You Should Do Hill Sprints

I’ve been doing a lot of hill sprints in preparation for this year’s “Fit and Fearless” race to the top of Brimstone Hill, one of the highest points in St. Kitts.

Let me just say… hill sprints are no joke.

They’re hard. They get your heart rate up more than any flat sprint. They build serious power and speed that translate directly to your other runs. And yeah, if you’re trying to get shredded, they burn a metric fuck-ton of calories.

Not to mention the fact that hill sprints, while extremely intense, are a lower-impact exercise for your joints. (Be careful coming back down, though.)

Find a hill. Run to the top. Then do it again. And again. And again.

You can thank me later.

Stationary Bike

I’m recovering from an injury & can’t do sprints or high-impact HIIT. Never had much love for the stationary bike, but it’s a life saver.

Effort level is truly about the user, not the equipment. An intense stationary bike session can be just as effective as a sprint.

Half Marathon

Well, I just ran a half-marathon. On a track. Just because.

It wasn’t an official race—I just wanted to see if I could do it.

Turns out I totally can.

Beginner Running Tips

Someone on Quora asked, What do I need to know before I start running on the treadmill for the first time? This is my answer:

A few very quick tips:

  1. Where you run is up to you, but I’m personally not a treadmill fan. I much prefer running outside or on the track at the gym. It’s more interesting. But if a treadmill is your only option, go for it!
  2. Buy a good pair of running shoes. Do some research, try on a few different pairs, and get some that work well for you. Depending on how frequently you run, you’ll probably want to replace them every year or so.
  3. Commit. The first time you run is going to suck. But it will get easier. Commit to working up to a 5k, for instance, and don’t give up early. You’ll be so proud of yourself when you reach that first big milestone, and you’ll want to keep going.
  4. Start slow. Start with a mix of walking and running so you don’t overextend yourself. Running injuries aren’t much fun. Don’t try to cover too much distance at first—long distances require months of training.
  5. Use an app like Nike+ Running. Nike+ Running is a free app that tracks your runs (regardless of whether you run inside or outside) and offers various training programs to help you reach your goals. The beauty of these programs is that they tell you exactly what to do each day, and as long as you follow what it says, you’re golden. I recommend their Beginner 5k program if you’re just getting started. It will start you with a mix of walks and runs, slowly acclimating your body until you can do a whole 3.11-mile race. I use Nike+ for all of my runs.
  6. Get started! Don’t put it off… Go enjoy your first run!

My First 5k

After eight weeks of training, I just ran my first (nonstop) 5k.

I’ve been putting a lot of work into my physical fitness for the last few months, and I’m stronger today than I’ve ever been. I feel better, I’m happier, and I’m more productive. When you take care of your body, it tends to return the favor.

I owe this milestone to the Nike+ Running app, which is essentially a personal trainer in my pocket. It tells me what to do each day, and I do it. That’s not all, though—it also tracks my distance every time I run, and there’s no way to catch up if I get behind. It’s nice to have that sense of obligation to get my ass out of bed in the morning.

Running is a great hobby to have, particularly for folks who spend hours staring at a screen each day. Get out there and make it happen.