Off-Road-Speed-Play is outdoor intuitive training. It is an Extended Conditioning workout that improves your mind-body awareness, builds mental and physical strength, and enhances stamina. Unstructured walking, running or hiking are all considered to be “Offroad Speedplay” opportunities.
It is easy to understand why so many people choose to walk or run on a treadmill, a track, or the road. These are all convenient, measurable, consistent, and predictable terrains. Getting off-road and playing with your speed provides important physical and mental challenges and strengthening that flat terrains simply don’t. Whether it is a technical trail on a mountain side or a wide, well-groomed trail in a quiet park, take your workouts off the pavement, and reap the benefits of Off-Road-Speed Play.
Your balance will improve. Off-road terrain is not linear, can be uneven, and is full of obstacles like rocks, roots, and mud. In order to prevent stepping on or tripping over such hazards a far greater level of awareness is required than when running on paved roads or flat, even surfaces. This heightened awareness, combined with constant shifting of your body weight to avoid obstacles while running, will help build your balance, stability and Braintelligence.
You will build physical wellness. The ever-changing terrain and constant shifting that accompanies Off-Road-Speed-Play requires you to engage different muscle groups more frequently than you would on flat surfaces. The quadriceps, hip flexors, and gluteus muscles are forced to engage more. The smaller stabilizing muscles in your legs, ankles, feet, and your core are strengthened. Remember: You can’t strengthen what you don’t work, and monotonous, one-directional movement of flat-surface walking or running leaves these stabilizing muscles and ligaments under-worked. Protecting yourself from injuries and strengthening your technique adds longevity and efficiency to your workouts. Off-Road-Speed-Play will also constantly challenge and strengthen your heart and lungs.
Less Impact. Trail surfaces are typically softer than that of pavement or concrete. As a result, less force is being applied to your body from the running surface, specifically your feet and legs, resulting in lower impact and lower stress on those joints and muscles. Varying the surfaces on which you run throughout your training can help prevent injuries that occur due to overuse and impact.
Your Braintelligence will soar. Mindful exposure of your body to unusual, asymmetrical work and new movement results in brain growth and establishes/reinforces new neurological pathways. Your brain is a neurological “muscle”. As you are strengthening your body, you are causing the same thing to happen in your brain.
Interval Training at it’s best. The terrain and how you feel dictates your pace, power and intensity … there are no traditional or structured repetitions or intervals. Off-Road-Speed-Play is an Extended Conditioning practice that teaches you how to relax and recover without stopping, and to pick the pace back up again when you need (and want) to. You will be doing speed work without the stress of feeling like you need to hit specific interval times. It’s a great test for strength and endurance, not only for your body but for the heart and lungs.
Avoid traffic and monotony. Find connection, strength and power by going off-road … you will eliminate stoplights, busy intersections, distracted drivers, frenetic energy, sound pollution, and other hazards that come with city training. While there are still safety tips to keep in mind while off-road, you are far less likely to encounter man-made obstacles and dangers. Off-Road-Speed-Play offers you the opportunity to experience child-like joy … in nature’s playground you are likely to encounter trees to duck under, puddles and streams to jump in and over, and hills to climb. Getting outside and going off-road offer you consistent stimulation and adventure.
Train mindfully. Your workout should begin with intention … even tying your shoes can be a mindful moment … this meditative exercise can also set the stage for a more present-focused workout. Consider allocating the first minutes of your Off-Road-Speed-Play to exercising your senses … notice the sights, sounds, smells and awaken and engage your instincts. Successful Off-Road-Speed-Play requires you to maintain constant focus on your environment. Being mindfully engaged will balance out your nervous system, help alleviate stress and your overall workout will be stronger. Bring yourself into the moment and you will have a heightened, “whole” experience. Off-Road-Speed-Play improves the mind over matter game.
Unplug. Appreciate this break from the stress and commotion of everyday life and find peace and tranquility in being engaged and present off-road. Leave your headphones at home and instead listen to sounds of nature … birds chirping, running water of a stream, the wind in the trees … it can be very relaxing. Spending time outdoors, affects your feelings of happiness, improves concentration, promotes healing, and provides an ideal opportunity for mental rest. Unplug from the chaos and plug into life and your workout.
Keep your mindset free-flowing so you are untethered to your watch, timing or a plan … move with varied efforts, both inside and out of your comfort zone. Off-Road-Speed-Play is a complete Extended Conditioning exercise. Your body, mind, and soul can all benefit greatly from incorporating Off-Road-Speed-Play into your life. Keep exploring new trails … variety and discovery is essential to growth.
Off-Road-Speed-Play is fun to do solo or with a group. If on your own, try targeting random landmarks such as standing or fallen trees, hills, water, or rocks as natural “finish lines” or intervals. For example, when you get to a fallen log, hop over it and change your pace or sprint up a hill and then recover by walking. Or … gather with friends and take turns being a leader to mix up the pace and activity. You will also gain the benefits of being pushed by others through an unpredictable workout. It’s a great way to boost your physical, mental, and social wellness!
This workout is challenging for your body and your brain. Stay engaged and connected … you will reap the benefits.