Running is not always fun. If you are just starting to run or coming back to running after an injury or long absence, it will pretty much suck. For a while. You are out of breath, out of shape, flopping around and not feeling at your best. Even experienced runners get into a running rut.
Here are a few tips to help take your running from “meh” to marvelous!
Get Off Thine Treadmill
Running outside provides fresh air, variations of terrain, wind and or weather to contend with. Going from a treadmill to the streets will help you get stronger and faster because you are propelling yourself forward instead of letting the treadmill motor pull you along. Map out an out and back, a loop or another path that takes you outside.
Take thee to the Trails
Trail running is fun. Wait, no. It’s Super Fun. You run down, up, over, this way, that way – it’s a running adventure! You’ll strengthen your legs, ankles and feet without even realizing it. Even better, you don’t have to worry about pace – you will naturally run slower on trails so you stay upright but it doesn’t matter because you are working much harder than on the road or on a treadmill.
Thou Shalt Find a Running Buddy (or two)
Running is more fun with a friend or two. It allows you the chance to chat (or not), try trails, new routes and most importantly, stay accountable to your run. You are less likely to flake on your run if your buddy is picking you up at 7:30 am on a Sunday morning. Not sure how to find a running buddy? Email your friends and post on Facebook that you are looking for someone to run with during the week or on weekends. You’d be surprised at how many people are in the same boat.
Thou Shall Not Shy Away From Races
You don’t have to enter races to be a “real” runner. But having a race or event scheduled will boost your motivation and force you to focus your training. And trust me, seeing the miles build and your running improve is fun.
And On the 7th Day – Shop
Stuck in a rut? Bored with your training? Buy a new pair of shorts, a new technical tee or even a snappy new hat. Brightly colored of course. Nothing screams “fun” like new running clothes.
Most importantly, stick with it and don’t give up. I promise you will get feel better, get stronger, and yes, less winded, the more you practice your running.
Now go run!