How Do You Make Running Fun Again?
For even the most dedicated of runners, it is possible that over time running can become a bit stale.
Maybe running becomes a chore that “needs” to be done.
Maybe it’s something that you’re expected to do by others.
There are dozens of reasons running can become stale, but if/when it does, what can be done to make running fun again?
Follow Their Example
Pretty safe to say that they are having fun.
I was having coffee recently with Nicole Welch from Rap with Nic.com, we started talking about our kids and the joy that kids have for running.
When kids are running, they don’t care about what other people are thinking. They don’t care about what they look like. They don’t care about anything.
They simply are fully present in the moment and are having a blast.
The joy is evident on their faces, and captured quite well in the above photo.
You simply can’t convince me that these kids aren’t having fun.
How We Can Make Running Fun Again
Just as their are many reasons that running can lose its luster, there are many ways that we can make it more fun again.
- Recruit Some Friends to Join Your Team: A team event, like a Ragnar or other relay type event, can make running fun because it’s no longer a solo thing. If you grew up playing team sports, you know how great the camaraderie of the team environment can be, and that is one thing easily lost as a running adult. Even if you normally run with friends, your races are still solo endeavors. Doing a relay event as a member of a team is almost guaranteed to add an element of fun to your running.
- Get a Change of Scenery: One thing that I struggle with is running in the same place day after day. Running the same streets and routes over and over gets old, and sometimes you just need to experience the grass on the other side of the fence to find out if it truly is greener. Whether you go on a legit race-cation, or simply take a road trip to a neighboring town, just running in different locations once in awhile can make your running a lot more fun.
- Go All Out in a Themed Race: If you’re going to participate in a themed race, you might as well go all out! Running in costume isn’t really my thing, but if it’s yours go for it! Don’t worry about your time, just make sure you look the part and have fun!
- Run All Out: I don’t know what it is, but there is something about running as fast as you can that’s just fun! While a handful of all out sprints may not be part of the standard training plan for a lot of longer races, there’s nothing wrong with just getting after it once in awhile. You might be completely beat after just a few minutes, but odds are you’ll also have a smile on your face.
These are just a few of the ways you can change up your running in order to inject a little more variety (and fun) into your running routine.
But there are many others.
What do you do to make running fun when you find yourself in a running rut?
Leave a comment below, and let me know!
Easiest answer is to have your ability to run taken away momentarily 🙂 Then you want nothing more than to run again!
On a more serious note, sometimes a little time off is just what the doctor called for.
Some runners who race and train hard all year long may consider taking a week or two off and doing something else you enjoy. You won’t lose any fitness. In fact, your legs will probably thank you for it!
Runners get caught in the daily routine or “rut” which inevitably includes workouts and even races. Even changing the time of day you run can revitalize a dying desire. Plan a run at night or predawn to shake things up a bit. While we all have our favorite races we like to do, find some new races if you always run the same ones.
On another note, it’s common of runners to race very often. Reevaluate your racing schedule. Maybe you’re just simply wearing yourself thin physically and mentally (depending on how hard you race). Consider cutting back to racing less during a year and focus more on training and recovery. High-profile marathoners generally only race one or two serious races a year! There’s a reason for that!
Challenge yourself to a new race distance or go after a new personal record. This is a great way to rekindle the fire! Take on the half-marathon, marathon, or an ultramarathon. There’s so many options! Challenge yourself!
Find a race or plan some running in an exotic or exciting new location which can even turn into a family-oriented vacation. New, exciting, exotic locations can put the training spark back in your legs!
Roads runners should dabble with some trail running and vice versa. You’d be surprised at the variety of friends you’ll make just by going from road racing to trail racing.
New friends can be extremely motivational. The atmosphere of trail and road racing can be very different, and either way, it’s an opportunity to meet new friends.
Offering to crew friends at ultramarathon races, volunteering at races, or offering to be a pacer in a marathon can be a good way to bring you back from the slump.
Don’t forget the power of social media. Harness that and use it to find local friends, running groups, and to get encouragement and motivational support!
Last, but not least, you can always shopping! Buying new clothes, gear, or shoes can really bring the excitement back!
There’s many, many ways to combat “running blahs,” so keep trying until you get the magic back!
Great advice Tara! Thanks for sharing!
My pleasure 🙂 Enjoyed browsing your blog this morning!