There is so much excitement when we first start running. Even though the activity is tough in the beginning, we can’t wait to wear our new working clothes and sneakers. During the run, we listen to our favorite tunes that pump us up and there are lots to take in and see as we explore the outdoors and get fresh air. But over time, going for a run becomes routine. We are used to shorter distances and now take on longer runs. And then the boredom creeps in.
The minutes slow down as the mileage increases. We are sick of the same music and suddenly looking out to all the trees is far from interesting. Our body starts to feel tired and we can’t wait for the run to end. Sometimes we even cut it short if we are plagued by negative thoughts. But there are ways to get through a run when feeling bored.
The first tip to preventing during a run is to choose a new destination. We often run the same routes during the week that is close to home or work and conveniently based on time sake. This becomes too routine. Instead, drive or bike to a local park and get the run in there. Another good tip is to run to a destination. Put the run in running an errand.
On the weekends when there is typically more time to run. This means check out a new location. This could include taking a long drive to run near the beach or at a trail.
Sometimes all it takes is some new scenery to not be bored throughout the run. Changing the time of time like early morning before work to watch the sunrise or late evenings with the sunset can also do the trick.
Location is important to prevent boredom, but sometimes we are stuck to running on the treadmill. Don’t dread these runs. Running on the treadmill can be boring since there is little to look at unless running on a gym treadmill with built-in televisions. Get through the treadmill run by using this as a speed run. Switch up the pace for intervals to make the miles fly by.
Ask a gym buddy to come along and “race” each other while chatting. This can also be a good time to listen to that new podcast or audiobook since safety concerns aren’t major issues when running indoors.
There are many different types of runs that can be done. Instead of just putting on sneakers and heading out the door, think about doing speed work or hill repeats.
Running intervals on a track is a great way to spice up a run. These runs consist of a warm-up followed by sprinting and recovering with a jog or walk and then repeating.
Hill repeats consists of running up and down a hill multiple times. This builds endurance and takes mental grit. It’s a great way to get those leg muscles working, so being bored is the last thing happening with this more intense workout.
Fartlek runs that consist of small bursts of sprints like running fast to a mailbox is another way to keep things fun.
Adding Other Workouts
Sometimes just pausing the run and working in other workout moves is all it takes to keep the run fun and interesting. Run for a few minutes and then stop to do a series of moves like 10 squat jumps, 10 lunges, and 10 jumping jacks, then resume the run.
The runner might feel silly to stop when others are around, but it does make for a fun game. Not to mention it adds more strength and cardio into the run.
Find A Race
When short runs get boring, register for a fun run or other 5k or 10k. This is a great way to switch things up and keep runs exciting. From crowds of runners to supporters cheering at the finish line, participating in races every so often helps make the runner look forward to completing runs both on race day and in preparation to that day.
Run In Numbers
For distance runners, running with a group or at least one other friend makes a world of difference. Runners are surprised with how fast their workout goes when doing it with someone else. Having someone else along for the ride makes the long run seem much more manageable. It allows for time to talk, quiet time to reflect as well as listen to music. Listen to their stories and sharing your own keeps the mind off of the run and feeling tired. Instead, the runner keeps their focus and often keeps up with a faster running partner.
Tips To Beating Boredom
There are also lots of small things that make a huge difference when it comes to combating boredom during a run. This includes:
- Listening to a new podcast
- Updating running music playlist
- At the gym, skip the treadmill and use the elliptical
- Pay attention to breathing
- Count cadence and pay attention to form and foot strike
- Makeup scenarios about why you are running
- 10 Ways to Beat Boredom on Your Run, Susan Paul, Runner’s World
- How to Beat Boredom on the Treadmill, Christine Luff, Very Well Fit
- How do you guys not get bored while running?, StevenMcphearson, Reddit