There comes a time in every runner’s life when running goes from this
and then this.
Running Boredom: Synonyms include monotonous, mundane, torturous, awful, self-inflicted suffering, and tiresome.
What do you do when you find yourself spending more time trying to convince yourself to get out the door than you do actually kicking the pavement? I’m not going to sugar coat it, you should quit. NO I’m kidding! Don’t quit! Look we've all been there. We've all had to figure out a way to climb out of the running rut/boredom hole. Here are 5 ways to kick running boredom to the curb:
1. Change it Up.
Change your route! If there is a typical trail or route you run go the opposite way or try a different area completely. Go get lost! Go to the local high school and get on a local track! Focus on speed work with interval, tempo, or hill workouts. If you’re fighting running boredom, a 30 minute interval workout is short enough to seem doable and intense enough to kick your ass.
2. Throw Yourself Into Cross Training.
Bored running? Throw yourself into spin classes or swimming. When I started to feel burnt out while I was training for the NYC Marathon last year I changed my training plan to 3-4 days of spinning and 2-3 days of running. Sometimes you just have to shake it up so you start looking forward to your runs.
3. Find a Running Buddy.
If you’ve been running solo or intermittently with a friend, start doing it regularly. Running with a group or a buddy will push you further than you normally would alone. And if you decide you aren’t feeling up to a run you have someone who is expecting you to show up and help hold you accountable. And you have a friend to talk, gossip, and joke with. You both share a common love of running, focus on that.
4. Train For a Different Distance.
If you’re a serial half marathoner focus on the mile, 5k, or 10k. Start racing shorter distances and focusing on getting faster. The same goes for the serial 5k-er. Push yourself for a half marathon or marathon. Or hell, get really crazy and go for an Ironman or Ultra-Marathon! Boredom can set in when you aren’t challenging and pushing yourself. Go do something crazy. (Want to know what’s scarier than running a marathon to me? Sprinting a mile. I think we all know the race I’m going to force myself to run this year…)
5. Set a New Goal.
If you’re bored then your problem may be that your goal isn’t resonating with you. Hell, maybe you don't have a goal you're just running because it's a fun way to stay in shape! The time is now to figure out and re-evaluate what you want. Your goal has to be bigger than staying in shape or looking good in a bathing suit. Running will turn into a chore if that's what you seek. But if your goal is a finish line, faster time, or state of mind then you have something to work towards. A banging body and weight loss are two of the many wonderful side effects of running and it will come, but tie that weight loss goal to a race or event. Maybe a tough mudder or a super fast 10k for a good cause. Push yourself for something huge and you'll have much more fun body slamming your goals.
Don't get discouraged if you find yourself in a rut. Remember why you run and let that fuel your fire. Until tomorrow, #RunSelfieRepeat.