If you get bored of running easily, it’s a sign that you need to engage your mind as well as your body. In this blog I want to talk about tips to keep running fun.
I’ve spoken about motivation a lot on my blog and social media, in particular the tips and techniques that I find useful when trying to stay motivated.
In order to stay motivated, you need to be doing something that you actually enjoy!
If you’re not having fun, there’s no wonder your mind switches off.
I know everyone’s idea of ‘fun’ is slightly different, but hopefully these tips will make your experience of running all the more worthwhile if you’re going through a running funk.
There are so many ways to switch up your training routine so you include more ‘fun’ elements into it.
So if you’re used to just doing the same type of run along the same route, now is the time to switch up your routine!
Try interval running
With interval running, I’m always reminded of that episode of Friends where Phoebe and Rachel are jogging in Central Park.
Phoebe has this crazy running style which Rachel at first is embarrassed about, but then comes round to Phoebe’s way of thinking because it’s so much fun and freeing.
For me, interval running is a bit like this.
Interval running is what it says on the tin – running in intervals. It’s great to increase your endurance and get the blood pumping around your body, and it challenges you in different ways.
It’s also great if you’re not quite ready to run a longer distance and would prefer to break it up a bit. You can either choose to walk or jog lightly in the breaks between the running.
I like to go at a slightly faster pace during the interval runs, then go back into a light jog on the breaks. I use landmarks like telephone poles and trees as my markers.
If I’m out for a longer run, I time my intervals using my sports watch.
So, for example, I run for one minute at a 7 minutes per mile pace (this is my interval run), then followed by a light jog around 9 minutes per mile pace.
Don’t underestimate interval running – after about five sets of these you will really start to feel the burn!
Run with a friend
Running with friends is the best! I don’t know what it is about running, when you get chatting to someone on one of your favourite routes the time just flies by.
By the end of the run you’ve suddenly smashed your target and you’ve had a good old chinwag on the way round.
If you’re one of those people who clock watches whilst you’re out running, next time try running with a friend – the time will soon pass and it’s surprising how much easier it makes the run.
The support you get with a friend or a group of friends is invaluable and makes the run so much more fun!
Go run exploring
Running is a great way to get outdoors and enjoy what this beautiful country of ours has to offer.
Instead of sticking to the same route every time you hit the road, why not try a different route to mix things up a bit.
When I go for a long run, I try not mix it up as much as possible. I’m one of those people who has to have a bit of variation each time I go out as I like to see new things.
I like to run along the river into the centre of Cambridge and get some sightseeing whilst I’m at it.
Even better, if you head out early enough, you get to beat all the crowds that you would normally get in the middle of the day.
If you’d prefer to run in a less built up area, you’ve got your pick of some lovely routes across the UK.
Listen to your favourite audio book or podcast
There are so many great audio books and podcasts out there and running is a great opportunity to listen to your favourite ones.
I don’t have time to listen to audio books and podcasts in between work, getting home from work, making dinner and all the other things that life throws at me, so I just hit play on my run and off I go!
Try active travel
If you’re planning a trip to the local shop or post office, instead of walking, driving or even cycling there, try running instead.
Active travel is a great way to get stuff done, dodge some of the traffic and even get there faster if the route allows.
Certainly, in Cambridge where I live, running and cycling are becoming increasingly popular as forms of commuting as the traffic has got so bad.
I’m one of those people who likes to get somewhere fast, so running or cycling is often my route of choice. Why not make it yours once or twice a week?
I’ve banged on about Parkrun countless times on my blog and social media accounts.
This is because I think Parkrun is one of the best fitness initiatives to come out of the UK.
Parkrun is a free, timed 5k that takes place every Saturday morning at 9am. It gets you outdoors running with a hundreds of other lovely people – what’s not to love!
If you visit the Parkrun website, you can view all their runs near you.
Parkrun is so much fun and it really gives you a reason to get out of bed on a Saturday morning.
Whether you run it alone or with a group of friends, I guarantee you will find it fun and energising and will feel better for it afterwards.