New town, new workout: Bridge repeats

This week found me traveling to various cities throughout Europe.  First Switzerland—Zurich and Basel, then Germany—Dusseldorf and Frankfurt.  It’s a part of my job about which I have mixed feelings.  While I enjoy seeing new places and like the variety it offers, I also missed home.  Luckily I was thinking of the kids as I left Switzerland…just in time for the chocolate.

Our work schedule was hectic and busy, so I didn’t have a lot of time for sightseeing.  I also didn’t have much time to work out, so I managed to slip in what I could.

Yesterday we arrived in Frankfurt earlier than planned, so we had a bit of extra time.  I dumped my stuff in my hotel room, unpacked my running clothes and got out for as much time as possible, which turned out to be just over an hour.

Frankfurt sits on the Main River in Germany.  After a few wrong turns, I made it to the river.  It reminded me of Boston or Philadelphia—crew teams rowing boats, people sitting by the river enjoying a beautiful spring day.  A bunch of bridges span the river in the downtown area.  It was beautiful.

At that point I wished I had a real camera (other than my cell phone).  It was really cool.

I was feeling as good as I’ve felt in a while.  My original plan to run at a low intensity was fading in favor of a hard workout.  After all, it would be short.  I figured I’d just run the way back to the hotel at a high intensity.

Then I looked at the bridges again and it hit me—bridge repeats.

I decided that my run back to the hotel would be over all the bridges.  When I hit the start of each bridge (usually steps up to the bridge), I’d run as hard as possible until I got to the other side of the bridge.  I’d snake my way back to the hotel over the bridges, running hard on the bridge spans and using the distance between bridges as recovery time.

It was a fun workout.  The combination of climbing steps  quickly, then running hard up the bridge incline, then running hard on the downhill was challenging.  I did seven repeats, one on each bridge that spans the Main River in downtown Frankfurt.  On average, I was running hard for about two minutes per bridge.  I also got a chance to see the city and the river from a lot of different angles, which was neat.

This was just the kind of workout I needed–spontaneous, fun, different, but also with some intensity.   It was a great way to wind down from a hectic trip.  I have no idea how that bridge workout found its way into my brain, but I’m thankful that it did.

I know I need to get ready for Pikes Peak, and I need to build specific strength for that race.  But I also want to continue creating these kinds of spontaneous workouts that are fun.

After all, if I don’t enjoy running then why in the world would I do it?