Enjoy the Outdoors

Posted on by BEAST Sports

 width=It’s April, which means it’s getting warm and beautiful here in North Carolina.  The trees have buds on them, flowers are blooming, pollen is filling my contacts and my lungs……all of the things I love about spring!! All kidding aside, spring is a gorgeous time of year in the South.  The humidity hasn’t hit yet, which makes this time of year ideal for taking my workouts outdoors.  After being cooped up inside all winter, I love having the freedom to roam around outdoors and play like a little kid.  The Raleigh-Durham area is a phenomenal place to live due to its proximity to all of the local colleges.  Duke, UNC, and NC State are all within a 20-30 minute car ride from my house, and all 3 Universities have outdoor tracks.  I ran track in high school, so my comfort zone is track workouts.  But, I’m not your typical track workout kinda gal.  Let me break down ye olde tracke for you: The oval: Run counter-clockwise in circles at a steady pace.  You will never, ever, ever see me doing this.  BUT….you can also run sprint interval ladders on the track, or you can do plyo/bounding exercises, which I’ll get to in a minute. The field: Typically, the track surrounds a football field.  Use the field to your advantage.  It is 100 yards long, and the yards are broken into 10 yard increments, which make running suicides pretty easy!  Sometimes soccer fields are surrounded by tracks, in which case you can use the hash marks on the soccer field to mark your suicides, as well. The stairs: Good old stair sprints.  Nothing builds a nice tush quite like them. So, as you can see, the possibilities are endless.  Don’t go to the track and feel like you have to run 3 miles in circles like a hamster.  Remember my articles about steady state cardio and how dumb it is?  Yeah, I practice what I preach.  My track workouts are short, sweet, and murderous.  Here are some of my favorites: THE OVAL Most tracks are marked, so you should be able to see where 100 and 200 are on the track.  Typically, 100 is the straightaway, and 200 hits you right after the 2nd curve.  50 would obviously be half of a straightaway. Ladders: One is short, one is long; both suck.  Your sprints should be 100% exertion, even the longer one.  Anyone who runs track will tell you that the 400 is a sprint – not a controlled sprint, but a full-out, gut-busting sprint.  Don’t sandbag these.  Remember, you control effort, so you’ll know when you’re cheating; you’re only cheating yourself.  I always say this in my spin classes, but if it’s not REALLY uncomfortable, you’re doing it wrong.  Try to do multiple rounds if you can.  If you do more than 1 round, recover fully in between each set that you do.  Trust me, you’ll need it.  Ultimately, I’m at the track for about 20-30 minutes TOPS doing these – not a minute more.  That’s all you need, folks. 50 x 100 x 200 x 200 x 100 x 50 
  • take about 30-60 seconds of rest in between each sprint.
100 x 200 x 400 x 400 x 200 x 100 
  • take about 45-90 seconds of rest in between each sprint
Plyo/bounding:  Usually I’ll do some plyo/bounding after I do ladders and then I call it a day.  I frequently have to crawl to my car. High-Intensity Bounding: 3 sets that cover about 50 yards a piece.  Recover fully in between sets.
  • Jog into the start of the exercise
  • Push off with your left foot and bring the right leg forward, with the knee bent, toes flexed and the thigh parallel to the ground
  • As you push off reach forward with your left arm.
  • The left leg extends back and remains extended for the duration of the push-off
  • Hold this extended stride for a brief time, then land on your right foot
  • The left leg then drives through to a forward bent position, the right arm reaches forward, and the right leg extends backward
  • Make each stride long as long as possible
  • Land flat-footed and immediately take off again
  • Try to anticipate the landing and spring up as quickly as you can
  • Keep the feet touch down time on the ground as short as possible
Single-Leg Hopping: 3 sets that cover 50 yards each.  Full recovery in between each set.  Quality trumps quantity here.
  • Stand on one leg
  • Push off with the leg you are standing on and jump forward, landing on the same leg
  • Use a forceful swing of the opposite leg to increase the length of the jump but aim primarily for height off each jump
  • You should land on the ball of the foot and immediately take off again
  • Keep the foot touch down time to the shortest time possible
  • Try to keep your body vertical and straight
  • Perform this exercise on both legs
  • Beginners will use a straighter leg action whereas advanced athletes should try to pull the heel toward the tush during the jump
  • Try to anticipate the landing and spring up as quickly as you can
  • Keep the feet touch down time on the ground as short as possible
Tuck Jumps: 3 sets, 10 reps per set.  Full recovery in between each set.  Quality trumps quantity.
  • Begin in a standing position
  • Jump up, grabbing both knees as they come up your chest
  • Return to the starting position landing on the balls of the feet
  • Try to anticipate the landing and spring up as quickly as you can
  • Keep the feet touch down time on the ground as short as possible
2-Legged Hops: 3 sets, 10 reps per set.  Full recovery between each set.
  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart
  • Lower into a squat position and jump as far forward as possible
  • Land on the balls of both feet
  • Try to keep your body vertical and straight, and do not let your knees move apart or to either side
  • Try to anticipate the landing and spring up as quickly as you can
  • Keep the feet touch down time on the ground as short as possible
  • Use quick double-arm swings and keep landings short
Lunge Jumps: 3 sets, 12 reps per leg (24 total).  Full recovery between each set.
  • Begin in a lunge position and explode off the ground.
  • While airborne, cycle your legs so that the leg that started off in front is now behind you, and the leg that started in the back is now in front of you.
  • When you land, explode off again and repeat
  • Keep the feet touch down time on the ground as short as possible again
THE FIELD Suicides:  There’s no easy way to do suicides.  They always suck.  Always.
  • Start at the front of the end zone and make sure you have some good tunes in your ipod.  You’re going to need them.
  • Sprint to the 10 yard line, bend down, and touch it
  • Sprint back to the front of the end zone and bend down and touch the line.
  • Sprint back, but this time, sprint to the 20 yard line and touch it before returning to the end zone
  • Repeat for as many yards as you like, hitting the 30, 40, 50, 60, etc yard lines.
I have done the entire football field before, and it is not fun.  Do however many you want here, and do however many rounds as you want.  If I do the whole field, I do 2 rounds, but if I do 50 yards or less, I do anywhere from 5-10 of them, depending on how I feel.  It’s a choose-your-own-adventure game for me and I always feel like throwing up when it’s all over. THE STAIRS Stadiums: The formula is easy.  Sprint up the stairs, jog down them, and run job over to the next section of stairs.  Run the ENTIRE stadium.  Sometimes, I even go back.  Want nice buns and legs?  Do this workout.  The more advanced you get, the more you can play around: sometimes I skip stairs, or even 3 stairs, but it takes a lot of focus and coordination.  I don’t need anyone emailing me telling me they needed dental work after doing one of my workouts. So, there you have it, kids.  Get outside, get some fresh air, and enjoy the sunshine before it gets hellaciously hot.  Don’t forget your sunscreen! Beth is an NPC and OCB figure competitor and has been competing for 3 years.  When she’s not rocking the stage in her stiletto heels, she’s either at work as Project Manager at a Pharmaceutical company in Durham, NC or she’s in the gym training clients or teaching spin classes.  In her very minimal free time, Beth likes to sleep, eat, play with her dog, and spend time with her friends (who also like to sleep and eat).