Some runners never get tired of their routine. They look forward to it and never struggle to keep the enthusiasm alive each day. Other runners, unfortunately, wrestle with motivation and boredom no matter how much they love training. Finding it difficult to maintain a repetitive workout can happen to anyone. Still, we know that boredom can translate into lowered motivation, which can result in being less inclined to give your best.
We know how frustrating it can be fighting to do your best when your mind wanders. Today, we'd love to share some of our runner's tips on fighting boredom when running to keep you motivated and interested.
Plot a New Location
Have you been running the same trail for several weeks, months, or years? It's time to switch it up. Unless the same routine comforts you, most of us run the same routes because they are either close to home or work and convenient, but they can become blasé after a while. Try and find a new course that you haven't explored yet. Consider driving or biking to a local park you haven't visited too frequently.
Try and make a destination to run to, whether it's a beautiful vista in a park or toward finishing an errand. Additionally, attempting a trail run in nature can engage your mind as you'll need the concentration to figure out how to traverse uneven terrain, rocks, roots, hills, water, or other obstacles. Trail running is also excellent for boosting strength.
To fight boredom on your next run, it may be as simple as a new route and scenery to keep your mind occupied. Changing the time of day you run to watch the sunrise or sunset may also help.
Heart Pumping Music and Audio
You're probably already using music or have tried it to distract your mind during the run, but is it the right tunes? What last song you listened to made you want to stand up, dance, or feel like you could take on the world? Listening to fast-paced music that makes you want to move and do something can help amp you up for and during the run.
As well as music, there are motivating podcasts and audiobooks you could add to your playlist to get the heart and motivation flowing.
Running should be as fun as you can make it. If you have a friend who runs, you could ask them if they are interested in running with you. Having a run buddy could make your routine more stimulating, social, and adventurous. You can chat if you want, take turns setting the pace, encourage each other and create games to pass the time.
Running with someone else also can motivate you to be less likely to skip your next run, and several studies indicate that sometimes we pick up the healthy habits of others. When we do so, that can increase our motivation to work out harder and longer.
To make buddy runs work, ensure you and your friend have the same fitness and run styles.
Can't Run Outside? Treadmill Tips
We can't all have the perfect outdoor location for a run, or we might be away from our usual running spot and need to use a treadmill. How do you fight boredom when you're stuck inside?
• Embrace your inner kid and play with the buttons. Try out the incline percent and speeds; increase and lower them as you go.
• Try not to stare at the clock! When the seconds seem to tick by unbearably slow, watching the clock and miles on the board don't help. Take a towel and cover it up if possible.
• Don't like what's on the TV at the gym? Plug in some earphones, load up your favorite streaming service and watch a movie to keep your mind distracted as you go.
You can also see if you can get a buddy to come with you to enjoy the same social benefits as running outside with a friend.
Switch Up How You Run
Many of us run steadily for the duration of our workouts. This kind of run-training is also called LSD (Long, Slow Distance). And steady pace running is essential, but there is a wide range of other types of running, calling training systems that might challenge you and keep your mind engaged during a workout.
• Fartlek training: developed in Sweden in the 1930s, it roughly translates into "speed play." It's a variable-pace workout where you move based on how you feel. It's unstructured interval training, allowing you to alternate between walking, jogging, running, speed walking, and so on. It's speed training at your own pace. Do whatever comes into your head at that moment.
• Structured Interval Training. This is where you'd break up your usual run into alternating periods of fast running with slow running or walking. For example, you might run 500 yards as fast as possible, then walk for 300 and repeat.
Meditation or Technique Focus
Running may be an incredibly meditative experience for you. It might be the ideal time for you to enjoy quality you-time to empty your mind and concentrate on nothing else but the sound of your feet or breathing. It may take a bit of time to get the hang of it, but like anything, it gets easier with practice. Try and only meditate when it is safe to do so! Don't try and meditate when you're navigating busy city streets or traffic.
Running can seem straightforward—put one foot in front of the other and go faster than walking, right? Surprisingly, there's more to it. Running without being aware of your posture or technique can lead to possible injuries. Concentrating on your technique during a run is also a great way to distract yourself and improve your running!
1. Keep your feet light and quick. You shouldn't hear your feet striking hard and loudly on the ground.
2. Relax your hands. If it helps, pretend you're holding an egg in your hands and can't break them.
3. Keep your shoulders from tensing up by keeping them down and relaxing.
4. Keep your face relaxed, as muscle tension can soon radiate to your neck, shoulders, and arms.
We hope we've inspired you to try something new to fight boredom when running. What's your favorite tip to keep running? Please share with us on our social media at Instagram or Twitter! Keep it fresh, exciting, and motivating with these suggestions to let the miles fly by.