You're a runner. You get up early, stay up late, or move your schedule around to find time for that run that is an all-important component of your day. Lately, however, it has gotten a little stale. You don't find yourself looking forward to the run like you used to. When you do run, you are more excited about finishing than enjoying the run in the moment.
If this sounds like you, you might be stuck in a bit of a running rut. Do not fear, however, as there are many ways to pull yourself out of this funk and get excited for the run once again. Here are five ways to make running exciting again.
1) Change up the route
If you're tired of seeing that same stoplight, or the same houses, or the same dog that barks at you every time you jog by, it is probably time for a new route. Whether it's a matter of making a few different turns when you leave your house or finding a new place to run entirely, a change of scenery can provide a breath of fresh air and a sense of novelty to get you excited for the next run.
If you really want to change it up, look for some runner-friendly trails and paths in your area. It seems like a hassle, but a ten-minute drive is worth it for an awesome run in a new setting.
2) Change up the workout
Do you go for long, steady-paced runs every time? Try a shorter, more intense run. You might like the challenge of keeping a fast pace and pushing your lungs a little bit more. It works the other way around too! If you always keep them short and fast, try dialing back the pace a bit, enjoying your run and going for some distance. You might find you like a different approach every now and then!
If you have the stomach for it, you could even do some intervals, mixing in short, intense bursts with rest periods of walking or a slow jog!
3) Entertain yourself
For this one, you'll need a running-friendly set of headphones. If you have them, try listening to some music, or perhaps a podcast or audiobook. It's really easy to lose yourself in a good story whether it is through a podcast or audiobook, and they're not as structured as music, which will give you a general idea of the time based on how many songs you get through. That said, music can also be great, especially if you're really trying to push yourself! Just make sure you stay aware of your surrounding, particularly if you're running on the road.
4) Get a running buddy
Whether you're looking for someone to chat with on your jog, or for a competitive frenemy to push you to your limits, linking up with someone can help make your runs that much more exciting. Look for someone who is at a similar level to you, with similar goals as well so you both get what you want out of your run.
5) Set goals
If you're trying to improve as a runner, try giving yourself some goals to strive towards. Whether it is a time you want to achieve, or a distance you want to hit, a goal-oriented mindset can reinvigorate a runner who is getting complacent.
Start with small, attainable goals so you don't get frustrated while you work towards them. Be flexible too! This is for you, so don't get down on yourself if a goal is a little further away than you thought. Adjust accordingly and get back out there.
The beauty of running is its versatility. You can do it pretty much anywhere, at any speed, and for any distance. Use that versatility to your advantage! At the end of the day, if you're getting out there and doing it, then you're doing pretty darn well.