I’m not a fan of treadmills but I do enjoy getting outside in the fresh air, so whenever I get running in my training programme I try to do it outdoors.
The first time I got a session that mixed running with body weight exercises that I would normally do in the gym I was torn. I didn’t really want to do the running on a treadmill but how else did I mix it in with Bulgarian Split Squats? The answer was I got a bit creative and used tree stumps and park benches I found along my run to mix them in (body weight squats obviously).
Since then I’ve adapted lots of my running plus body weight sessions so they can be done outside and they are often my favourite workouts of the week.
When I tell people about these workouts I am often met with slight horror at the idea of doing a squat or a burpee in the middle of a park or along a cycle path. Some people don’t even like the idea of running in public so the idea of adding in body weight exercises just seems too embarrassing. What is people see me?
I would say, don’t worry, nobody is looking at you, but actually that probably isn’t true. It’s a bit different so sometime people do look. Last Friday I went out on my lunch break to a nearby park which is right next to a main road. I did some sprints mixed in with body weight squats and half way through a set of squats a couple of blokes in a van felt the need to shout their ‘feedback and encouragement’ in my direction.
To be honest though this didn’t bother me and certainly didn’t stop me finishing the workout. Of course I felt a bit silly the first time I trained outdoors but now as long as I finish my workout and get to do it in the environment that makes me feel good (and running outside does that) I don’t care whether strangers watch me or even take the piss.
Because there’s one thing I’ve learnt from doing these workouts outside.
If you are doing what works for you it doesn’t matter what other people think, especially people you have never met, and those people that feel the need to judge you not only don’t matter but are probably holding themselves back from doing what they really want to do because they are too insecure to stand out from the crowd. Essentially it’s ok to be different.
I’m also pretty confident that the odd person that walks or jogs past as I’m doing mountain climbers on a patch of grass in a park would like to have the confidence to do the same and rather than looking at me to judge they are perhaps just curious or even a little impressed.
A few months back I was in the middle of set of jump lunges on a cycle path in between runs and two elderly ladies stopped and asked what I was doing and why. I explained and they asked a few more questions about what they could do at home that was perhaps a little less jumpy and then went on their way.
I appreciate that training outside isn’t for everyone and if it isn’t for you fair enough, but if there is a type of training you would like to try but are holding back for fear of what others might think then stop. Give it a go and pretty quickly you will coem to see that even if people do judge you it matters very little.
Training outside has been like my own little version of learning the subtle art of not giving a shit!