Ever heard someone say that they don’t want to run because it’s boring? I have, and every time I hear someone utter those words, I cringe a little. As a runner, I know that running can become a bit boring at times, but it shouldn’t be a reason to stay away from the track or treadmill. Running can be such a fun stress-reliever and calorie burner if you add a few twists here and there. Running the same route everyday or running on the treadmill at the same speed for hours on end will become boring even for the veteran runner. That being said, it’s important to keep yourself motivated and on edge, so to speak, throughout your run. To help you out, here are 10 easy ways you can spice up your run to go from boring to absolutely fun!
1. Switch it up
Playing around with your running route is crucial to keeping it exciting. If you go around in circles everyday for 3 months, it will get boring, there’s no question there. But if you switch it up every other day and map out a different route, you’ll feel like an explorer with each run. If you have to, get in the car and drive 10 minutes to a new spot, one out of your comfort zone, and go running in that area for one week, just to keep things exciting! Of course, make sure you map out your route before going out and let your family or friends know where you’re running if you’re planning an evening run, just to be on the safe side!
2. Track your progress
Tracking your progress will give you that extra push to keep going even when it gets tough or a tad boring. If you’re a long distance runner, walk or drive your route before going on a run and add some messages, water bottles, energizers, or Quest Bars every few miles; this will enable you to track your distance progress while getting a treat or motivational quote when you pass a new milestone. You’ll feel like you’re in a race, especially if you put motivational and funny quotes every now and then! Make sure you hide the water bottle, energizers, and snacks somewhere safe though to minimize theft and make sure you go run right after you put your surprise snacks. You can even have a friend put up the quotes and snacks on your route and simply let you guess where they’re located by having him simply tell you at what mile he hid them!
3. Set distance goals
One the same note, setting distance goals is crucial to helping you push through the harder runs. Set a different distance goal every week and try to top yourself each time. Use every other stop sign as a rest area if necessary, run faster whenever a red car passes you by, or even go for a full sprint for 30 seconds whenever you reach the 1 mile zone. This will make you forget about the distance you’re running and simply think about the rewards that come from reaching that goal distance.
4. Two words: Interval Training
Interval training is the running we love to hate! If you want to keep your run exciting, simply make sure that you add in a few interval runs every now and then. Not only will you be gasping for air, but you’ll also burn more calories and stay alert at all times. When you run 10 miles at the same speed, it will get a bit dull, but if you do 1 mile of intervals every now and then, you’ll focus on your breathing rather than the longevity of your run.
5. Listen to a book
Yes, you read right! There are dozens of sites out there where you can download your own Audio Book to listen on your run. You can choose from an informative Audio Book or a simple, yet exciting, story that will make you forget about the run and immerse you in a whole new world. You won’t even see the time pass as you’re listening to the story of how Hannah stole Bella’s angel wings because she wanted to be prettier. Some great Audio Book websites to check out are Open Culture, Loyal Books, Amazon and iTunes!
6. Run with a friend
There’s nothing like running with a chatty or competitive friend, especially if you’re chatty or competitive as well. You can set goals for each other to reach and push one other to keep running whenever the going get tough. If you have a more relaxed run planned out, you can even catch up on each other’s juicy life gossip which will most definitely keep the run interesting. If you have a very competitive friendship, turn it into a fun game of who can run the longest without stopping or which one of you can reach the 1 mile sign faster. Be creative!
7. Run hills
Ah, the dreaded hills! Might create a burning sensation in your quads, but they are divine for physically and mentally. When you’re running hills, or stairs, you work out every fiber in your lower body, which not only grows your muscles but also burns more calories in the end. Make a goal to run hills or stair at least once a week, and make it fun by adding quickening your stride or adding some jumps every now and then. Boring will definitely vanish from your mind when you’re gasping for air at the top of the hill or in between stair runs!
8. Listen to music
It’s probably the oldest trick in the book to keep a run from being dull, but it works. Create an electrifying music playlist filled with some of your favorite tunes and get cranking! If the music makes you want to break into a dance, you’ve chosen it right.
9. Have a goal
At the beginning of each month, write down your running goal for the next 30 days. If you want to run a 5K by the end of the month, write that down and work everyday towards that goal. Buy your running bib at the beginning of the month and post it somewhere in your room where you can see it at all times, to remind you of why you’re running. If you want to lose 2 pounds through running, write it down and post your goal on a vision board that will remind you of why you’re breaking a sweat everyday on the track or treadmill. Make the goal attainable and make it something that will motivate you through the hard and lazy days. If you’re running towards something, the journey tends to be less monotonous.
10. Reward yourself
Reward yourself with something healthy, fun, or beautiful (yes, a mirror counts). If you’ve reached every milestone you set out for yourself in running, give yourself a pat on the back by eating your favorite Quest Bar for a post-run snack or buying yourself that beautiful sweater as a congratulation to yourself for running stairs every day this week! Whatever you choose as a reward, make sure you keep it healthy and exciting. You’ve written the goals, you achieved them, so why not give yourself some credit. I mean, there is a new flavor or Quest Bars for a reason after all!