Let’s be honest: sometimes running can get boring. At the same time each day, you grab your same outfit, same shoes, and jog the same route at roughly the same pace. The weather is generally the same each day, and you find yourself listening to the same playlist. No wonder runners get bored! If you aren’t switching it up, you probably have stopped seeing progress physically as well. Changing up your runs will not only get you excited about working out again, but will help kick start your physical progress. If you’re looking for some fun, interesting ways to change it up on your runs, try these:
- Intervals. Intervals are periods of running hard and fast alternating with periods of recovery. You can run the same distance and get a lot harder of a workout in by simply adding intervals! If you want to be more structured with your intervals, set your Garmin to an interval workout. Start with 30 seconds hard / 1 minutes recovery. If you don’t want to mess with technology, just choose landmarks on your run. For example, run hard from the stop sign to the tree, then recover to the driveway up ahead. If possible, keep running during your rest intervals, no matter how slowly. You’ll burn more calories by adding intervals to a run, as well as work those fasttwitch muscles that aren’t used as often during long, slow distance
- Change up the route. If you always run out your front door and do the neighborhood clockwise, try it counterclockwise. If you always start at Greenway Park and run the Greenway north, head south instead. If you’ve never done trails, check out Johnston Woods. Changing up your route will get you out of your routine and change the elevation and scenery.
- Time vs. Distance. If you usually run for time (for example, 30 minutes, or 1 hour) try to run for distance and forget your pace. If you usually run for distance (We see you jogging around the parking lot to get 3 miles exactly!) forget the distance and just run for time! This will challenge you to listen to your body more than your watch.
- Don’t run. Wait, I thought this was advice for keeping running fun? It is! If it’s becoming a drag to force yourself out the door to run, take a cue from your body and don’t push it. Change up your workout. Walk the dog, do a yoga video, lift weights, or spend time stretching. We all need a break, and running shouldn’t become a chore. Take a few days off and you’ll probably be itching to get out and run again in no time!