Runners can, once in a while, get bored with their running. They lace up their same boring shoes, put on their same boring running outfit, and head out on the same boring running routes. Cue the sad music and the grey background.
There are a few things we runners can do to combat that boredom when it kicks in. Read on to see how to conquer boredom in running.
Run with a friend –
Running with a buddy is a tried and true boredom buster. Lively conversation and even deep discussions on personal topics can help energize excitement for your sport.
Training with a friend –
If you are looking to boost running with a friend to the next level, try training with one. Find a friend, pick a race, and then work together to train. This is a great way to have an accountability buddy and it can put some extra motivation and fun into a training cycle.
Run somewhere new –
Running somewhere new can be a perfect way to take some boredom from your humdrum running routine. It can, however, be challenging to do. I know for me it is incredibly convenient to leave my house and head down that same road I always take.
You can jump in your desired mode of transportation and find somewhere completely new, or maybe you take a right out of your door instead of your usual left. Be adventurous!
Run with a new playlist –
Sometimes all you need to make running exciting again is to refresh that playlist. Those songs can get pretty stale. Whenever my list starts feeling musty, I like to ask running friends what their go-to running songs are. This gives me some new music I might not have thought of, and bonus, their suggested songs remind me of them.
Start a dog exercise side hustle –
Folks, there are a bunch of dogs out there that would love to go on a run with you, and I bet there are plenty in your neighborhood. Not every human likes to run, but almost every dog does (except the little ones). Do your neighbors a solid and start running with their dogs – I bet you could even charge them a little.
Or get a dog –
Speaking from experience: having a dog breathing down your neck for some exercise is the perfect motivation to get outside and go for a run. And once they are adequately trained to run next to you without bolting after the random cat or bird, they are fun to run alongside.
Disclaimer: if you get a dog, please make sure you are willing to put up with all of the other not-so-fun stuff that entails. There are vet visits, chewed up everything, potty training, and so on.
Work on a project on the run –
An exceptional way to fight running dullness is to leave the house with a project in mind. The consistent sound of foot strikes and the somewhat tedious nature of a run enables the mind to focus on specific things. Do you have a big problem you have been trying to solve? Try devoting your run to thinking about only that one problem.
I like to come up with articles or story ideas, think through outlines, plots, characters, etc. while running. It’s an excellent excuse to stop and walk for a little bit while I’m entering thoughts into the notes app on my phone.
Some people even use a recorder app on their phone to dictate. I know people who write entire novels with dictation. Why not do it while running?
Start a phone date –
You can also set up a time with a family member or friend to call them while you run. I know a few people that spend time keeping in touch with loved ones.
As a huge fan of multitasking – this truly speaks to me. It also forces you to maintain a good pace, as you won’t be able to talk if you are going too fast.
Join a challenge –
There are plenty of challenges out there to spice up your running life. Strava and Map My Run both have options, as do Garmin and FitBit.
If those aren’t to your liking, why not start your own with your running friends. Make the stakes a little more rewarding by offering the winner something fun!
Sign up for a race –
Finally, one of the best ways to beat the running blues is to sign up for a fun race and pick a training plan. Even if it’s tough at first, you will eventually be forced out of your rut by your training plan.
Whether you add a friend (furry or otherwise), write a book, or call a friend to jazz up your running routine, I hope you find these tips helpful, and your despondency doesn’t last long.