up of cardio walking (brisk walking while swinging your arms back and forth as if you were jogging), jogging, and running. I love longer programs because they really push me to stick to them. I find it to be such a challenge to stick to something for, say, 21 days.
So, not only is this a great cardio challenge, but it’s also a great mind challenge. It’s programs like this one that have helped me to grow as a runner. When I first began running years ago, I struggled to run consecutively for 21 days. In fact, I will still probably find a challenge in doing so. But, just as before, it’s this mind challenge that will help me to get back to where I was before: running miles on miles on miles in one day.
It’s this mind challenge that will help me to start feeling that post-run high again. Throughout this program, I advise you to just keep telling yourself that the outcome will be worth it. That feeling that I can’t get out of my head (or stop talking about, for that matter) is one that will always be worth it. Just keep telling yourself that after those 21 days, you will be fitter, stronger, more energized, happier, and able to run further and faster than on day 1.
2. Tough Tread Interval Run
If I’m being honest with you here, I would much rather run outdoors than run on the treadmill. But, it’s sometimes pretty impossible to get that run in outside. I love the snow, but the last time I tried running in it, I ended up with numb toes and a scrape on my knee from slipping on ice.
Similarly, I love the summer. The last time I tried running in 90 degree weather, though, I ended up feeling like I was going to pass out. Oh, and let’s not forget how much I love the rain, but the last time I tried running in…wait, actually, I’ve never tried running in the rain! Something tells me it wouldn’t go very well for me.
And, luckily, I’ll never have to find out or run in the snow or killer heat again either! On days when the weather isn’t on my side, this treadmill interval running workout has my back. It has yours too!
It’s also great for my fellow antsy runners who tend to get bored easily while running on the treadmill. It’s the perfect way to energize your running routine because it combines steady jogging with sprinting. It also adjusts the incline of the treadmill. You’re never staying in the same mode for more than five minutes during the workout. This leaves no time for boredom to kick in. There’s only time for fun, sweat, and some serious burn (in a good way)!
3. Faster 5K Training Plan
Alright, so who DOESN’T want to beat their current 5K time?! I know I do! I’m always looking to improve my running speed, regardless of the distance.
Now, I know that if you’re an avid runner. You’re one of those people who goes for 10 mile runs at 6 o’clock in the morning and classifies them as “easy”. You might be thinking that improving your 5K time isn’t important. You may even think that running the 5K distance is too easy. What I have to say to you is that starting out small is never a bad idea. It’s always a good idea to work your way up so you can ensure that you don’t cause yourself an injury.
If you still think that the 3-mile distance isn’t challenging enough, then increase your miles within the workout plan! You don’t have to stick to just 3 miles. If you’re wondering if 3 miles is going to be too challenging for you, then decrease the distance. You can always slow it down and then work your way up by giving the plan a second shot after completing it one time through!
This plan can help you to run faster regardless of the mileage. As long as you’re pushing yourself to your full potential, getting sweaty, and having fun with it, you’re doing it right!
You owe yourself that. You owe it to both your body and your mind to better your overall health and well-being. So, why not give your body and mind what it needs and give these running workouts a try? You won’t be sorry that you learned to energize your running routine with these top 3 running programs!
Plus, starting a new running challenge is just an excuse to buy new running clothes. If you’re running outside during the chilly winter months, check out How to Shop Smart for The Perfect Winter Gear for Runners, and get running AND shopping!