If you’ve been running for a while, you might find yourself stuck in a running rut. If you’re finding yourself dreading your runs or watching the clock every second that you’re out, it might be time to mix up your running routine to make it more enjoyable.
Here are five ways to make your boring runs fun again.
Try a New Route
If you always run the same route, you’re bound to get bored. Try taking a different route to change things up.
You can use an app like MapMyRun to create a route before you set out, or just use your running time to explore a new area of your city or neighborhood. If you have time, you can even drive to a different location for your run. Trail running or hill running is a great way to get a change of scenery and enjoy the beauty of nature while you get your workout in.
Play with Speed
Fartlek is a Swedish word that literally means “speed play.” If you tend to run at a steady pace, playing with your speed can make your run more fun and more challenging. It can also help you to burn more fat as your body meets the demands of running faster.
The beauty of fartlek training is that it doesn’t need to be rigid or planned. Set yourself ad hoc challenges as you run, such as sprinting to the next lamppost or going all out at maximum effort for 30 seconds.
Listen to Some New Music or a Podcast
If your running playlist is tired, then it’s time to create a new one. Add your favorite upbeat songs, or check out a new artist you’ve never heard of before. Another option is to listen to a podcast (or audiobook) about a subject that interests you. Comedy shows are great to run to.
Ask friends or fellow runners for their recommendations. You can also make use of others’ playlists by searching Spotify for “running mix.”
Run with a Friend
Running with a friend gives you company and someone to chat to as you run. You can also challenge each other and hold each other accountable. A prearranged run with a friend gives you a social obligation, meaning that you are more likely to stick to your plans. And you can always reward yourselves with a coffee and a catch-up when you’re finished!
Train for a Race
Your runs can feel pointless if you don’t have a goal. Signing up for a race gives you something to aim for and gives you a reason to keep training. Ideally, choose a race that’s slightly challenging for you at your current fitness level. This inbuilt deadline will motivate you and give you a reason to lace up your running shoes.