I have never been a fan of running. I started running in University as part of my rugby training program. I always need good music or good conversation to keep me going. I’ve always loved the idea of running, in theory. No equipment. Just you, and a road. In practice I find it hard to get motivated to go for a run, and stay motivated throughout. My mind spends most of the run trying to convince me to quit. I have found a way around it though. One is trail running. The other is interval running. Breaking up the run into short segments. This way I trick my mind into thinking I only have to run for 2 minutes. And then I get a break. Running for 2 minutes is not hard. My mind can stay focused for those 2 minutes. The end is always near. I break up the run by doing body weight exercises for 1 minute between the 2 minute intervals. This simple trick allows me to run for longer periods of time then if I was just simply running.
The Urban Burpee Challenge.
I love burpees. I’m weird that way. I think it is one of the best full body exercises out there. You can make it easy by walking your feet into the pushup position, and you can make it harder by adding a tuck jump. Yesterday my plan was to do the Spartan Training #2, which you can read here, but instead I went a little rogue. My interval timer kept on stopping and it was driving me CRAZY so I decided to break up the run on my own.
Here is the workout:
Start running. If you see stairs, run up and down them. If you see a bench, do 20 step ups or box (bench) jumps. If you get tired of running and need a break, get down and do 10-20 pushups. Now here is where the urban burpee challenge comes in. I realized that there are Burpee timers all over the city. Most folks call them “cross walk lights” but they are burpee timers to me. If you are running and you get to road to cross there are three options:
1) Green light: Easy. Run across.
2) Yellow light: You can sprint to cross the road or you can slow down and go to option 3.
3) Red Light: Do Burpees until the light turns green. If you watch the burpee timer it will count down how much time you have to complete your burpees. Don’t stop until it gets to 0.
It is amazing how many burpees you can get in on a red light.
Some of you might think this is nuts. That’s ok. You guys are probably the type who would rather run then do burpees. But for all you weirdos like me, who would rather do stairs, pushups, step-ups, or burpees, this workout is for you. It breaks up what would be a boring long run. And you get a full body workout.
For those of you in Ottawa, the best place to do this run is down the canal and then behind the parliament buildings. Lots of benches, green grass, and stairs (I especially like the never ending stairs behind the parliament buildings) to do all the exercises. And if you cut back through downtown you get lots of chances to do burpees. Lots of burpee timers.
Some of you might be thinking… Everyone will be staring at me weirdly when I am on the corner doing burpees… To that I say… yes, yes they will… they will be staring because they think you are crazy… they will also be secretly wishing they had the strength and the courage to to it too.
Try it. It’s fun, at least for weirdo’s like me… and please let me know if you do. I would love to hear your urban burpee stories.