Monday, February 14, 2011

EricG's Running Tips #7 Change It Up

Running by its very nature is repetative.  One foot in front of the other, over and over again.  People ask me all the time how I handle the boredom.  Of course I don't consider running boring but that answer will not help anyone get past a hurdle and possibly find enjoyment in the sport.  And I must admit as much as I love it, I do feel the need to add a little spice every now and then.  Look at it this way.  If you never change the tires on your car you will eventually have a flat and that will be the end of your driving.  Consider bordem your clue to Change It Up.  Anyone would get bored just going out and running the same way at the same time in the same place day after day.

Here are a number of things I do to add variation into my running routine.
  • Run in different places.  Choose different routes and terrain.  Sometimes simply running the opposite direction in your local park is enough but it's also refreshing to hit a completely different spot when you can.
  • Run when you are on vaction or a business trip.
  • Run a race.  Even if its not something you trained for use it as a training run.  It can be a lot of fun just to get out there and run with others.
  • Change up your workouts.  There are so many different types of running work outs you can do which will keep it intersting and are good for improving your fitness level.  Examples are, hill repeats, speed work, tempo runs and long runs.  Within these different runs are also variations so they are not the same each time.  Change up the length and/or number of hill repeats, change up the duration and/or intensity of speed intervals or tempo runs and so on.
  • Turn it into a game.  No different really then when you were a kid and would countdown in your driveway for that last second shot.  Imagine you are in a race and closing the gap on your nearest competitor or time goal.
  • Get that new shoe, shirt or other running gear you have been wanting.  It's always fun getting new toys.
  • Run with friends or find local running groups and make new ones.
  • Drag your family into it and run or hike with them.  Our family ran our first race together last year which was a blast.  Looking forward to the next one in May.
  • Run with music.  Run without music.  I have had some of my most memorable runs without the iPod especially out on the trails far from the crowded streets and local parks.
  • RUN FOR A CAUSE.  There is no question that running for the benefit of others will inspire you.  Knowing that what you are doing is benefiting others will most certainly make running more enjoyable.  It does for me.
Peace

6 comments:

  1. Great tips...and the biggest point that I get is variety...it does matter to change things up so that things don't get "boring"...

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  2. All of these are a must if you're running all the time. Great list.

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  3. The constant variety breaks up my runs. Hill work, trails, trackwork. Long runs on the flat, long runs on the trails...Most days I'm just grateful to be able to run! Great tips!

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  4. this is a great post. I often fall into a rut and need to mix things up. great ideas!

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  5. I think laying out everything the night before is one of the greatest tips–makes race morning so much smoother!

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