Swap Your Run For This Squat And Burpee Interval Workout

This squat- and burpee-filled interval workout is a perfect alternative for those dreading their next long run.

Find A New Excitement In Your Workouts

One of the things I have grown to love about CrossFit is the newness of every workout. Some days are stupidly hard and intense, and I question whether showing up is even a good idea. But I will say that the boredom of traditional endurance training isn’t present most days at the CrossFit “box.”

Running, even at its very best can feel monotonous, especially after eight years. Sure, we can add tempo runs and intervals. But at the end of the day, the run is the run is the run—and it’s the same.

Some of us absolutely anchor ourselves in the monotony of running. I know when my kiddos were very young, running was more therapeutic than ever. I needed the quiet, the rhythm of taking one step after the next. These days, however, life seems so busy and crazy that if I have to do too much of that, well, I simply won’t go—or I will stop the run early because there’s too much other stuff to do.

Do I hate running? No, absolutely not. Quite the opposite, actually. I have found joy in changing my approaches to running and training to better serve me.

At present, my kids are older, and I need something different. If I am honest with myself, I need running to be intense and crazy at the moment in order to keep me interested. Gone are the days where the casual long run excites me. I believe that runners go through all sorts of phases—whether we want to tackle a marathon, ultra, half marathon or 5K PR—these phases all require different mindsets, pain thresholds and time. It just so happens that I am in an interesting phase where I want a little something new.

Here is my recent favorite running(ish) workout. If you are finding yourself in a little streak of running boredom, throwing in something like this might be just the thing to draw some excitement to your workouts. At the bare minimum, it will be so tough and painful that you might welcome the long, slow run all over again.

Squat And Burpee Blaster Run

This workout includes air squats and burpees—along with a few intervals.

Air Squat

Stand with your feet hip-width apart, toes slightly pointed out. Bend knees and squat as if you’re sitting on a chair—your knees should stay externally rotated. Keep heels flat on the floor throughout. Now aim for a squat slightly below parallel, and go lower as you get stronger. Engage core and squeeze glutes to stand up.


The best way to understand how to do these is by watching a video (or by following this how-to demonstration), but you can start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and performing this sequence in a fast, fluid motion: Push your hips back, bend your knees and lower your body into a squat. Place your hands on the floor directly in front of (and just inside) your feet. With your weight on your hands, jump back onto your feet to softly land on the balls of your feet in a plank position—keeping your body in line from your head to your heels. Keep your back tight, core engaged. Jump your feet back forward. Reach your arms overhead and jump up into the air. Land and immediately lower back into a squat for your next rep. Repeat.

Start with a quick, dynamic warmup like jumping jacks, butt kicks or high-knee drills. Run or walk easy for five minutes.

Then follow the following sequence:

  • Run easy for one minute; perform air squats for one minute; recover for 30 seconds
  • Run easy for two minutes; perform burpees for one minute; recover for 30 seconds
  • Easy five-minute run or walk
  • Run hard for three minutes; recover for one minute
  • Run easy for four minutes; perform air squats for one minute; recover for 30 seconds
  • Run hard for three minutes; recover for one minute
  • Easy five-minute run or walk
  • Run easy for two minutes; perform burpees for one minute; recover for 30 seconds
  • Run easy for one minute; perform air squats for one minute; recover for 30 seconds
  • Cool down easy


Meredith Atwood (@SwimBikeMom) is a motivational speaker, IRONMAN triathlete and author of Triathlon for the Every Woman: You Can Be a Triathlete. Yes. You., the completely updated and revised second edition is being released in early 2019. She is the host of the podcast The Same 24 Hours, a show which interviews interesting people who make the best of the 24 hours in each day. You can download a free triathlon race day checklist here. Meredith lives in Atlanta with her husband and two children and writes about all things at Her next book, The Year of No Nonsense, is due out Fall 2019.


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