21 Creative Ways to Run - from Color Running to Yoga Running
A Positive Outlook on the Energy of our Species
Dear running friend, we have something in common: we enjoy being out there, putting one foot in front of the other.
People who are not engaged in running might say it’s as simple as that.
The rather pessimistic runners amongst us might have the same opinion.
BUT: RUNNING CAN BE MORE THAN THAT!
Over the previous years the running scene has become truly innovative when it comes to running.
It feels like there is a new type of running every day.
Many journalists talk about it sarcastically, as if this is a bad thing.
We'd like shed some brighter light on it and give you an idea about what's HOT right now.
This can apply to a lot of people. It may not be surprising but, in Germany there are about 20 million joggers and in the US, almost 25% of the 18-29 years old said they went out running in 2018.
So let's jump in, here are our Top 21 ways to run. We hope to give you at least one new impulse to spice up your workout.
THE RATHER NORMAL STUFF
Running: Let's begin with what most of us will do. We run. Either we have our standard path with a certain distance. We know the path, many of us try to beat their own time on that route. Some are just going out and let it flow. Others are making a science out of it, work with their heart rate and lactate threshold to improve their times, often for proving their capabilities in an official race - be it a marathon / half marathon / 10k or whatever. If you have never done such a race - go for it, running in a huge crowd will motivate you to go beyond your limits.
Social Running: People meet, often online, make an appointment to hit the road together, and run. Often people connect in larger groups. That's it. You will meet nice people, bond over something you all enjoy, and stay motivated by being in an energized crowd.
Urban running: Well, what's that? Urban running means running in the city versus in nature. People who chose to live in the city will have to run there. Cities are thriving with activity. It’s a condensed area where thousands of people are going through their daily routines. The good thing with urban running: you will see many different things, often weird or funny things.
Trail running: The opposite of urban running plus some extra effort. When you're doing trail running you will run off-road in nature. It is a bit unclear where it starts and where it ends. But the goal in trail running is to also keep your mind active and to increase the variation in movement. On an off-road trail you have to look where to run, have to move quicker, make different steps, occasionally jump a bit. It will use different muscles and train coordination. DO IT ONCE IN A WHILE, you’ll greatly benefit.
Urban Trail running: Combine urban with trail running. Running off the typical pavements in an urban surrounding. This means, use steps, corners, small paths, dead railways, etc. in between. Adds a flavour to your standard route.
Sight Jogging: Instead of doing a sightseeing tour with a bus or bike, go for a jog. In larger cities this is also often done in groups with some headphone to get some comments from the tour guide - but of course, also a nice way to learn about a city alone. Go for it. Whenever you are in Hamburg or Salt Lake City, give us a shout.
Chi Running: This sounds weird but there is a really fair point behind this running style. Chi running trains you to focus on your natural movement. Slow and natural. The idea is to not move in a way which does not seem natural for the human body. Many runners try to improve their running style to improve their performance. By doing that, you intervene your natural flow. Let your body do it’s thing, it’ll feel great.
Slow jogging: People practicing slow jogging do it for their own good. The movement in slow jogging is different. While normal runners tend to put on their heel first on the ground and then role off, slow runners put down their feet down as if they were landing from a jump, with the middle foot. Also, the frequency in steps is far higher, because they’re making shorter strides. This is a good alternative for in-between big runs to stress different muscles and train your consciousness - slow down bro!
Natural running: Others also call it barefoot running. Running without shoes is not for everybody. If you start doing it, start slow and short distance. Your skin and your muscles will be grateful. Also, you need to have a strong body and healthy joints. People who have problems with their back or knees should not even consider running long distance without shoes. I prefer running or walking barefoot after a long run on grass - just a few meters. It’s an awesome feeling!!
Mountain running: For those who start to find their trail runs boring or live close to the mountains this could be a great alternative for you. Going uphill is not an easy job. If you are not used to it, you’re going to have a hard time keeping up your stamina for a long distance. What goes up usually goes down after. If you are having issues with your knees, this is not the best way of running. However, once you get used to uphill running, you will most likely outperform all your friends who stayed on the straight and flat path.
Survival Running: Running a certain distance with obstacles in between. There are races that are really tough, at low temperatures, with water, mud, and fire. But there are also easier versions. Often it also includes doing things in teams, for when you can’t get past certain obstacles on your own. Great adventure.
Ultra Running: This is probably the toughest form of all running types. Ultra running is everything beyond the marathon distance. Typically 100 km plus. There are desert races, jungle races, mountain, or arctic races over many hours, days, weeks, or even months. Those races are only for the super trained runners. Many experts also say, there is an unhealthy component to it. If you have nothing to lose, go for it :-)
HIIT: High Intensity Interval Training. Most of us know interval training. Put simply: go fast, then slow, then fast. The goal is to improve your running speed on long distances by doing intervals. Plus: it is a great way to absorb aggressions after a fucked up day at work. HIIT means this in an extra exhausting variation. Just go longer, faster, more often in your interval speed and bring yourself to the limit. Watch out: this can be addictive.
Crossfit Running: run 2 kilometers, then go down, 20 push ups, again 1 kilometer, 80 sit-ups, again 2 kilometers, and so on. For people who are not used to muscle training this will probably be a killer to your stamina. Start doing it slow and know your limits - otherwise you may throw up in between.
THE RATHER "SPECIAL" STUFF
Retro Running: This does not mean to get your old trainers off the shelf and run in an XXL shirt you got as a present on your 18th birthday. This means run backwards. Your body will need different muscles for practicing it and in the beginning it's going to require some coordination. And please: make sure to not practice retro running in an urban surrounding with lots of cars. Remember where your eyes are...
Tunnel / Flow Running: This doesn't mean run in a tunnel (even though this could be a cool idea for a new movement?!). You are probably really familiar with people getting tunnel vision when they are really focused on something. For many runners, this is the ultimate satisfaction in running. There is a certain threshold of focus and stamina that you need to surpass and you will enter the tunnel. Many people chase this feeling in their Marathons. Your body just carries you further, pain is ignored, you are entering the famous tunnel perspective, meaning your field of vision gets more and more narrow. It is a feeling of relief and satisfaction and can be rather hypnotic. Some researchers have tried and are still trying to identify this sweet spot, when runners enter the “tunnel”. This is the "Runner's High" but don't overdo it... 😉
Sky running: Running up the stairs of a skyscraper as fast as you can. Of course this will be easier in NYC or Frankfurt rather than in a small town. However, maybe you can find a good staircase on your track. Give it a shot, it's a nice variation.
House running: It's getting more crazy now. House running means you are running up or down a house wall. Of course with some ropes. Mmmhh… not for me.
Color running: You may know the Holi festival. Colored powder is used to celebrate and thrown around. Well, adapt this to running and you will have a quite fun way to celebrate our sport. Like this one. If you try it give us a shout, we want to join.
Yoga Running: Run short distances and then do some yoga exercises in between. Depending on the type of Yoga this may be a great combination, as Yoga is a fantastic addition to any sports person. Strengthening your mind and body.
Plogging: Going out for a run, maybe in a group, and combine the workout with collecting trash from the road or nature. An movement initiated by a Swedish guy and his friends. Many cities have their own plogging communities already. This is an awesome and impactful trend. More people should do it.
As you can see, there is a lot of variety out there. Running doesn't have to be a dull exercise, it can become a space for exploration and creativity.
One last plea from my side: not every running style needs its own running dress. This also refers to the shoes. In average, runners have 5.3 pairs of running shoes. Really??? 2 pairs are doing a good job max. The planet will say thank you.
Another interesting fact: more than 70% of runners prefer to run in nature (Salomon market research). If you want to connect with nature also through your running gear, we may have something for you. Sign up to our newsletter and get notified, when we launch our first minimal plastic collection.
Wish you all the fun you can have when going out the next time. Maybe now is a good time? Keep running.
Header img by: Jakub Kriz / Unsplash