Want to make cardio a bit interesting?
Maybe you need a little kick in the butt or want to up your cardio work a bit. Here’s a solid workout that you can ramp up or down as you need or add in as a first or second workout to your regimen. It’s not fancy, but performed at a solid pace sequence without rest, you will be feeling it by the last burpee!*
Mile 1 (Warm up to 50% effort)
Use this mile as a warm up and gear up to just about 50% your race pace effort before hitting the first exercise. You should be primed after that to jump into your upper gears for the remainder of the workout.
Ex 1 – Mountain Climbers x 100
A standard exercise, make sure you keep your core tight and low. The benefit is getting the knees up and forward toward the chest, as well as pacing the reps quickly (in other words, pump those knees!). If you have to stop for a quick breath that’s fine, just don’t rest too long if are able.
Mile 2 (70-75% effort)
Really get your cardio into gear. Even though it’s your second mile, you should be nice and geared up for the next several miles.
Ex 2 – Burpees x 25
This is your first gutcheck. But don’t pause too much and do your best to keep the non-stop pace and hammer this first set out before moving on to the next mile.
Mile 3 (60% effort)
Give yourself a mile to catch your breath and get your heart rate down just a bit. You are about 1/2 done so get your head around the next couple of miles.
Ex 3 – Squats x 25
Go right into this set of air squats. Going from a cardio movement to an anaerobic bodyweight exercise is a real challenge both on the legs, but also on the cardio system as well. Keep it steady and do your best to maintain a solid, even pace with good form (back straight and deep squat). Take breaks as you require.
Mile 4 (70-75% effort)
Take right off into the next couple miles, getting the blood moving out of those legs.
Ex 4 – Mountain Climbers x 100
This will be tough on the cardio, but just drop down and hammer them out as you are able. Rest as needed, but keep in mind the fastest pace you can get for this one.
Mile 5 (85% effort)
This is the last hard mile, so give it your best effort.
Ex 5 – Burpees x 25
This is your second gutcheck – give it your max effort before the final mile. Make it hurt for max benefit.
Mile 6 (Final mile 75% to 50% slow down)
Give this last mile a good first effort and then slow your pace down to about 50% effort for the last half, just to make sure your legs are ready for the final exercise.
Ex 6 – Squats x 25
The last exercise is intended to cap off the workout nicely, so make sure you give it your best effort. You can slow your pace slightly, but make sure your form is solid. Finished!
Some tips for this workout:
Tip 1: For an added kick…add in some elevation and gain. Alternatively, try alternating miles at race pace and training pace (70-75%). Give it a try on the trails or road for a nice gut check.