Many people complain that running and fitness training is boring, therefore the likelihood of continuing the training is very low. It’s important to mix things up, with both variety of exercises and also the intensity. A great way to do this is to include hill sprints, stair running and sand running in your workout. These three activities are great for your cardio as they increase the heart rate along with strengthening glutes, quadriceps and hamstrings.

You can either incorporate all these activities into one training session or concentrate on one per session. Obviously to be able to do sand running you need to head down to the beach, but there will generally be a set of stairs and some form of hills that you can use for these activities.

Individual session: Pick an activity to focus on. Find a destination that will take about 15 minutes to get to by running, so that you have included some cardio and are also warmed you when you get there (you then also have another 15 minutes to run back home, therefore breaking up the running component). Some options you could use:


  • 2 x hill sprints @ 50%
  • 2 x hill sprints @ 60%
  • 2 x hill sprints @ 70%
  • 2 x hill sprints @ 80%
  • 2 x hill sprints @ 100%


  • 1 x stair run followed by 20 dips
  • 2 x stair runs followed by 20 squats
  • 3 x stair runs followed by 20 push ups
  • 4 x stair runs followed by 20 lunges
  • 5 x stair funs followed by 20 crunches


  • Set up 4 cones along the sand about 20 metres apart, so you have set up a shuttle run. Sprint to the first cone and back, then to the second cone and back and so forth until you have run to all the cones and back.
  • Follow the same procedure as above, but between each cone complete 30 squats/lunges/push-ups/crunches (whatever you like). REPEAT BOTH SETS.

To incorporate all three activities, pick and choose from any of the above. You could create a small circuit incorporating one hill run, one set of stairs and one sand shuttle run and keep alternating between all three.

Personal trainer, Tavia Ambler

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