As summer, the sun and Santa all get ready to come out and play over the next months, it's a great chance for you to get out and exercise in the beautiful scenery that this country - in particular Christchurch - has to offer.
Coming from the West Coast, I thought I had the best outdoor workout locations in the country. That was until I started to check out what you Cantabs have at your back door: some of the toughest hill runs I’ve experienced (with breathtaking views to enjoy once you've crawled your way to the top), one hell of a park in the middle of the city and more!
Here are my top outdoor workout locations in Christchurch.
Beach workouts are the best, full stop. Being a Sumner boy, I can't look past our very own beach (it's my number one spot). Many studies show that running on sand can burn around 1.5 times more calories per mile than running on asphalt. Beach workouts also help to increase strength in the lower extremities. No equipment is needed for a good beach workout.
Try this HIIT circuit at any beach. Complete 4 rounds. You can then finish off with a well-deserved dip in the sea!
- 2km warm up run
- 1x 60m sprint
- 5 bounding jumps
- 10 burpees
- 15 body weight squats
- 20 sit ups
Although some people might say it's too crowded or boring, I love this track. Whether you are running or walking, by the time you get to the top you are in desperate need of a sit down - and there’s not a better place to have one. You can look over Lyttelton Harbour on one side and Christchurch city on the other!
The St Martins stairs (behind St Martins School)
Although stairs absolutely hammer my asthma at times, we can't make excuses can we. This set gives you such a good workout at a high intensity, which means you can be in and out within 30 minutes. You can choose to run sets up and down, or conquer the top of the stairs and then take the loop road back to the bottom. Try 5 sets alternating, running once and walking the next. Use the road down on your final set. Record your time and try and beat it the next week.
It’s a total of 5.2km if you do a lap of both the North and South parks, but there is so much more to do than just running around a field!
Try some interval running that incorporates higher intensity (faster) running with lower intensity (slower) periods in between. There are power poles spread throughout the loop to help you measure this. Try 2 poles sprinting (at max intensity, leave nothing in the tank) and then 2 walking/jogging to recover. Do this for 10mins and then continue on to jog the rest of the loop.
Although I would definitely recommend training in a gym to reach your goals, I would also advise you to get outdoors a couple of times a week to mix your training up!
If you want to try out some amazing locations in a supportive environment, check out our Bootcamps in various locations all around Christchurch. There's one starting this Saturday 19 November. Visit our Facebook page for all the details.