Take the Slog Out of Your Jog

Exploring Intensity

Take the Slog Out of Your Jog

golf-course-300x230 Jogging should be a way to get a nice cardio buzz. It’s easy, free and highly accessible — just put on a pair of running shoes and start jogging.golf course

But I don’t jog unless there’s a perfect situation for it. Here’s why:

I went for a jog during a recent trip to Kansas City. Perfect weather; 60 degrees, little wind and bright late day sun. Jogging is an exercise that brings out all my aches and pains. Even though I was jogging on a nice, soft golf course, I still felt ankle and knee pain with each landing. After a few more minutes the metatarsalgia in my left foot kicked in – that’s a fancy way of saying the ball of my foot felt like it was bruised. I wore my trusty Polar heart rate monitor, and at the end of the jog I discovered I didn’t even get out of Zone 2 (Zones 4 and 5 are the high cardio zones). I covered 3 miles, burned 200 calories – and spent 19 minutes in zone 2 and 7 minutes in zone 1. Aches, pains, just a few drops of sweat and not much of a cardio buzz.

1. 5-10 minute warm-up. This should include squats, toy soldier marches, high-knee marching, front lunge with a twist, fake jump rope, skipping, butt kicks and carioca.

2. Vary your gait. As you jog try different styles of running. Try landing on the heel and going heel to toe. This is a nice way to start because the feet can shuffle without leaving the ground too much, allowing for a lower impact. Then switch to landing on the ball of the foot, a style made popular by the barefoot running gurus. To make this work you will need to pick up the feet a bit more with each stride.

3. Use intervals. Jogging can become a series of intervals in which you increase speed for a short period of time. You can do it by time, landmarks or just counting breaths. We recommend increasing the speed for 20-30 second bursts, and then resuming a slower pace.

4. Vary your style. You should also play with different styles of running faster. Try increasing the tempo of how your legs are moving while taking shorter strides. Then on the next interval try going faster by taking longer strides. Finally, focus on moving your arms faster which can help you move your legs faster.

If you are still feeling too many aches and pain while jogging, it may just be time to sweat indoors.