Lunden Souza: Fitness

September 27, 2013

Lunden Souza: Switch up 5K runs for an added challenge

I really enjoy pushing the limits and so I always make sure I am switching up my routine every few weeks to make sure I am always giving my muscles a challenge.

I think that 5-kilometer runs are a safe distance that almost anyone can complete.

On top of the fitness benefits, there are a lot of amazing charities that put 5K races. I enjoy frequently participating in these, including the Alpha Crisis Pregnancy Center Labor Day 5K in Merced, which was held a few weeks back. But what if you are like me and enjoy running on a regular basis – how can you pump up your run?

I always make sure I’m switching up my routineto make sure I am always giving my muscles a challenge. This past weekend I ran a 5K and threw in a bunch of burpee variations to really get my heart rate up. I stopped after every kilometer (a total of 5 times) and did 10 burpees in the best available area at each stop. Here’s a breakdown:

• Run 1K, then 10 regular burpees
• Run 1K, 10 burpees with 2 push-ups
• Run 1K, 10 burpees with a knee-to-elbow tuck after each push-up
• Run 1K, then 10 inclined burpees with a “box jump” onto a curb or bench if available (or do a tuck jump instead of regular jump)
• Run 1K, then 20 forward-jumping burpees

As you can see, adding these variations into my run was a really great workout that had me pretty exhausted at the end.

The burpee variations get progressively harder, so don’t hesitate to stick with the ones you are good and comfortable with before working your way up to more challenging ones.

Pushing those lines of your comfort zone and mixing up a run is really going to help you build more endurance and burn more fat.

Try to listen to your body and push yourself when you know it is safe. Health and fitness should be a part of your life forever, so it is definitely encouraged to start small and work your way to the top.

These types of workouts are fun to do with friends who jog, run or walk at the same pace as you and can work at the same intensity as you. This weekend go for it and start pushing the limits a little bit farther than what you are used to.

Lunden Souza, a Merced native, is a personal trainer, health and wellness coach and writer in Southern California. She can be reached at

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