How to Make it Fun – 12 Easy Ways to Spice Up Your Run

How to Make it Fun – 12 Easy Ways

to Spice Up Your Run

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I love to run. I would recommend it to anyone not genetically inclined to get injured as part of a healthy lifestyle. While familiarity can breed contempt in people, the same can be true in one’s life. By it’s very nature it requires repetition. Repetition, as we know breeds familiarity and familiarity breeds… well you know what comes next.

 

Let’s face it! Traveling the same course or following the same routine week in, week out is BORING!

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Fortunately there are easy ways to spice up your run. Here are some suggestions…

 

Set a goal– I find having a broader plan laid out makes my runs far more an interesting pursuit, but maybe that’s just me. All the same, try signing up for a race and committing yourself to train for it. Racing can be extremely addictive and the social aspect is fantastic.

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Run outside-Gyms and treadmills can get boring. I have personally never been a big fan of gyms. I would choose a trail run ANY day over a workout in the Gym. That is not to say that gyms don’t have their place for the majority of people (I’ll admit to being a hard-core running fanatic). If going for a run on treadmill in a gym is part of your normal routine, then mixing it up between go for a run outside and the gym is an excellent way of spicing things up!

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Run at different times of the day– If you run in the evening, try going in the morning instead, or if you run in the morning, try an evening run. Variety is the spike of life and simply shifting things around can often be a great cure for boredom.

 

Try a different route– Even if you don’t live near any interesting courses, changing your route can be interesting. If you do live in the right area, trail running can be a fantastic way to add more variety to your long runs. You could try a different track each day for a week and see what comes up, just be sure not to get lost.

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Tip: You might wish to invest in one of the various GPS Tracking Watches before getting too adventurous. The best GPS watches allow you to enter your starting position, so in the unlikely event that you do get lost, your watch can guide you back where you started from.

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Listen to Music or Books on an Mp3 Player– Music or audio books can be a great way to take your mind off the hard work and repetitiveness of your run. Just be sure not to tune out completely to everything else in the environment. Your safety is always paramount and with ear-plugs on, it is often easy to ignore other sounds such as approaching traffic, but with basic common sense, adrenaline inducing music in particular can be a great way to put you in a positive mood.

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Do A Fartlek Session– Fartlek is Swedish for “speed play’. It consists of random bursts of fast sprints followed by recovery periods. Try working some random fast sprints into your runs, but ensure that you have warmed up with slow jog for at least 10 minutes before you try this.

 

Do Another Sport– If you’re in a rut, try another sport or activity. Some ideas: Touch Football, Soccer, Cycling, Rock Climbing, Bushwalking. When trying a new activity don’t go crazy! A new activity will work different muscle groups in your body and pushing too hard too early will increase your risk of injury.

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Take a Break– The key to improving fitness is a) to put in an effort that stresses your body and b) rest so as to allow your body time to recover and grow stronger. If you are exercising all the time you might be missing part b) from the equation, which will inevitably lead to you feeling tired, flat, uninspired or worse yet, injured!

 

Contrary to what they say, taking a break once in a while is not a bad thing. In fact over the long-term, regular days off are recommended for all but the more serious runners.

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Don’t Run Through Pain or Discomfort– If you are in pain or not comfortable, all too often it is your body trying to tell you something (usually what you body is trying to say is along the lines of

 

STOP HURTING ME STUPID! Exercising through pain does not do much to improve your motivation. Take a break, rest recover, then when you are ready, start up again. You will feel a whole lot better!

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Read a Magazine– Grab a magazine like Runner’s World. They have a lot of motivational articles and tips. Often when you have finished reading you will feel pumped up and inspired to go set a new world record or something! (We can dream anyway and in the case of getting motivated, delusion is a GOOD thing!)

 

Challenge Yourself– If you are only going for a short distance each time, set yourself a goal to run further!

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Setting yourself challenging goals will get you thinking about busting through your barriers instead of how bored you are. By challenging yourself you will also become fitter and stronger both physically and mentally. Also if you are only going a really short a distance you may not be allowing enough time for the endorphins to kick in. The endorphins are the drugs associated with the “runner’s high” that makes you feel good.

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Run In A Group– If you can convince other people to run with you, it can be a lot more fun than exercising alone. It is also refreshing to mix with others that have like-minded views on improving fitness and health. If your friends aren’t interested, consider joining an active group of runners in your area. If you are worried that you are too slow, relax. There are many groups of runners who are only in it for fun and the pure enjoyment of stretching their legs, in fact I would guess that the majority of groups are pretty laid back and friendly to newcomers.

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If these suggestions don’t work for you, you may find you are not suited to be a runner. Don’t make yourself miserable over it, find something else you enjoy doing and move on.

 

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