10 Ways Runners Can Opt Outside

A major retail chain got it right this Black Friday—and now everyone is headed outside.

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REI created its own Black Friday frenzy by announcing they were shutting their doors and paying employees to “opt out(side)” for the biggest shopping day of the year. Here are our top-10 ways runners can shake things up the day after Thanksgiving (or any time this holiday season) by heading outdoors:

1. Find a new trail to run on. Or hike on. Or meditate on. Just find a new dirt system to check out with a friend, your bae or favorite pet.

2. Try an outdoor yoga class. If you’re living in an area that has sunshine 360 days a year (like us here in San Diego), there are often plenty of options to get your zen on under the blue sky.

3. Do post-run stretches outside. You finish running and dash inside for water, to sit down or just to get out of the freezing cold or stifling heat. Instead of stretching in front of the TV, take a few minutes after your run to shake the legs out in your driveway.

4. Do a workout in the park using the park equipment. If you’re having an off day and are skipping the run, walk to your local park and be a big kid. Monkey bars, bench dips, table pushups—use the objects around you to work up a sweat.

5. Do a lunchtime run at work to get some sunshine. If you’re stuck in a stuffy office all day, shake things up by going for a lunchtime jog around the area. At high noon the rays will feel refreshing even if you need to layer up.

6. Check out a heat mapping device, like Strava, for secret runs around you. You never know what you haven’t tried that’s right underneath your running shoes.

7. Learn how to run in the elements. Okay, maybe the snow can get a little harsh, but it is possible to layer up and down and cruise outside during rain, snow, wind or anything in between. Consider it practicing in “race conditions”—you never know!

8. Go for a mountain bike ride. A popular form of cross-training when you live in the right area for it, hopping on a bike can be a great, sometimes underestimated workout.

9. Check out your local farmer’s market. You know—the kind that comes once a week and sets up shop outside. They always have the best eats, and it’s a simple one-stop-shop to get fresh air, dinner for tonight and tons of drool-worthy samples.

10. Try a track workout. Even if the weather is frightful, tracks can often withstand the elements, and it’s an easy way to stay close to your car but also get some mileage and speed in.