If you're physically or mentally tired of running on roads and trails, it might be time for a change. Even if you don't mind your normal routine, it's beneficial for your legs to change the surfaces you run on.
Try hitting the gridiron. Whether you want to relive your athletic glory days or take some stress off your knees and ankles, running on a football field is a great alternative.
Here are four common conditioning workouts that any runner with access to a football field can do.
Half-Gassers1 of 9
Start on either sideline. Sprint to the opposite sideline and back to complete one rep. The width of a football field is 53 1/3 yards, making the half-gasser 106 2/3 yards.
Half-Gassers Part 22 of 9
Sample Goal Time: 10 reps, each under 20 seconds, with 45 to 60 seconds of rest in between.
Advanced: Try to beat 18 seconds each rep and drop the rest time. If that's still not challenging enough, try to run full-gassers (opposite sideline and back, twice) with a 40-second time limit per rep.
300-Yard Shuttles3 of 9
Start on the goal line. Sprint to the opposite 40-yard line (60 yards away) and back. Complete 5 legs to run a total of 300 yards in one rep.
The first few 60-yard legs likely won't seem too bad, but wait until you feel the burn of the final stretch. Once you finish, rest for two minutes, and then complete a second rep.
300-Yard Shuttles Part 24 of 9
Sample Goal Time: 2 reps with a 50-second average, 2 minutes of rest in between.
Advanced: Try experimenting with different variations, such as 12 legs of 25 yards or 3 legs of 100 yards. Your goal time should increase with shorter intervals and more stops, and decrease with longer intervals and less stops.
The Snake5 of 9
Start on the corner of the field where the sideline and goal line meet. Run along the goal line to the opposite sideline. From there, run along the sideline to the 5-yard line, then run along the 5-yard line to the opposite sideline.
Continue this pattern every 5 yards all the way to the other goal line. If you do it right, you'll run along every line of the field, covering more than 1,200 yards in the process. That's more than two-thirds of a mile.
The Snake Part 26 of 9
Sample Goal Time: 5 minutes
Advanced: If one cycle doesn't leave you dizzy and exhausted, turn around and repeat it the opposite way.
The Sprint Ladder7 of 9
Start on one of the goal lines. Sprint to the 10-yard line and back. That's your first rep.
Take a few seconds to recover, then run to the 20-yard line and back. From there, start building your way up the ladder, all the way to the 100-yard line and back. The average time of rest between reps should be 20 to 30 seconds.
The Sprint Ladder Part 28 of 9
Sample Goal Times:
- 20 yards: 6 seconds
- 40 yards: 9 seconds
- 60 yards: 12 seconds
- 80 yards: 16 seconds
- 100 yards: 20 seconds
- 120 yards: 24 seconds
- 140 yards: 28 seconds
- 160 yards: 32 seconds
- 180 yards: 37 seconds
- 200 yards: 42 seconds