How to Make Running Less Boring

From time to time, running is boring right? I mean, if you run for an hour every day all you're doing is moving your arms and legs for 3,600 seconds. That's well over a million seconds by the end of the year. That's a lot of seconds to be moving your arms and legs.

Hence, today I'm here to give you a few of my top tips to make your run less boring. Whether that's by making your run more enjoyable (an enjoyable run?!) or by making it pass by a lot quicker, here are the do's and don'ts of making running more bearable - for both noobs and pros on the running scene:


For a More Enjoyable Run

If you're the type of person who has been running for a while and finds it to be therapeutic when you go on recovery runs, then this section is for you. If you are still convinced you hate running (give it time grasshopper) or you've got a time trial to run, then move onto the next section!
Tip #1: Run somewhere new. So many people (including myself from time to time) find themselves guilty of running the exact same route day in and day out because you know exactly how far it is, how long it will take, and that you won't get lost. If you want a more exciting run, throw this habit out the window. By running somewhere new, your mind will be focused on what it sees, and not on how your legs are feeling or what's for dinner. Try running somewhere you've never set foot before, like a nearby forest trail or park! Believe me when I say it's worth travelling 10 or 20 minutes to get to an epic place for a run if you have time.
Looks pretty sweet eh?

Tip #2: Run one loop. Compared to running 'out and back' or a 'lap run', running a loop is so much more interesting (for reasons similar to #1). By not running somewhere you've literally just been, your mind can be far more easily entertained - making it a lot easier to forget that you're exercising.
   Tip #3: Get Strava. Strava is a social network for runners, and if you don't have it you should get it ASAP because it's awesome. For me, it makes running so much more exciting when I know that afterwards I'll be able to analyse my run and see exactly where I went (nerd, I know), and so will my friends. Some people even go so far to do Strava 'art', and make a picture with their GPS route - if that isn't interesting then I don't know what is!

Credit: Cycling Magazine Canada


Tip #4: Run without music. Music can definitely help with motivation and taking your mind off a hard run (keep reading below!), but if you're out there for some enjoyment then having nothing but the birds to listen to is pretty cool. Give it a try and I promise you'll be pleasantly surprised how enjoyable nothing but the sounds of a bustling city or quiet forest can be. A music-less run also gives you some time to think, which I find super useful if you're having a hectic week.

For a Run You Don't Want to Go On

For those of you who are perhaps still building a solid base level of fitness and presently feel like running is a chore (hang in there!), this is the section for you. Likewise, if you've got a high intensity run to do, this might be a useful place to be!
Tip #1.1: Run 'out and back'. While this can definitely be considered boring, running 'out and back' (getting to half way then retracing your steps) can make your run feel super short. So if you use this tip in conjunction with what is to come it'll work wonders. The premise is that once you get to the turning point, you know you're half way - so from that point onward you're heading home!
Tip #1.2: Run as a commute. First of all, if you're interested in this check out the blog post I wrote a while back on this exact topic! Secondly, the reason this makes running more bearable is that you actually have an end goal - you've gotta get to work (for example), and your mind does a pretty good job of staying focused on that task. Luckily for you and me, you consequently often forget that you're doing exercise.
Tip #2.1: Run with a mate. If you've never tried running with a buddy, then find a mate and hit the roads ASAP. Not only will having someone to chat to help the time pass by and make your run more interesting, but you'll also find you don't skip as many runs and that you end up working harder too - a win-win-win.
Tip #2.2: Run with music. If your mates aren't into running, try listening to music. Running is a great chance to blast a few tunes, and will obviously make you both more motivated and excited to run. I would recommend Spotify's Running playlists, like the EPIC one below:

Tip #3: Break the run into two parts. Note that by breaking your run into two parts you'll physically benefit slightly less than if it was one whole run, but if you're on a tight schedule or you find going for longer runs super boring, this is a pretty sweet anti-boredom technique. The main reason it works is because typically the most boring part of a run is when you get a few kilometers in and realise you still have 30 or 45 minutes of running left - but if you change it so that you're almost done when you hit a few kilometers, it won't be so bad!

So there you have it, whether you're a running champion or a newbie, this post should have covered it all. Next time you head out for a hard run try a few of the tips in the second part of the post, and next time you head out for a nice relaxing jog try a few of the first tips we discussed. By doing so, I can almost guarantee you'll find running a lot more interesting and a lot less boring.
Why not put my theory to the test and head out for a run right this second? There's no time like the present!

1 comment

  • Liam

    Got any other tips and tricks? Let me know here in the comments, I’d love to hear!

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