Is Running In Place An Effective Workout For A Runner?

As the seasons change from the sunshine of summer to brisk fall days, many runners find themselves dreading what is to come. If you happen to live in a place where you experience all four seasons in all of their glory, you might be thinking about winter long before it comes.

There are also runners in very hot places where running outdoors in summer can actually be dangerous as temperatures peak well into the 100s. Some of these athletes find themselves gravitating toward a treadmill, cycling or other types of workouts.

But what if you don’t have a treadmill? Especially since Covid-19 hit, many athletes are shying away from going to public workout facilities. So if you don’t have workout equipment at home, are not looking forward to the harsh winter months, but still want to maintain the conditioning for which you have worked so hard?

Believe it or not, you do not have to lose the cardiovascular base you have built! Did you know that there are many ways to maintain your current level of fitness?

Can You Run Indoors Without A Treadmill?

Although it might not be something you have thought of, you can certainly get a running workout accomplished indoors. First, consider your house. Is there a place you could run?

running stairs

Maybe you have multiple levels in your house. You can start at your basement, jog up those steps, run to the next set of stairs and run up those two. Running stairs inside your house or apartment building is one way to get a running workout in without heading outside.

Is Indoor Running Effective?

There are actually benefits to running indoors, whether you are on an indoor track, on a treadmill or running in place while watching television in your living room.

For some people, it can be hard on their body to run outside in extreme temperatures. Whether you have allergies, difficulty breathing in cold temperatures, or perhaps your knees ache when you run in the cold, staying inside will afford you a temperate climate.

In addition to that, you will burn the same calories indoors as you would outside. Your body just knows you’re exercising and getting your heart rate up. It doesn’t care where or how you are accomplishing that feat.

On the flip side, some people find that running indoors is more difficult. There are various reasons for this such as the lack of moving air, boredom, etc.

Running In Place

If you’ve ever done high-intensity interval training, you know that there are benefits to running in place. Some of the trainer’s favorite tactics have the group doing drills, making high knees and jogging in place. This is an excellent way to get your heart rate up without leaving the comfort of your living room.

running in place workout

If you are considering trying running in place, start small. Just get moving.

You might want to find yourself some type of mat, like a yoga mat or some type of exercise matting, to lay down on the floor where you plan to do your running. This can make for a nicer impact surface.

What Does Running In Place Do?

Running in place does exactly the same things that running outside or on a treadmill does. Yes, you read that correctly. A running in place workout is an efficient, effective way to get yourself into shape (or to keep yourself in shape!).

Running helps build strong bones. Since it is a weight-bearing exercise, running is excellent for helping to prevent osteoporosis.

Improves cardiovascular fitness. Anytime you are getting your heart rate elevated you are improving your heart health.

Calorie burning. If you love food, running is an excellent way to try to counteract some of the naughty things you put onto your plate. Maintaining a healthy weight, especially as we age, is important.

Great for mental health! Running is an exceptional stress reliever and for many people, it helps them to maintain their mental health.

You are safe and sound inside your own home.

You can run in place at any time of day, in any weather, even if your kids are sleeping in the other room. The thing is, you can run in place anywhere, anytime, for any amount of time! Indoor running is truly convenient!

Running In Place Interval Workouts

If you’re looking to incorporate running in place workouts into your fitness regime, here is an excellent one featured in Shape Magazine. This set of intervals will take you 25 minutes to complete. After you are proficient at doing it once, try it twice through!

  1. Interval Set One: jog in place 3 minutes, sprint as hard as you can for 1 minute, do 1 minute of lunges.
  2. Interval Set Two: jog in place, 3 minutes, quick high knees for 1 minute, reverse kicks for 1 minute.
  3. Interval Set Three: jog in place 3 minutes, butt kicks for 1 minute, single-leg squats for 1 minute.
  4. Interval Set Four: jog in place 3 minutes, ladder drill for 1 minute, front lunges 1 minute.
  5. Interval Set Five: jog in place 3 minutes, tire drill for 1 minute, plyometrics such as a frog jump for 1 minute.

Set Up Your Own Circuit

You can also set up your own run in place circuit. If you need some guidance, look up some running drills. These are fun to incorporate into your running workout. Everything from butt kicks to A skips to power skips to high knees are great things to incorporate.

butt kicks

Sure, running in place can get boring. This is one reason why you mix it up with some other things, such as in the workout above. The sample given is a great model for your own workout.

If you have small hand weights, exercise bands and/or a kettlebell, you can also mesh some weights into your workout.

YouTube Workouts

You may be surprised to hear that there are many YouTube videos featuring run in place workouts. Examples include:

20 Minute 1.5 Mile Run

35 Minute 5K Workout 

Jog At Home With Me

If you’re serious about working out in your own home and want to start jogging indoors, know that you can do so without much more than a pair of decent running shoes. Besides a pair of shoes and a plan, all you need is the will to begin.

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