My mom ran for exercise throughout my childhood. She would run 3 miles a day like it was her job. I seldom went with her, but I did run track back in high school. Though I didn’t love it, I did it because I was good and not many people wanted to run distance.
After high school, I took a break from running and concentrated more on the elliptical and weight machines. Then I went to Fire Island to visit my best friend one summer and she suggested we go for a run. That day reignited my running abilities and I have TRIED not to stop again since.
Here are some of my tried and true techniques to keep running from getting boring.
Alternate with Strength/HIIT/Other workouts
Don’t run every day! I mean, if you can do that, more power to you, but I can’t. Boredom sets in too easily. I use Beachbody OnDemand to pick a different type of workout whenever possible!
Sprints between driveways or fire hydrants
I usually run in my neighborhood, so I start out at my normal pace, which is about 165 steps per minute. Once I get out to the main road, I sprint to the first driveway, then jog to the next and alternate like that until my run is over. You can use streetlights, fire hydrants, street signs, whatever works for your locale! This is one you can also do with your little one!
Run to the Beat
Back in college, I used to listen to Sandstorm by DaRude to burn as many calories as possible in 20-30 minutes on the elliptical. I would just cycle my heart out to the beat. Now I use this same technique with my running. Spotify has a sandstorm playlist and also running playlists that specify how many BPM. Anything from 140-180 BPM. I try to make sure my feet hit the pavement along with the beat. So either every step or every other, depending on the song and speed and how you’re feeling.
Sprint up hills (What hills? This is FL!)
I moved here from living in the northeast most of my life. Up there, there are hills. So part of my running routine was to sprint up hills, when most people would slow down, I would speed up!
Vary your distance/route/speed
Don’t be predictable. Not only is this a good mantra for running safety, but it also works to keep you and your body entertained. I never quite know my route/distance/speed until I’m running. It’s not planned ahead of time. I may do a circle in my neighborhood or I may run up and down every other street. I may run a slow 4 miles or I could run my fastest mile. Change it up every time!
Set a goal
If you set a daily/weekly/monthly goal, it gives you something to work toward. I love the Runkeeper challenges. Sometimes I will think I’m only going to go out for a quick mile sprint, but then see a challenge and end up running a 5k instead. Just have a goal that pushes you to work harder, to improve speed or skill, or any aspect you’re looking to work on.
In a race, chase that ponytail!
Lastly, if you’re running a race, (I like to do 5k races, so if you see me, say hi!) chase down that ponytail in front of you. And when you pass her, go for the new ponytail in front of you! If you’re in first, just keep running!