Indoor Workout Swaps for Easy and Tempo Runs

If snow and ice keep you inside, try these workouts instead.

swaps crop
What is your definition of perfect running weather? A cool spring morning with fresh air from a recent rainfall? A warm summer evening? A crisp autumn a.m.? One thing is certain: It is most likely not a gloomy winter day with a chance of the white stuff. Cold temps call less for outdoor run gear and more for indoor blankets and warm bevvies.

However, there are other indoor options to get your sweat on besides the dreaded treadmill. Try one of these swaps the next time you look out the window and cringe with cold chills. For more workout swaps, check out this plyometric workout and these form drills!

Swap 1
Outdoor: Easy run
Indoor: Stair Walk

The Run
Easy runs are the bread and butter of any running program. They provide a foundation that enables runners to get the most out of more challenging workouts—the more speedy sessions. Many runners treat these as their “daily runs.” Nothing fancy, just a slow(ish), short(ish) steady run.

The Swap
Walking up steps is a lot like running. It involves similar leg movements. If your home or apartment building has stairs, you can use them to get the rough equivalent of an easy run without venturing outdoors. Climb up and down the stairs for the same length of time of your intended run.

You need…
Well, stairs. Also, if this workout sounds a little boring, that’s because it is. Listening to music while you do it will make the time pass more quickly.

Swap 2
Outdoor: Tempo Run
Indoor: Step Aerobics

The Run
A tempo run is a steady effort at moderate intensity performed between a warm-up and a cool-down.

The Swap
An ’80s step class! But we’re serious—a version of step aerobics is a sweet tempo run replacement. Stand with a step 12 to 18 inches in front of you. Step onto it one foot at a time, then step back down one foot at a time. Repeat this movement, stepping to the right side of the step, to the left of the step and in front of the step. Keep your hips facing forward the entire time. Once you lock into a steady rhythm, pick up the pace to an easy effort level. After 5 minutes, turn it up a notch so that your effort becomes moderately difficult (so you hear your breathing). Maintain this effort level for 10 to 30 minutes. Cool down with 5 minutes of stepping at your slower warm-up pace.

You need…
An aerobic step or platform that’s 12 to 18 inches high and about a foot wide. If all you have is stairs, modify this by shifting directions of your hips instead of your legs (Face forward, step up and down; turn to the right, step up and down.) Leotard and leg warmers are optional.